Land Ownership

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solid

Digital Heritage Map Style

Color: 
blue
Area Fill Pattern: 
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Qaglugruaq

For generations, the Kivalliñiġmiut lived semi-nomadically throughout their homeland territory and moved between seasonal dwellings in anticipation of animal migrations, weather conditions, and proximity to regional social networks. Their winter homes along the Wulik and Kivalina rivers offered good fishing and caribou hunting to compliment they cache of sea mammal meat they would had preserved from the prior spring and summer. Each spring, families returned to the coast in anticipation of the bowhead whale hunt. Crews would make whaling camp up to twenty miles out from land, at the open lead, where solid ice met the liquid sea. In those days, the ice began to break up in June, bringing the ugruk (bearded seal) and eventually herds of walrus. The Kivalina People spent summers at several sites along the coast: it was a great time and place for beluga hunting, fishing, and gathering. During high summer, some members of the community traveled to the big trade fair at Sisualik, just north of Kotzebue. Fall time signaled the annual return inland to upriver dwellings and the renewal of this yearly cycle. Kivalina People continued this seasonal pattern until the U.S. Bureau of Education began a process of forced-settlement and consolidation at the current village site in 1905 (Source: Ernest S. Burch, Iñupiaq Eskimo Nations of Northwest Alaska, 1998: 33-47).

Aunat

For generations, the Kivalliñiġmiut lived semi-nomadically throughout their homeland territory and moved between seasonal dwellings in anticipation of animal migrations, weather conditions, and proximity to regional social networks. Their winter homes along the Wulik and Kivalina rivers offered good fishing and caribou hunting to compliment they cache of sea mammal meat they would had preserved from the prior spring and summer. Each spring, families returned to the coast in anticipation of the bowhead whale hunt. Crews would make whaling camp up to twenty miles out from land, at the open lead, where solid ice met the liquid sea. In those days, the ice began to break up in June, bringing the ugruk (bearded seal) and eventually herds of walrus. The Kivalina People spent summers at several sites along the coast: it was a great time and place for beluga hunting, fishing, and gathering. During high summer, some members of the community traveled to the big trade fair at Sisualik, just north of Kotzebue. Fall time signaled the annual return inland to upriver dwellings and the renewal of this yearly cycle. Kivalina People continued this seasonal pattern until the U.S. Bureau of Education began a process of forced-settlement and consolidation at the current village site in 1905 (Source: Ernest S. Burch, Iñupiaq Eskimo Nations of Northwest Alaska, 1998: 33-47).

 

Ivruqtusak

This collection is Ernest S. Burch’s reconstruction of dwelling sites in the Kivalina Territory at freeze-up in 1895. Based on archival sources and descriptions from the elders he worked with in the 1960s and 70s, Burch describes a period of food insecurity throughout Northwest Alaska in the early 1880s. At that time, many Kivalina People left their homeland territory in search of food, with some settling at Pt. Hope, Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), and Cape Lisburne. By the early 1890s, approximately 10 Kivalliñiġmiut families had returned to their homeland where several families from the Seward Peninsula (Sakmaliaġruitch) and Noatak (Napaaqtuġmiut) would also join them. During this period, most families from Kivalina and Noatak continued to move inland at wintertime, while those from the Seward Peninsula remained all year along the coast (Source: Ernest S. Burch, Iñupiaq Eskimo Nations of Northwest Alaska, 1998: 47-56). 

Kivalliñiġmiut Nation