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.
Joanne Nelson has been a resident of Dillingham, Alaska, since 1952. She wrote Guide to the Birds of Southwest Alaska and has taught courses on home canning and smoking salmon through the Marine Advisory Program. In this interview Joanne recounts her memories of moving from Idaho to Alaska as a young woman to work in a hand-pack cannery on Nushagak Bay. She also shares some of her knowledge of local medicinal plants and talks about her family’s experiences practicing subsistence. 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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