My Mothers Delicious Akutaq

Have you ever watched your mother make akutaq? I have watched my mother make akutaq so much, I have watched what ingredients she puts in a big bowl. When I was a little girl she once told me, “The more you make, the more you get better.” So when I was younger, and as I got older, my mother’s Akutaq just got more and more delicious. She was right about what she said.
My mother is an elder now. Everything she tells me, I have to believe it, and I do. Because she went through everything growing up. Well, let’s get on to my mother’s akutaq recipe!
As I was growing up watching my mother making akutaq, she’d always want me to watch her make akutaq. She was busy boiling the fish so we can add the fish into the recipe. But that isn’t the recipe first, it’s the first major thing to do before you start mixing the akutaq recipe.
Once the fish is done boiling, I helped my mother take out all the small bones, so we don’t choke. Once we were done with that, I watched what ingredients she put. She took out the crisco, sugar, and canned milk. First she grabbed a scoop of crisco. How much? How ever much my mother wants to puts in the bowl. 1 cup of sugar or more, and then my mother started mixing the bowl. While my mother was mixing the crisco and sugar together, she added some canned milk while she was mixing the ingredients.
Once everything is mixed, I watched her add the fish to the bowl, then she mixed everything until they were all completely mixed together. I forgot one more ingredient! Berries of course. The very last ingredient she added once everything was mixed. She added berries and mixed the whole bowl completely.
Once everything is done I asked her if I can have bite. It tasted so delicious. The feeling of when I tasted her akutaq was so satisfying. I’m sure you’re all wondering how does your mother make the Akutaq so delicious. You should watch your mother make her delicious Akutaq.
Kenni Ulak
Scammon Bay, AK

Keep going forward
Is it not creepy that the occurrences of the past/present are what tells us of the future? I hope that your recovery from the loss of your fantabulous daughter continues daily. The sharing of your feelings continues to amaze and help me with my life – long struggles of abuse, and I know that there are many others who are also benefitting from it. Quyanarpiit-lli cakneq!
I think that indigenous cultures suffer the most from abusive actions of the “dominant” cultures, and yet despite it, we forgive, hope, pray, share, educate, etc., and go on forward knowing that if we’ve impacted at least one person, agency, a health care system, social service agency, educational system, politician, (etc., etc.) we’ve made a difference.
Those whom we trust (of the above) get more abusive, believing that they are above the law as long as they obtain huge monetary gains, “popularity”, ETC.! However they/these are giving us hope, courage to expose the problems so that we can meditate on them from all angles and that gives us wisdom in how we may help.
It always appears that whomever we trust turns out to be the worst offenders – but we must continue to educate hoping that at least one person/agency will see and hear what we REALLY mean instead of using what they’ve learned as if that’s their own and using it for future abuse.
Wiinga iliini cumilngulartua taugaam nangtesteput augaritetuanka, cali kaigalluki ikayuumasqelluki/elitesqelluki-llu. Kitaki-tuq umyugait, anernerit, iingit, ircaquit, ciutait, uluit-llu piciulriamun ikirrlit.
Quyanarpiit-lli cakenvak Greg, Kelly, panigtek, civuqlii, kinguqlii, aiparnatugait, apai/maurlui.
Unguvallemni quyakenrirngaitamci, cali qeyianeng ernerpak amllerquneng agayutamci. Kenkamci cakneq!
Ms. Mary C. Nanuwak
Bethel, AK

Quyana Cakneq
A very big Quyana from the Family of Gustan Jr. at Hooper Bay. A warm heartfelt thank you to all that took care of our precious baby at the Providence Hospital. Holly his R.N. we pray and thank you for your presence and gentle care for our baby. A long TALL thank you to Loretta’s doctor and our baby’s Doctor Johnson, and all those that took care of Gustan Jr. and his parents.
Thank you for allowing Grandma to stay with them in their room during their most difficult time. It is more than thank you from our hearts, it will comfort us to include you All in our prayers. We know we will see Gustan Jr. in Heaven someday. Now he is in Heaven with our loved ones singing and praising God with the other angels. We praise God and still believe we are the instrument of his creation.
We thank all of you, we know it is not easy and comforting to be there helping those that need assistance and care. You were “All” there to help us in our time of joy and sorrow. God put you there, therefore you are blessed.
Quyana cakneq to Gustan Jr.’s aunts that stayed with us in Anchorage. Thank you Maureen McDonald, Gladys and Marilyn Johnson, Roberta and Wilma Smith. Thanks to his cousins Kacy Green and Ciara Lord, for spending time with us and for giving Gustan and Loretta rides. Thank you my sister and best friend Maureen for giving me a place to stay and sleep. To my nephew Draven Mai for giving auntie rides. Thank you Gladys for being there and for giving us rides, for comforting and for singing Yup’ik songs.
A very special Quyana to Rudy Smith Jr. (Grandpa) for making the coffin. Quyana to all the people that prayed for Gustan Jr. and family. Your prayers were heard and gave us time to be with Baby for several days. Thank you for singing and praising God at Grandma’s house. Quyana to John Rivers, Jerry Moses and Wilfred Hoelscher for singing and playing guitar.
To the local organizations that donated food and support. To all the cooks and servers that kept us full of food. For staying at Grandma’s house during the funeral, quyana Bernie joseph and Patty Smart for cooking and cleaning too. For staying up with our little Angel overnight. Quyana to Eddie Joe, Amukon Joe, Rudy Smith III, Morgan Lake Jr., and Marcus Seton.
For making the beautiful posters from Head Start Lilly Mann and Teresa Hill and their students. From CVRF Cheryl Smart and Alice Matchian-Gump for the beautiful poster and for typing and making the Memorial Program so beautiful with pictures of Gustan Jr. and his parents Loretta and Gustan Sr.
A very special Quyana to the 2 elders that came Frances Hale and Dolores Kawagley. To all the friends and relatives that came from Chevak. Especially to Linda and Michael Matchian and the Tangiegak’s.
Friends and relatives from Hooper Bay we know who you are and Quyana Cakneq for giving us your love, time and support.
Thank you Father Greg and Dominic Chai for coming here to do the funeral mass. And to celebrate after with food and prayers. Quyana cakneq to everyone who came to the funeral and to our family and relatives that took part in reading the gospel. For all the prayers and songs sung in Yup’ik and English, we thank you.
Quyana to my friend Johanna Lake for singing, “Heart of Jesus” with me. To my son Albert and his wife Renee for being our rock and for giving support and to my grandchildren for their unconditional “LOVE”, we love you all!
Gustan Green Family
Hooper Bay, AK