This oral history project focuses on Native Alaska women engaged in Bristol Bay fisheries. Women play a major role in maintaining set net permits and are critical to sustaining small-scale fisheries in Alaska and the communities who depend on them. Interviews were conducted with women of various ages who have participated in commercial and/ or subsistence salmon fisheries.
Esther Ilutsik is the Director for Yup’ik Studies for the Southwest Region Schools in Dillingham, Alaska. She learned to set net fish as a child and commercial fished throughout her life at her family’s fish camp in Ekuk. In this interview Esther recounts her experiences of fishing with her mother and the social and environmental changes she has observed in Ekuk. This interview was conducted by NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center in partnership with Bristol Bay Native Association as part of the Women of Alaska Fisheries oral history project.
It’s who we are: Voices of Alaska Native women set-netters. Anna Lavoie, Kim Sparks, Jean Lee (Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission), and Sarah Wise (NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC). 2018. Support provided by Bristol Bay Native Association. Funding provided by the NOAA Heritage Program (formerly the NOAA Preserve America Initiative) and AFSC. Interviews are accessed on NOAA's Voices from the Fisheries website at www.voices.nmfs.noaa.gov.
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The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent from the interviewee.