News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Saturday November 25th 2017
handbook

Categories

notice

S.O.S. (Save Our Shishmaref) Project

Due to the inevitable erosion of our island, the entire village of Shishmaref needs to relocate onto the mainland. Enormous funds are needed to make this possible.

Many of the students of Shishmaref are volunteering their time and efforts to raise funds for this community need. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons are set aside for projects in Ronda’s room.

Career Skills, and Life Skills classes will be integrating the SOS Project as well. Students have designed a simulated business that shares a percentage of its proceeds to the Shishmaref Erosion and Relocation Coalition. Merchandise is being created through student participation in sewing, knitting, crocheting, baking, and more. We already have some great knit hats, scarves, baby hats and booties as well as fleece hats, neck warmers, etc. for sale.

Shishmaref students working to generate funds for the SOS Project.

100_2420.jpg

100_2417.jpg

Career Skills students are creating letters, emailing advocates, and researching to find more contacts.

100_2445.jpg

100_2471.jpg

Classrooms and volunteers are learning to knit, crochet, and sew hats, scarves, neckwarmers, and gloves to sell.

100_2447.jpg

100_2450.jpg

Students are creating posters and signs for their sales booth.

100_2452.jpg

100_2454.jpg

Students make maple bars for after school sales.

The letter students designed

“Igazaunoqtuut”
Inupiaq Eskimo for, “We Need Help”.
Students Band Together To Save Our Shishmaref, SOS Project
SOS Project
Shishmaref School
PO Box 155
Shishmaref, AK 99772
907-649-3021

Dear Advocate,

We, the students of the Bering Strait School District in Shishmaref, Alaska have joined together to generate funds that are needed to relocate our village. Our native island of Sarichef is slowly eroding into the Chukchi Sea. Our village of Shishmaref needs enormous funds in order to match any state and federal money before the village can be moved to a site on the mainland.

Shishmaref, Alaska is a village of about 600 people. It is located on Sarichef Island in the Chukchi Sea just north of the Bering Strait, five miles from the Alaskan mainland. We are a traditional Inupiaq Eskimo village and our residents are proud of and rely heavily on a subsistence lifestyle. For more than two thousand years we have been hunting and gathering most of our food from this ancestral region.

Our island has experienced erosion of its north shoreline at an average loss of 3-5 feet per year except during the storms of 1973, 1997, and 2001 where erosion was as much as 125 feet of horizontal distance. Many buildings were lost while others needed to be relocated to the farther end of the island. Our community has determined that it is unacceptable to continue to face the ever-present threat from ocean-based storms. We voted on the only viable solution; to relocate the village to a nearby mainland location that is accessible to the sea, suitable for the subsistence lifestyle of our community, yet is still a part of our ancestral hunting grounds. We must preserve our Shishmaref Inupiat Eskimo people and our unique and precious culture.

No more money will be invested and all infrastructure building plans and grants for the current village have been canceled due to the eminent demise of our island. Subsequently, our village is without running water and there is no sewage system. We’ve run out of room and are unable to move homes that are in peril. Funds have been spent to build seawalls that may only postpone further erosion by fifteen years at the maximum to protect our community while plans are developed for the safe relocation of our town and its people.

We cannot successfully relocate on our own. “Igazaunoqtuut” We need help. Advocates are needed to help with generating awareness, initiating fundraising activities, organizing benefits, and providing personal donations to our cause. For further information you may visit http://shishmaref.bssd.org/sos . Donations for relocation should be made out to Shishmaref School for the SOS Project. Donations can also be made toward relocation at the Coalition website http://www.shishmarefrelocation.com.

“Quyaana” Thank you,
Students of Shishmaref School

copyright
copyright


UA-2521268-2