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Resource February 9, 2016

Meet Journalists Julia O'Malley and Katie Orlinsky

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A look at how climate change is challenging Native communities across rural Alaska where hunting...

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The traditional blanket toss at the annual whaling feast in Point Hope, Alaska on June 16, 2015.
The traditional blanket toss at the annual whaling feast in Point Hope, Alaska on June 16, 2015. For the Inupiat villagers of Point Hope Nothing is more important than the bowhead whale. The calendar year revolves around hunting, fishing and gathering, a lifestyle Alaskans call “subsistence,” which is as much cultural tradition as economic necessity. The entire village looks forward to spring whaling, and celebrates a successful hunt with an annual feast. In recent years, however, the much-anticipated whale hunt has run up against a warming Arctic. Ice is getting thinner, windows of opportunity for hunting are shrinking and animal behavior is changing. Alaska had its hottest year on record in 2014, and for Inupiat villagers in Point Hope who have hunted and foraged their meals for generations, climate change now threatens their way of life.

What happens when whale meat starts to spoil? Julia O'Malley, a reporter based in Anchorage, Alaska, discusses how climate change is challenging Native communities across rural Alaska where hunting, fishing and foraging for food anchor cultures and economies. Julia and photographer Katie Orlinsky look at the consequences of both a shorter hunting season and a diminished ice quality.

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