W I N T E R

2018 held one of the most unusual winters on record for Nunivak Island. With an average temperature a full 10 degrees F warmer than the previous year, ice did not arrive until after the new year. In Cu'pig, October is "the month where water freezes." According to almost every villager spoken to, elders included, this level of warmth was unprecedented and had been building up over the past several years. By March, the ice had completely broken up and one villager, Steven Noatak (pictured below), fell through the river ice in pursuit of seal. As Mekoryuk residents adapt to the shifting and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, winter on Nunivak Island still holds an array of unique subsistence activities held dear to many residents: reindeer herding, musk ox & walrus hunting, driftwood gathering, and ice fishing.  As the first snow arrives, many residents cooped up during the restrictive months of Fall burst into a flurry of activity as the entire island opens up to snowmachines, hunting, and exploration.