The Yup’ik Way

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Hooper Bay or Naparyarmiut is the largest native Yup’ik village in southwestern Alaska.

Of the 1023 village inhabitants, 62% are under 18 years of age. With the majority

of the village being so young, traditional ways of life are diminishing by the lure of

western culture, technology, and language. Children wishing for McDonald’s and movie

theaters, while at the same time loving their close knit community, are faced with the

decision of staying in the village or moving to a larger town or city. With over 80% of the

village on state or government assistance the prospects for the future of the village are

pretty grim. The Yup’ik Way follows members of the community as they struggle with

cultural issues of living on the Alaska tundra, growing environments concerns, and the

evolving definition of what it means to be Yup’ik.

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