Bristol Bay and Beyond, Dec 26

Dec 26, 2014

Thoughts on healthy choices for 2015, a visit to Port Heiden, a look at the history of reindeer in Bristol Bay, and more.

Low clouds obscure sunrise over the Dillingham Boat Harbor (Dec 26)
Credit Clark Fair

Coming up in this week's Bristol Bay and Beyond on KDLG, we’ll take a look at some ambitious projects underway in Port Heiden, plus a look back at the history of reindeer in Bristol Bay. Lois Schumacher has some tips for healthy new year’s resolutions, and Elijah Hunt tells us what's happening in the world of entertainment.

Nushagak men with a reindeer pulled sled, near Levelock. Date unknown.
Credit Alex Tallekpalek (UAF)

In Bristol Bay, nearly 300 people have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, and more than 200 are known to be in the pre-diabetes range. Without some lifestyle choices, they may well become diabetic in the years ahead. 

The number of people who have pre-diabetes, is growing, which Commander Lois Schumacher, the Diabetes Program Coordinator at the Kanakanak Hospital, says is concerning.  I spoke with Schumacher Friday morning for some advice for all of us about improving our health and keeping diabetes at bay as we look to 2015:

John Christensen in front of a new reindeer corral in Port Heiden. The village is waiting to take possession of 64 reindeer purchased from Stebbins/St. Michael.
Credit KDLG

The plucky little village of Port Heiden on the Alaska Peninsula is embarking on a pair of ambitious projects right now. They hope that their efforts will create more jobs, more income, and more food security for the village of just over a hundred residents:

Three men from Nushagak with sled pulled by reindeer, near Levelock. (date unknown)
Credit courtesy of Alex Tallekpalek / UAF

Reindeer herding, as many know, has a storied past in Bristol Bay, and that past is being restudied by researchers in the Anthropology Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

First reindeer station at Johnny Nielsens' homestead at Kokhanok. Circa 1910.
Credit Foss, Bert and Edna, 1995 / UAF

Postdoctoral fellow Amber Lincoln is among those who has been sifting through archives and gathering oral history to better document the history of reindeer on the Alaska Peninsula. She and others presented some of their findings recently at the Katmai National Park and Preserve office in King Salmon. Bristol Bay reindeer, says Lincoln, were an offshoot of Sheldon Jackson’s reindeer wider experiment beginning just before the turn of the century, and they arrived in Bristol Bay on account of an uncompleted journey. I spoke with Lincoln earlier this week to hear more:

  Click here to read more about the research being done at UAF.

The late Victor Monsen showing photo of self as a herder in the 1930s.
Credit UAF

Student intern Elijah Hunt is keeping his "iON" entertainment for KDLG.

Finally, our student intern Elijah Hunt has been tracking the world of entertainment for us this week, and agreed to share a few thoughts.

Traveling to the big city? KDLG's student intern Elijah Hunt says this is the new (and kid-friendly) movie to see.