Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Welcome to KOTZEBUE ALASKA! And WHY...

Welcome to Kotzebue, Alaska! Kotzebue is high up in the Arctic circle region on the coast of Alaska.

Kotzebue (Qikiqtaġruk in Iñupiaq) is a city in Northwest Arctic Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. According to 2005 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 3,237.[2]

Kotzebue gets its name from the Kotzebue Sound, which was named after Otto von Kotzebue, who explored the sound while searching for the Northwest Passage in the service of Russia in 1818.

[edit] Geography

Kotzebue is located at 66°53′50″N 162°35′8″W / 66.89722°N 162.58556°W / 66.89722; -162.58556 (66.897192, −162.585444).[3]

Kotzebue lies on a gravel spit at the end of the Baldwin Peninsula in the Kotzebue Sound. It is 33 miles (53 km) north of the Arctic Circle on Alaska's western coast.

Kotzebue is approximately thirty miles from Noatak, Kiana, and other nearby smaller towns. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.7 square miles (74 km2), of which 27.0 square miles (70 km2) is land, and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), or 5.76%, is water.
Kotzebue is a gateway to Kobuk Valley National Park and other natural attractions of northern Alaska. [4]

Kotzebue has a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc), with long, somewhat snowy, and very cold winters, and short, mild summers. Monthly daily average temperatures range from −3.5 °F (−19.7 °C) in February to 54.7 °F (12.6 °C) in July, with an annual mean of 21.8 °F (−5.7 °C).

Days of above 70 °F (21 °C) are not common, but can be expected on 5 days per summer.[5] Precipitation is both most frequent and greatest during the summer months, averaging 10.1 inches (257 mm) per year. Snowfall usually falls in light bouts, averaging 39 inches (99 cm) a season. Extreme temperatures have ranged from −58 °F (−50 °C) to 85 °F (29 °C).

Recently my friends Lisa, Adam and Solomon Shindler relocated there for Lisa's medical work. Lisa will be working with the Eskimos or native people there. She will be flying to Inupiat native villages for a week at a time. These resilient native people are truly incredible!They have resided in this region for thousands of years, and have learned the fine art of SURVIVAL. They work together as a team to help each person and child and elderly with their needs or any crises. They manage to survive brutal winter climates that would probably kill most white people.

Their tremendous skills in Native crafts are impressive. Lisa described to me last night the beautiful parkas they handcraft, with all kinds of exotic furs and hides they tan themselves. Handmade gloves, parkas and Native jewelry abound among these talented people. Their medical center that Lisa works in, in Kotzebue, rivals any museum, for the beautiful Native crafts that fill one part of it, Lisa informed me last night.

However, unfortunately, there is also much illness, suicide and other medical problems in this region. And perhaps these people are not to blame. Why?

Due to the huge volume, non-stop, of heavy toxins poured into the ocean and the ocean currents that bring them to their region, these Native people are endangered in every way. Their traditional way of life has always included surviving on the abundant seafood, such as whale meat, seal and fish. But now, modern civilization has endangered their traditional Native lifestyle. Scientists testing among these Eskimos, have made a horrible discovery: they have the most toxic breast milk in the world, due to a heavy seafood diet and the toxins abundant in these waters. And these people are not to blame!

Also, I have personally worked on Native reservations across America. Universally, these are the problems as found among the Inupiat Eskimos in Alaska. There are problems, with child and spousal abuse, drugs and alcohol, suicide and health issues. But can one's environment help increase these problems?

Yes. Obviously. The Native reservations I have worked on or visited across America were often located in remote regions and isolation. They often resembled prison camps in many ways. I found them oppressive and sad at times. They were all a reflection of the greed of "the conqueror" who took away the best of the Native lands and traditional dwelling places as they forced these Native dwellers off their land and herded them into these oppressive reservations.

They then imposed their culture's laws upon these Native peoples. Every Native person I have talked to told me horror stories of how their grandparents and parents were treated by the "white man" who took away their lands and imposed their laws and customs on them, as they tried to take away THEIR Native customs. Some told me of being force to cut off their braids, of being beaten if they spoken their Native languages at boarding schools. I find this so very sad. Yet it is all true.

Lisa mentioned to me how the Native dwellers of Kotzenbue have been affected by Federal impositions and restrictions imposed on them at times and in various ways. We both understand their frustrations and concerns. And we wish them the best and for such problems to be resolved to their satisfaction.

Lisa needs my help taking care of her two children while she is gone each week. One is autistic. They are not old enough to take care of themselves alone. However, my going there depends upon support coming in: support for proper clothing and for supplies, support for transportation to come there to help her, and more. If I can get enough support from my readers, I hope to go and help her. My work IS my journalism and research on behalf of the American people. And the financial support of my continual readers who enjoy my work free of charge (while it costs me everything) is the only funding I have.
At this time, Lisa informed me she is in danger of losing her job IF I cannot come up there quickly to take care of her children so she can fly to the villages or to Anchorage for further training. This is what her employer told her recently. She has only a short grace period now.
Contact me on this website if you would like to support me in this work!
Pamela Rae Schuffert, PO Box 3073, Columbia Falls, Montana, 59912

Please pray for Lisa and her adjustment and success in Kotzebue this fall as VERY cold temperatures begin to set in. Her work is difficult and even more so as her children need care while she is gone.

-Pamela Rae Schuffert in Montana


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  2. Interesting information about the medical works and there are some of the medical assistant schools in Alaska where you will find the solution. Thank you.