Vince Pikongonna, King island

Vince Pikongonna, 68, grew up hunting walrus on King Island.

Lying 40 miles off the coast of Northwest Alaska in the Bering Sea, the island is about 1 mile wide.   Vince is Inupiat, and was raised hunting walrus.  He says “hunting in our culture is a very serious matter”.  He has noticed changes in his lifetime. Fifty years ago hunting began in June, now it begins two months earlier.  Warming temperatures cause the ice to leave the shore sooner and the marine mammals come earlier. “It’s almost like putting us on another planet,” he says “What do we do now?”