Chefornak, Kinia River

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Chefornak, Kinia River

by | Jan 15, 2020

Chefornak is a small village, 16 miles (26 km) upriver from Etolin Strait on the Bering Sea, at the junction of the Keguk and Kinia Rivers, on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta about 93 miles (150 km) southwest of Bethel, Alaska. The village is surrounded by the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge.

Chefornak is located in a region where the arctic tundra meets and interacts with the Bering Sea. Large, blocky, igneous rocks are a common sight in the village and the surrounding tundra, and an extinct volcano called Tern Mountain is visible to the south of town. The Kinia River (Urrsukvaaq) and its many tributaries provide water routes to hunting and fishing areas, but also contribute to persistent flooding and erosion.

Many of the villagers live a subsistence lifestyle, which means that they continue to carry out the traditional hunter-gatherer activities of their ancestors. One of the foods that they rely on is fish such as halibut, salmon, and herring, which are dried and eaten like jerky. Berries such as salmonberries (cloudberries), blackberries (crowberries), and blueberries (bog bilberries) are also gathered and used to prepare akutaq. Other native foods that are gathered include mousefood, Labrador tea, and greens such as sourdock. Read more here and here. Explore of Chefornak here:

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