Dedicated to those who came before , who shared their wisdom of the land .
Dear Reader ,
I want to begin with a land acknowledgement by thanking the Alutiiq / Sugpiaq , Dena ’ ina / Tanaina , and Yup ’ ik / Yupiaq peoples of Bristol Bay . We recognize the thousands of years of stewardship and acknowledge the people of the region as they continue to be the caretakers of the land .
Celebrating and preserving cultural heritage is essential to the mission and values of Bristol Bay Native Corporation ( BBNC ), where our mission is Pinircarluku Yuuyaraput , “ Enriching Our Native Way of Life .” As a Yupiaq from Tuyuryaq ( Togiak ), I have been very fortunate to work on the Bristol Bay Online ! Native Place Names Project , an ongoing mapping project that has more than 1,300 names identified across the region . The project is an initiative of BBNC ’ s Land Department and has given me the opportunity to work with Elders from the region to collect and preserve important place names that have been gifted to us by those who came before .
Cultural preservation goes hand in hand with land management . For thousands of years , Bristol Bay lands and waterways have sustained and connected our region , people , and cultures . Place names give the landscape power and meaning and represent generations spent living on the land .
This project is near and dear to my heart . As a young person growing up in Tuyuryaq , subsisting off the land , I learned how important it is to be aware of where you are , whether you are traveling on land or by water , and the importance of learning landmarks to help identify where you are . With Bristol Bay Online !, we are ensuring this important knowledge is passed on to future generations .
I hope you enjoy learning about the Bristol Bay Online ! Native Place Names Project .
Quyana , Chin ’ an , Quyanaa
Francisca Demoski BBNC Land Manager
On the cover : Perryville , Alaska . © 2022 Bristol Bay Native Corporation | Anchorage , Alaska | 1