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The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics have been held in Fairbanks every year since 1961, drawing contestants from many surrounding villages. Gathering to play games and celebrate with storytelling, dancing and sharing of food is an ancient tradition of Native people of the circumpolar north that lives on today through the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. An athlete participates in the one-hand reach at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Courtesy World Eskimo-Indian Olympics Drummers perform at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics. Courtesy World Eskimo-Indian Olympics The games were designed to hone and test skills required to survive in the Arctic. The four-man carry tests the strength required to haul game, wood, or ice for long distances. The ear pull tests the endurance required to tolerate frostbite pain. The Indian stick pull tests the grip required to grab a fish by the tail, and the greased pole walk tests the balance required for crossing creeks on slippery…

The importance of the Porcupine herd to the Gwich’in people

[by Charlie Swaney and Peter Mather | photos by Peter Mather]


AS I SIT WITH GWICH’IN HUNTER CHARLIE SWANEY UNDER A CLASSIC BLUE CAMPING TARP, A RAIN DRIZZLE SILENTLY DRUMS ALL AROUND US.