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Old 12-04-2015, 02:53 PM
 
57 posts, read 34,711 times
Reputation: 34

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Hello. I am considering relocating to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Area. I will not be bringing children. As housing is at a premium, what steps should a non-Native take to procure a lease?


What does one need to do in order to procure summer employment with a reputable company in the area?


What type of ATV/four wheeler would be best for transportation? Should a boat be invested instead?


How long does Fred Meyer take to mail shipments of goods? As goods are extremely expensive in Alaska, is it cheaper to have someone mail up items from the lower 48 via Priority?


What is the best cell or satellite service?


Are mosquitos an issue in the summer?


What local villages are the best to visit? Which should be avoided?


Most importantly, what steps should a newcomer take to best respect local heritage and not offend those who are already there?


Thank you.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:24 PM
 
Location: In the middle of nowhere
353 posts, read 368,733 times
Reputation: 338
Y-K is a big area. There are villages so small that they do not have any services ( grocery, gas, cafe, hotel, or bar) and then there are villages that might have some or all of these services. Also, there a few that can be reached by plane from Anchorage 1 to 1.5 hours away and others that are another plane trip from these larger villages. Some of these villages have trees, others don't. Some might have a trail system in the summer, others only in the winter. Some villages have running water, others may still use honey buckets. Most of the time, it can take up to 2 weeks for stuff to reach the villages, but I do know that some villages may get mail only 1 or 2 days a week, and if you want large items, it can come as space available, so even if you have a lot of money, the logistics of travel can work against you. Some of these villages are like being in a 3rd world country after awhile. I live in a white/native village and am reasonably accepted. Other villages a white person may have a hard time being accepted. It could be very hard to find a place to live as some places are only available if you are a friend of a friend or relative. In a lot of these villages, most of the people may be related to each other although it may be distant.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,577 posts, read 4,021,146 times
Reputation: 1995
Quote:
Originally Posted by SarisaSMouse View Post
Hello. I am considering relocating to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Area.
Why? I don't think a move like this without a job there lined up ahead of time will be possible.
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,284 posts, read 27,947,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKStafford View Post
Why? I don't think a move like this without a job there lined up ahead of time will be possible.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:13 PM
 
20,958 posts, read 27,036,352 times
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My guess is that the OP is considering accepting a teaching position in the area. Nobody moves there without work, and he/she asked about summer job opportunities, which would kind of indicate that he/she had the rest of the year figured out.
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Old 12-05-2015, 12:18 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 1,232,075 times
Reputation: 1478
Quote:
Originally Posted by SarisaSMouse View Post
Hello. I am considering relocating to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Area. I will not be bringing children. As housing is at a premium, what steps should a non-Native take to procure a lease?


What does one need to do in order to procure summer employment with a reputable company in the area?


What type of ATV/four wheeler would be best for transportation? Should a boat be invested instead?


How long does Fred Meyer take to mail shipments of goods? As goods are extremely expensive in Alaska, is it cheaper to have someone mail up items from the lower 48 via Priority?


What is the best cell or satellite service?


Are mosquitos an issue in the summer?


What local villages are the best to visit? Which should be avoided?


Most importantly, what steps should a newcomer take to best respect local heritage and not offend those who are already there?


Thank you.
What kind of work will you be doing? Yupik or Athebascan area?
The area you are talking about is large. Very large. Mainly Yupik (possibly 80 plus % of population) and upriver on both rivers is Athebascan communities. The Athebascan communities are generally extremely small. There are no roads connecting the communities unless one considers the ice road near bethel in the wintertime. This area is larger than many states in the lower 48 and I'd say the population is between 20-30k with Bethel being the largest community.
The reason I ask about jobs is that unless you are in one of the hubs (Aniak, McGrath, Bethel) I'm not sure you would find housing unless you employer provides it. Heck I'm not even sure I listed all the Hubs. Is McGrath part of the Yukon-kuskokwim Delta? How far up each river does the delta extend? I know it goes up to Holy Cross and Aniak but does it go beyond? Keyman do you know?
Summer employment? Hmm...I'd look into federal jobs with the refuges. Other than that the jobs available will go to the residents in the area. There aren't many jobs for outsiders outside of the hubs. If you are set on summer employment you'd have to be in a hub.
ATV vs Boat: how long you wanting to be in the area? We didn't buy any transportation our first year in the village. Really wasn't a need to. I could get anywhere I wanted on foot except for outside the village. I'd buy used and expect the ATV or Boat to have issues but get you where you need to go. If I was only buying one, I'd buy a boat for summer time. You can go anywhere. With an ATV only you will be stuck in your village.
Fred Meyers: I was able to place an order on Friday with Fred's bush orders department. They'd shop on Monday and ship on Tuesday. I'd receive the packages on Wednesday. I didn't like to order any other day of the week other than Friday b/c I didn't want my mail to get stuck at thenpostmoffice over the weekend. We ordered eggs and produce from Fred's as well as the occasional dry good. As far as lower 48 via priority...expect each package to cost between $50-100 to mail. It ain't cheap to mail via priority mail to Alaska unless you can get it inside of a flat rate box. Most of the Y-K delta is in a subsidized mail zone so if mailed from within AK it is much cheaper. Also anchorage prices are similar to Seattle and Portland prices when it comes to groceries for most items. What I would recommend doing is mailing all your personal items except the clothes on your back and one extra set with personal hygiene to the village you are going to. I'd also try to set up a post office box before you got there. Take two bags of meat and frozen veggies with you. We normally paid the extra $50 for an extra bag to bring three bags of meat/veggies per person.
Cell/satellite: GCI is the only cell provider I believe unless one of the larger hubs have a native corporation cell provider but GCI is the best and it works in anchorage as well as lower 48. There have been rumors that Verizon was trying to place a network in the bush but not sure if or when that was going to happen. Satellite? Phone or Internet? Or cable?
Mosquitos: never seen a mosquito in western Alaska.
Best/worst villages to visit? I'll let you figure that out. Each village had its own personality. Each village accepts outsiders differently. Also if I was to tell you about a bad experience I had in a village the possibility that I'd **** someone off that I don't want to **** off is bound to happen. Western Alaska is small.
Advise to respect: don't choose sides. Don't act like you are better than everyone. Don't try to save everyone's soul. Don't be a jerk. Don't be an idiot. Do laugh. Do respect.
You are welcome to PM me. I'll share negative experiences that way but not on the open forums.
Especially if you are going to be a missionary or teacher. Please contact me.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:59 AM
 
1,831 posts, read 1,232,075 times
Reputation: 1478
By the way I'm joking about the Mosquitos.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:39 AM
 
57 posts, read 34,711 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKStafford View Post
Why? I don't think a move like this without a job there lined up ahead of time will be possible.
Opportunity. There's a need for the position I would be taking, and I want to fill that need.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:42 AM
 
57 posts, read 34,711 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
My guess is that the OP is considering accepting a teaching position in the area. Nobody moves there without work, and he/she asked about summer job opportunities, which would kind of indicate that he/she had the rest of the year figured out.
The summer job opportunities would be for my spouse. We realize there's no jobs out there unless you already have one lined up. It's a lot easier if both spouses work for the same agency and/or have the same certifications. We don't. The tentative plan would be for my spouse to come up in summer time. Otherwise, we'd be long distance except when I visit the lower 48.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:50 AM
 
57 posts, read 34,711 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haolejohn View Post
Summer employment? Hmm...I'd look into federal jobs with the refuges. Other than that the jobs available will go to the residents in the area. There aren't many jobs for outsiders outside of the hubs. If you are set on summer employment you'd have to be in a hub.


ATV vs Boat: how long you wanting to be in the area? We didn't buy any transportation our first year in the village. Really wasn't a need to. I could get anywhere I wanted on foot except for outside the village. I'd buy used and expect the ATV or Boat to have issues but get you where you need to go. If I was only buying one, I'd buy a boat for summer time. You can go anywhere. With an ATV only you will be stuck in your village.


Fred Meyers: I was able to place an order on Friday with Fred's bush orders department. They'd shop on Monday and ship on Tuesday. I'd receive the packages on Wednesday. I didn't like to order any other day of the week other than Friday b/c I didn't want my mail to get stuck at thenpostmoffice over the weekend. We ordered eggs and produce from Fred's as well as the occasional dry good. As far as lower 48 via priority...expect each package to cost between $50-100 to mail. It ain't cheap to mail via priority mail to Alaska unless you can get it inside of a flat rate box. Most of the Y-K delta is in a subsidized mail zone so if mailed from within AK it is much cheaper. Also anchorage prices are similar to Seattle and Portland prices when it comes to groceries for most items. What I would recommend doing is mailing all your personal items except the clothes on your back and one extra set with personal hygiene to the village you are going to. I'd also try to set up a post office box before you got there. Take two bags of meat and frozen veggies with you. We normally paid the extra $50 for an extra bag to bring three bags of meat/veggies per person.


Cell/satellite: GCI is the only cell provider I believe unless one of the larger hubs have a native corporation cell provider but GCI is the best and it works in anchorage as well as lower 48. There have been rumors that Verizon was trying to place a network in the bush but not sure if or when that was going to happen. Satellite? Phone or Internet? Or cable?

This is the information I needed to know. So the first year just feel things out, and buy within the area instead of having it shipped from the lower 48? Friday to Wednesday is an excellent turnaround. Thank you for the advice about food to bring up, as well.


I'm not a Verizon person; if they disappeared off the face of the earth, I wouldn't mind I will look into GCI. I will also set up the PO Box.


I'm excited about the boating option but have never boated. There is always someone willing to teach the basics and safety?


Quote:
Advise to respect: don't choose sides. Don't act like you are better than everyone. Don't try to save everyone's soul. Don't be a jerk. Don't be an idiot. Do laugh. Do respect.


You are welcome to PM me. I'll share negative experiences that way but not on the open forums.
Especially if you are going to be a missionary or teacher. Please contact me.
Thank you so much. I've noticed your posts here while reading through the Alaskan forums, and deeply appreciate them.

Last edited by SarisaSMouse; 12-05-2015 at 08:52 AM.. Reason: UBB code
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