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Be humble inside

by Peter Twitchell Webster’s definition of humble is “destroy the power or prestige of.” The reason I looked this word up is because one day this past summer I saw a middle-aged native man holding […]

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Feasting is part of our Culture

by Peter Twitchell 100-200 years ago Mother Nature was our friend, it provided for our food and heat. You didn’t need much else – our Native people back then weren’t money driven, but they cared […]

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Love in Action

by Peter Twitchell When I was a boy of 3, 4, 5 years old I remember being taught Love, and realize now, it was the foundation on which the Yupiit People began their day, each […]

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Our ancestors set the course

by Peter Twitchell In the days before tools and colonization, the Yupiit People buried their deceased loved ones above the ground for it was not possible to dig up the frozen tundra. When the human […]

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Shooting Silver Salmon

by Peter Twitchell On July 1957 I was walking along the Kuskokwim River just a half a mile upriver from the Old Airport across the river from Orutsararmiut of Bethel as the Moravian missionaries named […]

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Father’s Love Letter

by Peter Twitchell A message from Creator God to His children: My child – you may not know me but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I know when you sit down and when […]

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Let’s put ourselves in their shoes

by Peter Twitchell There are three types of people in the world. Let’s personalize this and say – in your life. First, there are those who help you in your difficult times. Let’s take the […]

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A life of devotion

by Peter Twitchell Imagine how isolated we were in Alaska before colonization. There were no roads, trains, airports. Not until steamships started sailing north did we have people and goods. Even tools, dry goods, and […]

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Don’t forget who is in charge

by Peter Twitchell In the Bible, God’s Holy Word, it says “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” That is His Promise to us. Although we (I) have left Him in my past. I […]

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Unhealthy noise pollution

by Peter Twitchell I have permanently moved from Anchorage to the Valley for one reason only – the earache the jets have been causing and the irregular sleep patterns last and this summer. There are […]

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We all have a lot to learn about life

by Peter Twitchell In reading the June 5, 2019 Delta Discovery Newspaper I found the writers and commentators to be diverse, provocative, informative, caring, self-expressive and interesting. Perhaps the paper leads us to self discovery […]

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Encounters with Big Foot

by Peter Twitchell When I was a boy about 8 years old I was walking to the Civil Aeronautics administration compound. I had a sense that there was something out there in the trees watching […]

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Life was simple

by Peter Twitchell I remember growing up in the village of Bethel. My parents David and Sarah Twitchell lived on the upriver south side of Bethel. Back in the 1950s life seemed simple. There was […]

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To protect and serve

by Peter Twitchell When it comes to policing in a village community I can only imagine how challenging it must be to be a police officer where you know everybody and you’re related to them. […]

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The right to a peaceful environment

by Peter Twitchell When we were boys not too long ago, and we were going out to play we were given instructions by our mom and dad and grandparents, “Ilaten ata kenkurluki piurqina.” Meaning, “Love […]

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Focus on empowering yourself

by Peter Twitchell I met Carla Maxwell recently here in Anchorage who told me about her death in a traumatic car/van accident. She died bewildered, not sure what was going on around her. Her state […]

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To serve on council is an honor

by Peter Twitchell The fair City of Bethel, Alaska is not a thriving community with unlimited municipal funds like Barrow, for example. I don’t believe the Bethel City Council members should be paid public servants […]

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Easter Memories

by Peter Twitchell While I was growing up in Bethel in the 1950s, money was scarce this time of year. The money dad made the summer before at Bristol Bay was spent, and there was […]

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Good thoughts, good words, good deeds

by Peter Twitchell Queen the rock band from the 1970s recorded “Bohemian Rhapsody”. I wasn’t aware of the values “good thoughts, good words, good deeds” as being joined to each other. We were taught these […]

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A Musical Ear

by Peter Twitchell I come from a long line of musicians, including mom and dad. When I was born mom already had a pump organ that she and her husband had shipped up from Seattle […]

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Congratulations to our Iditarod Champion

by Peter Twitchell Congratulations to Pete Kaiser, our 2019 Iditarod Sled Dog Race Champion! You have set the course for future generations of Yup’ik mushers! A Yup’ik by birth Pete’s ancestral roots go deep into […]

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Our Lost Children

by Peter Twitchell There was a test putting a vehicle in a middle class neighborhood to see what would happen to it. After a week or so the vehicle was untouched. And then part of […]

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Life and death

by Peter Twitchell Who doesn’t want to live forever? I think that we all do, to a certain extent. I believe I’m starting to accept the fact that death is an integral part of life […]

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How time flies

by Peter Twitchell It’s good to see high school, college-age parents and grandparents fill up the dance hall at Carpenter’s Hall in downtown Anchorage, where the young and old mingle. I never see kids running […]

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The World Stage

by Peter Twitchell All of us have prepared ourselves, if not consciously, by our teachers, cohorts, parents, and the efforts of those closest to us for the world stage. My Grandma Hannah shared her values […]

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Music is alive and well

by Peter Twitchell Just a couple schools of thought. My relative David Chanar reiterated the return of vinyl records! They are here so are the phonograph record players! Available in every major store and pawn […]

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Getting involved unites us

by Peter Twitchell Tonight 3-4 bands will play at the Carpenter’s Hall following a potluck. It will be a sober event where families gather. Activities here in the biggest village in Alaska are a little […]

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Blessings for 2019

by Peter Twitchell Two weeks already into a new year, it’s time to lighten our load of excess baggage! Let’s get rid of resentments, jealousy, hatred, envy, anger, blame, temper, even our great BIG ego, […]

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Elderhood

by Peter Twitchell “It’s times like these we need a savior” just popped to mind – the Holy Spirit at work. I do miss our leaders, like Eddie Hoffman, William Lomack, Axel Johnson, Nora Guinn. […]

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Good wishes, happy Slaaviq

by Peter Twitchell I awoke from a wonderful dream of Mom’s old house in Bethel. In my dream it was full of my grandkids. Kids have always been and still is our family connection in […]

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Christmas brings families together

by Peter Twitchell Christmas in the 1950s was a special time in Bethel. Students were getting ready for Christmas by making rings out of cray paper. Mrs. Fancher helped us cut strips of colored paper […]

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Remembering a good friend

by Peter Twitchell My cousin Joseph Adolph Woods Jr. and I were like brothers. We grew up together in Bethel. We hunted together with our cousins Joseph “Manny” Evon and Henry Kohl. We were successful […]

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The Sleeping Giant

by Peter Twitchell The earth is like a sleeping giant, when it awakes it is uncontrollable. In my 67 years walking the tundra, the land has been friendly. I experienced my first earthquake November 30, […]

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Be a part of an Elder organization

by Peter Twitchell I had the great pleasure, first of all, to play my bass guitar in David Chanar’s “Pilot Bread” Fiddle Band, then on top of that to perform for the Elder’s of Wasilla’s […]

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Judo is fun

by Peter Twitchell Judo is fun! As in all sports a strict set of rules governs competition at all skills ensuring safety from club to national tournaments to Olympic games. Judo is best known for […]

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My friend Harry

by Peter Twitchell My friend Harry Nicholai became a man of God, he was a humble man, a quiet man who would not retaliate if you said anything to him. He listened to what you […]

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It is good to see old friends

by Peter Twitchell I’m not one to believe that I should vote for a candidate for Governor because he wants to give me $3,000.00 for something he voted against giving me in the first place. […]

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When you vote, you win

by Peter Twitchell If you are a late teen and in your 20s, it’s your duty to get out and vote and hopefully you are a registered voter! It’s our duty to listen to your […]

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Our Youth are the Hope for the Future

by Peter Twitchell Today marks the day of the 2018 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention held at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage. The Elders and Youth Conference begins today (Oct. 15th, 2018) – we celebrate […]

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John Fogerty live in concert

by Peter Twitchell On October 10, I got to see one of my favorite rock-n-roll icons from 1968. Suzi and I shared the excitement at the Wynn Encore Theater in Las Vegas on our way […]

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Alaska’s judges

by Peter Twitchell I know good lawyers and good judges, and I’ve known some lousy ones. Unfortunately not every lawyer is as good as some I’ve had to deal with. Not every judge is as […]

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TransAlaska Oil Pipeline

by Peter Twitchell In 1968 a dream was hatched to build a transAlaska oil pipeline. On November 16, 1973, President Nixon signed the Line Bill. This started our nation, the United States of America, to […]

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Aagurmiut

by Peter Twitchell It intrigues me that people of Bethel and most of them are outsiders who came to live there find displeasure with the name “Louse Town” referring to the area of Urucararmiut, the […]

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A good role model inspires

by Peter Twitchell Bethel needs thinkers and planners who can let the wheels of school buses bring our children safely to and from school. Kusko Cab has a new fleet of suburbans, and they have […]

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Share the joy of life with others

by Peter Twitchell Lift up the face of your people (LUTFOYP)! You can do this by furthering your education, maintaining your job, raising a healthy family, being a good aunt or uncle, stewarding on land […]

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Native Village of Eklutna celebration

by Peter Twitchell The Native Village of Eklutna celebrated its Biennial Dena’ina Athabascan Potlatch/Powwow July 28-29, 2018. As I shared in the Athabascan cultural event, it became a personal moment for me. My uncles Timothy […]

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The Golden Years

by Peter Twitchell For decades Yupiaq people of the AVCP-Calista Region were considered by the western world as being poor. Still today they say 25 percent of our people are living in poverty and unemployment. […]

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Good things are happening

by Peter Twitchell I guess maybe I was lookin’ a little down when a black gentleman walked up to me and asked me, “how you doin’ friend?” Deep down I had feelings that were connected […]

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Making Natives the healthiest people

by Peter Twitchell The medical profession is not too far from fulfilling this promise. No longer do I go to dental to have them pull my teeth. There are really other alternatives to ignoring our […]

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Give freely

by Peter Twitchell It was pointed out to me the other day that our daily lives are based on money. Isn’t that the truth though? Some people will not do anything for you without seeing […]

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Examine life’s mysteries

by Peter Twitchell Live life with gusto! Live it to the fullest. Have sober fun with your sober friends doing sober things like finishing Elementary, Jr. High, High School, going to college or Job Corp. […]

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Sharing Our Native Foods

by Peter Twitchell Thank you for those friends, John D., John S., Edward B., and others who have shared some of their bounty from the Great Kuskokwim River! This reminds me of our Grandfathers and […]

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Beyond the Call of Duty

by Peter Twitchell I wanted to recognize 32 year Bethel, Alaska resident Craig Rogers. A man, in my opinion, who has served the people of Bethel beyond the call of duty. He, for example, was […]

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Singing for 68 Years

by Peter Twitchell There’s something about singing, I’ve been singing since 1966. Before that, I was singing along with everyone in church. You can say I’ve had a song in my heart for 68 years! […]

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Shared Values

by Peter Twitchell Some values shared by Natives including my tribe, the Yupiat/Yup’ik people of southwest Alaska is “The Earth is our mother, care for her.” Too often in life we have taken her for […]

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Bill passes restricting smoking

by Peter Twitchell I was very pleased to see that our State Legislature passed a bill restricting smoking in taxi cabs. Thirdhand smoke is very unhealthy for passengers who use these cabs of Taxi Cab […]

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Honor and cherish your wife

by Peter Twitchell Today, May 13, 2018, was Mother’s Day and I learned a lesson from preacher Dr. Jerry Prevo of the Anchorage Baptist Temple. Jerry, in my opinion, is a down to earth guy […]

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Harvesting our native food

by Peter Twitchell Just recently a few days ago there were hunters outside of Nome on the Bering Sea who were trapped in ice floe when the weather closed in. Water started spraying the men […]

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Use caution, common sense

by Peter Twitchell I have been observing how men push their trucks in and around smaller weaker cars. These men are aggressive even in traffic using their powerful 8 cylinder stepped up trucks. When the […]

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The quietness of long past

by Peter Twitchell Growing up in Bethel was a great time in the old days when Bethel was quiet. We woke up to birds like robins singing, welcoming the new day. The sun was warm […]

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Don’t procrastinate

by Peter Twitchell When work and job opportunity comes knocking don’t ignore it. Only you can reach your full potential. As summer is quickly approaching, start planning on what kind of work you’d like to […]

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The enjoyment of snow-free roads

by Peter Twitchell I’ve been watching with astonishment how the Anchorage roads and side roads have been plowed after a week of heavy snow. We’ve got huge piles of snow here about 50 inches so […]

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Let the music play

by Peter Twitchell Retirement after 50 years of working with and for people, leaves you kinda numb and lost feeling, just like I lost a good friend. I may have to find a part-time job, […]

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Never give up hope

by Peter Twitchell An individual texted me a question not too long ago – “Cangacit?” “How are you doing?” Then after I texted back to answer that question, I got a response back, that told […]

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Music lives on in all of us

by Peter Twitchell I’ve had a love affair with music for all of my (67) sixty-seven years, and loved every minute of it. First, as a baby hearing my mom’s lovely voice in my ears […]

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The Road to Recovery

by Peter Twitchell Most young people really don’t understand yet the dynamics of being addicted to chemicals like alcohol. Some teenagers think that when their friends get an assessment for substance abuse that their friend […]

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Memories of Christmas Past

by Peter Twitchell It really doesn’t matter where we are in this world, it is the season families feel a special closeness to each other, our villages and cities are aglow, like a pure heart. […]

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Memories of Christmas Fudge

by Peter Twitchell One morning during the Christmas season I went to work and was given some strips, pound cake and chocolate fudge. The chocolate fudge was special, being that day was Chief’s Day, celebrated […]

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The season of good cheer

by Peter Twitchell This is the happy time of the season, where Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ Child, baby Jesus, bringing hope, cheer, and love everywhere. The goodness of the people of Anchorage […]

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Thanksgiving in Phoenix

by Peter Twitchell A five and half hour jet ride south will get you to Pheonix, Arizona – a desert country where only the local Native people like Navaho, Apache, and Pima Indians really understand the […]

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Venturing in Alaska

by Peter Twitchell Last Thursday Carl Jack and I drove 190 miles Anchorage to Ninilchik by way of Cooper Landing, Sterling, Kenai and Soldotna. One of the great benefits of living on the road system! […]

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Ubering in the City

by Peter Twitchell Life in Anchorage is definitely a couple notches up on quality of life in several ways. First, I miss the People of the YK Delta that I’ve grown to love. Since arriving […]

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First Alaskans Elder’s and Youth Conference

by Peter Twitchell I attended the Alaska Federation of Natives Elder’s and Youth Conference in Anchorage, it was great! Thanks to Colin “Atauciq” McDonald for putting it together for us in organizing and facilitating the early […]

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Useless junk

by Peter Twitchell When I hear the word, “junk,” I think of things like trash and useless things. I was talking to my cousin Joe one time and we talked about holding grudges, resentments, and […]

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Get involved in your community

by Peter Twitchell The privilege of serving your community is not to be taken for granted. I am saddened that our Bethel community lacks in local involvement when the opportunity to serve on the Bethel […]

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Tuvqakiyaraq

by Peter Twitchell In the old days in Eskimo country people really cared about their neighbor and families really cared about each other. Imagine living a hundred years ago in a Yupiaq community. The people […]

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Alcoholics Anonymous

by Peter Twitchell The meetings where alcoholics and recovering alcoholics meet and share their successes and defeats is an important part to recovery from the devastation alcohol has caused in our lives. It is important […]

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Tuvqakiyaraq

by Peter Twitchell In the old days in Eskimo country people really cared about their neighbor and families really cared about each other. Imagine living a hundred years ago in a Yupiaq community. The people […]

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Memories of Fishcamp

by Peter Twitchell When times are good and when times are hard, fish camp is a wonderful place to spend time with the family. When fish camping, everyone is working together for a common cause; […]

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Cetuqupak – Grey Whale

by Peter Twitchell The grey whale was divided among the people of southwestern Alaska who wanted a piece of the Cetuqupak, Yup’ik word for the Grey Whale. People generously shared the blubber with their neighbors […]