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Upper Kuskokwim Locally Created Material

Beliefs from Nikolai, Deaphon, Miska, Bobby Esai, Tupou L. Pulu, Mary Pope.  Anchorage, AK: NBMDC, ca. 1970-1979.  49 p. * Download PDF: Beliefs from Nikolai

Compiled by Pulu and Pope from information given by Deaphon and Esai. Collection of the beliefs of the Athabascan Indians of Nikolai, south central Alaska concerning such things as warm weather, clothing of children, frogs, and the northern lights. Suitable for grades 3 and up. Undated. English only UK970PP1979

Ch’ilech [Songs for Nikolai and Telida], Top of the Kuskokwim School.  McGrath, AK: Bilingual/Bicultural Program, Iditarod Area School District, 1998. 20 p. *

A collection of songs for teaching the UK language, created or adopted at the Top of the Kuskokwim School, Nikolai, Alaska. UK998K1998

Poems and Stories from Interior Alaska [Thirteen Poems], McNamara, Katherine, Ed. McGrath, Alaska: Iditarod Area School District Title 1 Program, 1978. 15 p. Download PDF: Nikolai, February 1975

Thirteen poems, some in English, some in Upper Kuskokwim by students from McGrath, Nikolai and Telida

Nikolai Hwnod Dinyaghe [Things that grow Around Nikolai], Top of the Kuskokwim Middle School Students. Nikolai, AK: Top of the Kuskokwim, 1998.

A school project: leaf and plant collection. Pictures of the collection appear in Subsistence Gathering in the Upper Kuskokwim, Interior Alaska curriculum.

Telida Learns to Dance, With Pius and Ellen Savage, Nikolai, Steven, Irene Nikolai, Agnes Ticknor, Helen Frost, Editors. McGrath, AK: Bilingual/Bicultural Program, Iditarod Area School District, 1983. 23 p. * Download PDF: Telida Learns to Dance

Photographic story about Pius and Ellen Savage’s visit to Telida School where they taught the students two dances. Captioned in English and Upper Kuskokwim. UK978NNTF1983

Telida: Last Village up the Kuskokwim River, Dennis, Irene, Agnes Ticknor, Steven Nikolai, Helen Frost, Gretchen McManus. Bilingual/Bicultural Program, (Production assistance by Materials Development Center Rural Education, University of Alaska Anchorage for the Iditarod Area School District) 1982. 25 p. * Download PDF: Telida Last Village Up the Kuskokwim River

Photographs, some taken by school children, documenting life in Telida with brief texts by Dennis, Ticknor and Nikolai with partial English translations. UK982DTN1982

Dickinanek’ Hwt’ana: A History of the People of the Upper Kuskokwim who Live in Nikolai and Telida, Collins, Raymond Lewis. McGrath, AK: National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Denali National Park and Preserve, 2000. Also available online at Hwtana.pdf

This report written for the National Park Service is an important document written by a linguist who was commissioned by Wycliffe Bible to translate and write down the Upper Kuskokwim Athabascan language. He was the first to do so. He and his wife have lived amongst the UKA people for most of their lives. The National Park Service commissioned this work as the Upper Kuskokwim people have traditionally hunted and gathered in the present Denali National Park boundaries.

Ray Collins documents the common heritage that the people of Telida and Nikolai share. He records contact history of both the Russian and American explorations and fur trading experiences of the UKA peoples.  There is a whole section describing the people of Telida, how the successive villages were founded and why they were moved, traditional stories from the village, the school, and identification and short histories of the traditional families associated with Telida. The family trees of these families are drawn.

The village of Nikolai receives similar coverage. The village was relocated a couple of times and contains descriptions of where and why this happened. A school opened there and its’ impact is described. The village incorporated in 1969 and the ensuing results of that action are recorded. Seasonal firefighting became a large employment opportunity for many Nikolai members. A few of their adventures are recorded. Finally, traditional Nikolai family histories are recorded and family trees are drawn.

The last section of the book explains the traditional usage and history of the UKA peoples to Denali National Park lands. It ends with the need for future research. The book contains many pictures, both historical and some taken by the author throughout the years he has lived with the people. These pictures are priceless as they document traditional subsistence methods that are no longer used today.