When Aubrey Gosuk helped create the Tuyuryaq Subsistence Project, she wanted to increase youth involvement in outdoor subsistence activities and create a positive environment in Togiak. In her role with the Traditional Council of Togiak, she hoped to empower the youth, build their leadership skills and bring them closer to their cultural traditions.
During the summer of 2018, Ms. Gosuk organized subsistence outings up the Togiak River and surrounding areas. Over 130 Togiak youth, adults and Elders came together to harvest and celebrate traditional subsistence foods. They picked wild celery and sourdock, learned how to gut, fillet and process salmon, dug clams, made salmon caviar, picked berries and tried spawned-out red salmon for the first time. Most importantly, they supported each other, shared subsistence food traditions, learned traditional Yup’ik place names along the river and reinforced their connection to their Yup’ik culture.
Support for this project was provided by Bristol Bay Native Association and a Cultural Heritage Grant from the BBNC Education Foundation.