This is Not About Sarah Palin*

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Via a quite circuitous route, I have learned about a local crisis amongst the native populations of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in rural Alaska.

It appears these folks are being forced to choose between food and heating fuel. And since they live in, you know, rural Alaska, that type of crisis is no joke. An inability to fish for King Salmon during the summer months essentially wiped out their economy, and now the folks who live in these villages are rationing their food and their heating fuel.

Pretty damn grim. Most of these families live on the knife's edge of poverty, and it's not like their environment is particularly forgiving.

There's a Facebook community that has information about how you can help, if you're so inclined. These Americans need pantry staples or cash donations for fuel to help see them through the winter.

Sorry, Kiva - this month my charity budget is going to help the good people of Emmonak and environs. See you next month.
_____________________________

*I don't want to hear about how this is Sarah Palin's fault, or the result of Troopergate, or any other politically motivated screeching. I don't live in Alaska, and I'm not qualified to comment on their politics. The good folks of Alaska will address their political concerns as they see fit, and I can't do anything about it. The facts on the ground are that the folks in the Yukon Delta are hungry and cold, and I can do something about that.

9 comments:

Tania said...

Thanks Janiece. This has been rather interesting to follow up here, but I've been to these communities and knife's edge describes it perfectly.

Karl said...

Being from Fort Yukon has kept me in touch with some of these issues - especially that my folks have been getting burned with their fuel bills this winter. They're not hurting nearly as much as some I know, though. During a radio interview in this last cold spell, a man we know from Beaver described his having to burn some of the house logs he had collected for his new cabin - literally burning up a house to heat another...

Thanks, Janiece. The links in the Facebook group are especially helpful.

Janiece Murphy said...

You're welcome, Alaskan Hot Chicks and Smart Men.

Tania said...

Here's another blog post to give people a better idea of what sort lifestyles people live.

Shopping day in Nunam Iqua

Jim Wright said...

My wife and I were discussing this last night (OK, I was ranting and she was rolling her little eyes, whatever).

See here's the thing: Gas prices per gallon are higher here than just about anywhere else in the nation. Why? Why didn't gasoline prices fall with everybody else? Why do I keep hearing how the prices of oil is at a record low, when gas isn't far below our recent statewide record high? Then there's natural gas - despite also record lows for NG prices, and the fact that NG isn't currently shipped out of Alaska and therefor there's a major surplus, we just had a 22% rate increase. This is bad enough where I, Tania, and Karl live, but it's compounded times ten in the villages.

The simple truth of the matter is that the energy companies consider the energy dividend that the Alaskan government handed out, along with the record high PFD checks this year, as their money - and they're going to get it back from us, even if they have to kill everybody in the villages to do it. It's really just that simple.

I know you said you don't want this to become a Palin bash, and so I'll refrain, but damn I wish we had the governor we elected, the one that stood up to the energy companies, instead of the one we've got now (or sort of got, when she's actually in state, in her office working instead of signing book deals and campaigning for 2012. But I digress. Sorry, just a little bitter here - if you saw my NG bill for last month you'd be bitter too).

Janiece Murphy said...

Jim, I'll leave it to you and the rest of the good people of Alaska to take whatever action is necessary to correct the problem that caused the crisis.

If it's in your control, I mean. I don't think the Governor (or any politician) is personally responsible for a bad salmon run.

And I won't bite on Sarah's decision to abandon her responsibility to her constituents. No. No, I won't.

LALALALA. I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

Ann said...

WOW Janiece thanks for posting this. OOOOH btw, I am Ann Strongheart, the author of SHOPPING DAY IN NUNAM IQUA.

If anyone would like more information on how to help and make donations or send care packages you can email me at:

nunamiquayouth@yahoo.com

Janiece Murphy said...

Welcome, Ann.

Do you have a non-profit where cash donations can be sent? And an address? I'll be happy to update this post with that information, if it's available.

Ann said...

Janiece,

I know you already posted this on another thread but I thought I would put it here.

Food donations can be mailed to:

Nunam Iqua Food Drive
c/o Ann Strongheart
P.O. Box 7
Nunam Iqua, AK 99666

Cash/check donations can be made out to the: CITY OF NUNAM IQUA and sent to the above address.

A great way to send food is with the flat rate boxes you can get from the post office. No matter how much they weigh you only pay the flat rate!

Please feel free to email me at nunamiquayouth@yahoo.com if you have any additional questions or need more information!

Quyana Cakneq,

Ann Strongheart :-)