It is the Kuskokwim River that connects our lands, our families and our values. Our culture derives from Yupik, Athabascan and Russian influences. Together, these influences have helped form the middle Kuskokwim River communities and their richly unique culture. The Kuskokwim River residents are a strong independent people that have overcome much adversity to ensure the preservation of culture while encouraging growth and preparing for the future.
Who is TKC?
The middle Kuskokwim River community is made up of 10 villages, which have organized into what is now known as The Kuskokwim Corporation (TKC). TKC is rich in culture and comprised of more 3,000 shareholders, including shareholders born after the 1971 passage of Alaska Native Claim Settlement Act (ANCSA). The surface area estate to which TKC has title to lies along the Kuskokwim River and its tributaries, from about 20 miles below Lower Kalskag to 20 miles above Stony River. Combined, TKC owns more than 950,000 acres of surface estate in the middle Yukon Kuskokwim region.
TKC is a for-profit Alaska Native Corporation, governed by ANCSA, which continues to support our culture and tradition through scholarships, donations and other activities. TKC carefully pursues new opportunities that benefit shareholders in all 10 villages. A board of 12 directors is committed to responsibly establishing development of TKC’s land, business ventures, resources and diversification strategies to best benefit shareholders in the region. All decisions made by the Board of Directors are strategically made through the consideration and application of TKC’s defined purpose, commitment and vision:
- To enhance our land, culture and the lives of our people.
- Honoring Our Traditions: Valuing and helping one another, celebrating and sharing our success, learning though stories and respectful communication.
- Integrity: Being unified, truthful and worthy of trust.
- Valuing our Land and Resources: Being good stewards to provide for our future generations.
- Commitment: Working hard to create results that benefit our shareholders.
- We will support our shareholders through scholarships, education/training opportunities, dividends and employment.
- We will develop successful businesses in and out of our region.
- We will responsibly manage our land for both modern and traditional uses.
- We will strengthen ties with our shareholders.
The Kuskokwim Corporation is rooted in important cultural traditions from its 10 villages, Lower Kalskag, Upper Kalskag, Aniak, Chuathbaluk, Napaimute, Crooked Creek, Georgetown, Red Devil, Sleetmute, Stony River. The residents’ connection to the land helps define who we are, as our shareholders practice hunting and trapping, gathering, art and crafts in their daily lives. Community involvement is an essential part of the middle Kuskokwim region way of life, with residents gathering for activities, celebration and to offer condolences to others. Activities and celebrations in the communities often consist of potlucks, carnivals, festivals and other gatherings throughout the year.
The Kuskokwim Corporation is deeply respectful of the historic lands in the region as shareholders practice subsistence activities that depend on animal migratory patterns and hunting seasons. The middle Kuskokwim region animals and fish woven into the subsistence way of life include:
- Chee Fish
- White Fish
- King Salmon
- Red Salmon
- Silver Salmon
- Chum Salmon
- Black Fish
Kuskokwim residents gather different plants and vegetation to support their subsistence existence as well. Gathered items include:
- Salmon/Cloud Berries
- Red Berries
- Black Berries
- High Bush Cranberries
- Low Bush Cranberries
- Stick Weed
- Sweet Root
- Cat Tails
- Birch Bark
The cultural influences of the middle Kuskokwim are evident in the arts and crafts of the region. Many of the crafts that are made for traditional uses also serve as decorative pieces. Designs, entertainment and handcrafts include:
- Fish Traps
- Fish Wheels
- Fish Rafts
- Smoke Houses
- Birch Bark Baskets
- Yupik & Athabascan Dancing
- Skin Sewing
- Wooden Spoons