June Ingram

Location of Interview
Collection Name

Women in Alaska Fisheries


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.

Date of Interview

Jean Lee
Anna Lavoie

Biographical Sketch

June Ingram is an elder Yupik fisherwoman from Bristol Bay, Alaska. She has fished salmon (subsistence and commercial) at her family's fish camp site, which has been in her family since the 1940's. In the interview June describes what it's like to fish with multiple generations of her family and how she passes on values and lessons to younger generations through salmon fishing practices. She also discusses her experience of environmental change. This interview is part of the Alaska Native Fisherwomen of Bristol Bay oral history project, a partnership between NOAA Fisheries Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Bristol Bay Native Association.

Scope and Content Note
This oral history interview with June Ingram, conducted on June 5, 2017, in Dillingham, Alaska, explores her experiences and perspectives on fishing and the traditional way of life in Bristol Bay. June discusses her family's connection to their camp at Ekuk, which has been in their family for several generations, and their commitment to maintaining the traditional subsistence lifestyle. She emphasizes the importance of passing down the Yup’ik way of thinking and respect for the land and its abundance to future generations. June highlights the role of women in fisheries and their significance in teaching and transmitting knowledge. She recalls how women were traditionally responsible for fishing, teaching girls how to gather greens and berries, and being housekeepers. June explains that women set the standard for the younger generations and instill values of respect and cooperation. She also describes the profound impact of the fishing experience on the youth, as they reconnect with the land and learn important life lessons. The interview touches upon environmental changes and climate change in the region. June expresses concerns about the impact of warming temperatures on the availability and timing of resources, such as berries and fish. She observes changes in the growth patterns and abundance of berries and shares her observations about alterations in fish behavior and fishing conditions. June's reflections reveal a deep connection to the land and a strong sense of responsibility to preserve the cultural heritage despite the challenges posed by environmental changes.

Capturing History and Forging the Future: Alaska Native Women in Fisheries. Anna Lavoie, Kim Sparks and Jean Lee (Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission), and NOAA Fisheries, Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC). 2017-2018. Support provided by Bristol Bay Native Association. Funding provided by 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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