Akiacuaq, my home

Spring in Alaska is a time that brings anticipation for summer; pike fishing, ptarmigans and rabbit hunting and lots of outdoor activities like gathering wood to heat homes and hot saunas and gathering mushrooms on birch. In some villages there are festivals like Yuraq, dog racing, basketball tournaments and Native Youth Olympic that is as popular as March Madness 🏀! Winter is still hanging on in much of Alaska ❄️. I was able to visit Akiacuaq-my home and enjoyed a bit of winter-spring time!

Frozen Kuskokwim River facing South

The day after I arrived Akiacuaq we went ice fishing for Northern Pike at the mouth of the Johnson River 🐟

Fishing for Northern Pike

I caught my first spring pike since I don’t remember when but it seems like 20 years ago! I caught the smallest of all the pike we caught.

We went by truck to our fishing spot!
Nearly 6 hours outside
Kuskokwim River

We caught enough to last us a few weeks of meal; dried and dipped in seal oil with other side dishes.


The pike eggs are a delicacy as a dessert, made with seal oil and cranberries from the tundra.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my winter spring at Akiacuaq this week and did all the things I love; visiting mom, siblings and their children, riding on the frozen Kuskokwim River, ice fishing, eating and hot sauna! We also celebrated Easter Sunday and Parr’s birthday!Quyana! Tuingunrituq piurci 🌸❄️🐟

Warmed up after cold ice fishing! my mom’s heat source year round 🔥

Here are some photos note worthy from my trip to Akiacuaq and Bethel Alaska!

Author: Nasek'taq

Merna Wharton “Nasek’taq” is Yup'ik from Akiacuaq (Akiachak) lives in Anchorage Alaska. Merna is an Alaska Native artist, poet, traditional and contemporary seamstress, carver, gatherer of greens and berries, and loves the outdoors of Alaska! Merna enjoys finding art in natural elements and shares her experiences through her website, nasektaq.com. Merna crafts to preserve her culture and art and shares her worldview from a remote village Yup’ik girl’s perspective with a glimpse of life in Alaska in her writing and poems. More information about her art can be found at https://www.rasmuson.org/49writers/artist-profile/merna-wharton/.

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