Arts & Culture

Stories about the arts and culture.

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. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

How do you keep a language alive? On Tuesday, a state council is asking people to call in with their suggestions on how to do that with Alaska’s many Native languages. Retired UAF Alaska Native Studies professor Cecilia Martz has watcher the languages change over time, and she has some ideas after dedicating her career to teaching cross-culture studies.

The state of Alaska Native languages is the subject of a teleconference today, Aug. 2. The Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council will use the testimony to write its biennial report to the governor and state lawmakers. 

A vital voice of KYUK's programming, John Active died on June 4, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

John Active died one year ago, on June 4, 2018. KYUK misses him and works to continue his legacy of "Yup'ifying" the world. John was a translator, culture bearer, journalist, comedian, Elder, and National Public Radio's only Indigenous commentator. John identified as a storyteller, and made a career out of teaching people about the Yup'ik language and culture. KYUK reflects on John's legacy with his friends and colleagues.

A vital voice of KYUK's programming, John Active died on June 4, 2018.
Katie Basile / KYUK

This week marks one year since the death of public radio pioneer John Active. He helped create and define the bicultural and bilingual style of KYUK, and introduced the Yup’ik language and culture to the nation through his writing and storytelling. To this day, John remains the only Indigenous commentator to air on National Public Radio. 

Of all the roles John Active played: journalist, comedian, radio host, translator, and culture bearer, he identified himself most as a storyteller.
Katie Basile / KYUK

It's been one year since John Active died on June 4, 2018. Of his many roles in broadcasting, John identified most as a storyteller, a craft he learned from his grandmother, Maggie Lind. KYUK is remembering John this week by listening to his stories. Here is a selection of some of our favorites. Quyana, John.

KeoStrong shirts line the halls of Chief Paul Memorial School.
Greg Kim / KYUK

Graduations are in the air; BRHS celebrated theirs last Friday. In Kipnuk, seniors finished a week earlier, concluding a difficult school year in which senior basketball star Keoni Aliralria passed away from cancer. At graduation, diplomas were awarded to all the graduates, including Aliralria, who was nicknamed "Keo."