FTT #2

In Four Fish Greenberg says “I couldn’t help but think that in a way the future of wild salmon and the future of the Yupik people were somehow sadly parallel to each other.” I think what Greenberg is trying to convey is how connected the survival of Yupik culture is to the survival of wild salmon. Greenberg talks about how as salmon have declined Yupik communities are now somewhat dependent on food stamps. This is in a similar way to how salmon runs are becoming dependent on stocked fish. In other words, he is trying to say that if wild Alaska salmon disappear, then the Yupik people will disappear.

Personally,  I tend to agree with Greenbergs assertion. The traditional Yupik way of life is impossible without robust wild salmon runs, if these runs disappear then Yupik culture will disappear. I also Greenberg was trying to point out that the Yupik community has an effect on the salmon as well, the Yupik community is not just dependent on the salmon, the salmon depend on the Yupik community as well. The Yupik people and the salmon have been co-dependent on each other for tens of thousands of years, and they will continue to be co-dependent. Greenberg points out that Yupik communities have one of the highest rates of suicide and poverty in the United States, and this decline of the communities is paralleled by the decline of the king salmon runs in the Yukon river and other rivers  around Alaska, such as the Susitna and Kuskokwim.

2 thoughts on “FTT #2”

  1. I like how you connected the use of food stamps to stocked fish. It’s like saying, “Food stamps are to the Yupik like stocked fish are to the salmon.” I hadn’t actually made that connection, so nice job! I agree with you. I feel the Yupik are very dependent on the salmon runs and without them, it will be near impossible to continue their traditional way of life. They will not be able to pass down their knowledge to the next generation and their culture will become extinct along with the salmon populations. While reading this chapter, I initially thought a healthy fish farm would be a great solution, but it’s not just about having fish to eat. For the Yupik, it’s more than that. Many of their rituals and traditions rely on the yearly salmon runs. I would hate to see those lost.

  2. Hi Eli,
    I like way you stress the word “Co-dependent” that without the salmon fishing goes the culture of the Yupik people it is a relationship going back hundreds of years. I think I missed the section talking about the communities reliance on food stamps. Although it makes sense how salmon is a free resource to feed their families where they don’t have to substitute poultry or beef from a supermarket . Protecting the stock in return protects communities, livelihoods, and culture.

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