Because I am an Ieupiaq,
name is Kimmialuk. In English it is Patrick Attungana from Point
Hope. I will be speaking of things that I know and of those things
that I have seen and understand. We are Ieupiat
on the shores of the seas. We are living from the east to Barter
Island all the way to those we don't understand the St.
Lawrence Islanders (reference to Siberian Yup'ik.) We eat the
animals of the seas and of the land. We exist because of those
older than we are. We live because we follow their example. Our
body fluids are mixed with the blood of animals, with the oil
of the animals - like the Ieupiat
of old who used the same animals.
So, when I grew up,
when I became aware of my surroundings, I followed the hunters.
I learned their hunting techniques. Maybe I was destined to be
a hunter. I did not follow the government rule that says I must
go to school. I did not do this.
Today, I am very thankful I am Ieupiat,
living near the seas. I am thankful that there are people that
can govern us, to help us live a cautious life. Because there
are three different groups: the Ieupiat,
the white people, and the animals.
When I became a whaler, I found
it was hard to handle the equipment and the people. The advice
given to us, generation after generation, through the Ieupiat,
to follow their teachings from time immemorial, so far away; changing,
After the changes from the old ways
had been made, I became a whaler. I was destined to be a whaler
in harmony with my fellow whalers. I have to have this harmony
when I catch an animal I have to treat it with respect accordingly.
Being a descendent of the Ieupiat
of old, I must give aid through compassion to anybody, regardless.
Whaling is not easy. Everything
has to be ready the umiaq, the equipment, the crew. Because
of the Ieupiat
teachings, we know to depend on each other with the whaling activities.
Because of this dependence on one another, the I Ieupiat
could catch the whales.
I am not going to talk
about my whaling activities, but I want to present my thoughts
to those of Barter Island and St. Lawrence Island about the animals
of the seathe whales, the walrus, and the belugas, those
We understand at Point
Hope that these animals travel to the East and stay for awhile
to return here; they travel.
little from the book, white man's holy book, called the living
book. Today, in the time of change of our lives, the Ieupiat,
the white man, and the animals all three have one breath,
they have one life. All three have one source of living. They
all eventually die.
The book makes us understand that
the spirit does not die, but the body does. The white man and
die. And their spirit lives on. The animals, following their purpose
for living, allow themselves to be killed.
From the Ieupiat
of the past, a covenant has been passed down. This covenant
a group of intelligent people who have a good sense of perception
is like a book to their people. They have good memories and because
of them, we can hunt whales today. This holds hunting together.
We want our descendents to follow this example. Those of us who
are getting older, even older than I, want our descendents to
follow the teachings and to be obedient.