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Arts & Culture

Stories about the arts and culture.

Katie Basile / KYUK

The Russian Orthodox Church has begun its Slaviq celebrations in Bethel, when members and non-members go door-to-door singing and feasting to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The celebration lasts a week and combines Yup’ik and Orthodox Christian traditions.

The Bethel Fire Department will put on the annual fireworks show on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. in front of the fire station. The New Year's Eve show was delayed due to high winds.
Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Bethel’s New Years Fireworks were postponed on Tuesday and have been tentatively rescheduled for Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. in front of the Bethel Fire Station. The Bethel Fire Department delayed the original show due to high winds.

Pete Kaiser wins the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska on March 13 at 3:49 a.m.
Zachariah Hughes / APRN

We’re about to start a new year and a new decade in 2020. But before we move forward, we're looking back on the past year inthe Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta through KYUK’s top stories.

Elias Venes died at age 91 in Bethel on November 29, 2019.
Connie Sankwich

Bethel lost a beloved Elder in the days after Thanksgiving. Elias Venes died on November 29, 2019 at the age of 91. For the following week, family, friends, and community members gathered in his home to share stories, grieve, and remember the man who served as father, grandfather, uncle, and friend to so many.

Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

Santa Claus delivered presents to Napakiak a little early this year: on Dec. 4 instead of the night before Christmas. And instead of behind flying reindeer, he arrived in a Black Hawk helicopter. 


Wyatt White shows off code for the next game he's working on, called Raven's Nest.
Courtesy of Wyatt White

A video game was released last month, perhaps the first one set around Bethel, Alaska. Game creator Wyatt White, who was raised in Bethel, demonstrated the game.


Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK

What does it take to be a good parent? Mary and Ulrich Ulroan from Chevak say that it takes raising children with a fierce love for subsistence and their Yup’ik and Cup’ik cultures. Those efforts were rewarded last week when the Alaska Federation of Natives honored the Ulroans as Parents of the Year.  


Gladys Jung Elementary School Dancers perform at Bethel's Indigenous Peoples' Day celebration at the Bethel Cultural Center on October 14, 2019.
Anna Rose MacArthur / KYUK

Bethel celebrated its third annual Indigenous Peoples' Day on Monday. The celebration included an evening of Yup’ik dance, Native Olympic games, sharing of Elder wisdom, and a potluck. To begin the event, community members marched down Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway, holding signs, wearing headdresses, and beating a drum. KYUK walked with them and has this audio postcard.


At its annual convention last week, the Association of Village Council Presidents gave out awards to members of the 56 tribes it represents. AVCP models these awards on similar ones given out during the Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention.

Elders and community members sang a song at Sophie Alexie's potluck to celebrate her life.
Greg Kim / KYUK

The community lost one of its most beloved teachers of Yup’ik language and culture when Sophie Alexie passed away on Aug. 6. Community members gathered for a potluck in Bethel on Aug. 19 to celebrate her life. 


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