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The Plants We Eat
A slide show presenting the variety of foods that have been harvested in N. W. Alaska for countless generations. Still eaten and loved today, these are the foods that have nourished vibrant and healthy Inupiat people, generation after generation, with the strength to thrive in as harsh an environment as anywhere on earth. These traditional foods also nourished the high level of intelligence required to hunt the whale and meet all human needs from birth to death while living in the arctic.
Anore Jones Born in 1941, Anore Bucknell grew up a city girl in Los Angeles until 9, then moved to a primitive island in Washington State. At 16 she went to Alaska and began studying Botany at the University of Alaska in 1958. She met her husband, Keith Jones and they moved to the Kobuk Valley in North West Alaska in 1963. There they learned to live, travel and eat in the sub-arctic from their local Inupiat friends for the next 23 years. Winters were spent in the small Inupiat village of Ambler and summers near Kotzebue, at Sisualik, with Bob Uhl and his Inupiat wife, Carrie. There, Keith and Bob fished salmon commercially while Carrie and Anore fished for subsistence.
In 1972, they adopted an Inupiat daughter from Barrow. Later, another daughter, Willow, was born in Ambler. Each summer the family traveled down the Kobuk by boat to Sisualik and back to Ambler before freeze-up. When the girls were young they lived in camp 7 months each year, harvesting food.
Throughout this time, Anore's interest focused on learning the old Inupiat food technology from her Inupiat friends, at first just to stay alive, but then it evolved into an idea for a book. She took photos, drew pictures, took detailed notes and grew to genuinely love the foods which she, family and friends continue to enjoy. Her first book, Nauriat Nigingnaqtuat, Plants That We Eat, 1983, detailed the identification, harvesting, preparation and enjoyment of the edible plants in North West Alaska. Long out of print, this book has just been reprinted by the University of Alaska press and will be available in bookstores under the new title: Plants That We Eat.
In 1986, the family moved south to manage a small ranch in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains in central California, where they lived for 25 years. Anore's second book, Iqaluich Niginaqtuat, Fish That We Eat, 2005, identified the fish that live in North West Alaska, and detailed how they were traditionally caught, cleaned, prepared to eat and preserved. This book is free to the public on the web at this link: http://alaska.fws.gov/asm/fisreportdetail.cfm?fisrep=21 Go down to Northwest Arctic, then 7 down. It is called, Study No, 02-023.
Today, Anore shares her slides at the WAP conferences and teaches ethnobotany in the summer in Alaska. Her next book will be a general cookbook, Arctic Cuisine, bringing the healthy traditional Inupiat food technology into our modern kitchens and lives.