Yup’ik Teaching Moment: Tuvqakiyaraq “Sharing your bounty with others”

Presented by Calista Education & Culture, Inc.

Storyknife, March/April 2022 edition

David Chanar, Steve Street, Nick Riordan and three boys from Nelson Island bring in a seal along the Qalvinraaq River. Photo by Ann Fienup-Riordan.

Calista Education & Culture, Inc. (CECI) presents the Yup’ik Teaching Moment in our Storyknife newsletter. CECI highlights Yuuyaraq, the traditional/cultural way of being in our Region. Yup’ik Teaching Moment is provided by Mark John, CECI Cultural Advisor.

As the weather gets warmer in the Calista Region—following tradition—people go out to subsist for different types of fish all over the Region. Bears come out of the dens inland, seal and walrus are seen along the coast, and jigging for tom cod begins.

Traditionally, large families with a lot of providers were considered wealthy. They had a lot of people to go out to fish and hunt for them. When those people had enough for themselves, they started going out to provide for the elderly, widows and the disabled who cannot hunt and fish for themselves—as a way of doing service.

Providing service is a strong belief and part of life in Yup’ik culture. If you gave to those that do not have or could not do for themselves, their gratitude would push you in a positive direction and bless you with abundant catches in the future.

The Yup’ik word for “Sharing your bounty with others” is Tuvqakiyaraq (DUUV-ga-GEE-yah-uk).


The mission of Calista Education & Culture, Inc. is to celebrate and promote Yuuyaraq, the traditional/cultural way of being in the Calista Region which inspires and encourages our people to achieve their dreams through education.

The scholarship program awards scholarships two times each year. The application deadline for the Fall Term scholarship is due June 30, and the Spring Term scholarship application is due December 1. Apply today!