News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Sunday February 18th 2018



Pride Diomede Style

Mr. Ed Becker, Timmy Milligrock, Sophie Iyapana, & Miss Katie Mecsey

Mr. Ed Becker, Timmy Milligrock, Sophie Iyapana, & Miss Katie Mecsey

By Ed Becker, Principal, Diomede

Little Diomede students “Rock” in pride too! Back in November The Alaskan Association for Bilingual Education announced their statewide Writing Contest for Bilingual Students. The topic PROUD TO BE ALASKA and BILINGUAL/BICULTURAL was chosen to honor the 50th anniversary of Alaska statehood. Principal Becker and Miss Mecsey agreed that her students could demonstrate their knowledge of Inupiaq traditions and culture, apply the Six Traits of Writing, and assist with toggling Cultural Awareness, by working with this writing prompt. In doing so, the students also reflected on traditions and values often taken for granted, but unique to Little Diomede (Inaliq), which excited them about life in Alaska in general. This prompt has once again reminded Diomede students why they should be proud to be who they are. Timothy Milligrock was awarded first place and Sophie Iyapana was awarded third place in the Middle/Junior High category. They have been invited to a noon luncheon hosted by AKABE at the Bilingual Multicultural Education Equity Conference, January 30, 2009. The essays were judged on development of theme, originality, content and clarity of expression and grammar and mechanics.   Below are the essays that were submitted to the contest.


Pretty Proud to be an Alaskan
By Timothy Ryan Milligrock, Student, Diomede

I am proud to be an Alaskan because of traditional music, like Eskimo dancing, and hunting traditions. I like watching Eskimo dance tapes. They are good to watch sometimes. Hunting is hard but sometimes easy.

Eskimo dancing is part of our culture here in Diomede. We practice dancing to travel to other places where they have dances, too. They also do drumming at Eskimo dance. The language here in Diomede is Inupiaq, and only the elders speak the language.

Some of the men here go hunting. Hunting is another part of our culture. We go hunting in boats or walk down the north trail. Down the north trail, there are hideouts that men make, so the seals won’t see them while they are waiting. Also, the hideouts are built of rocks that are stacked up. When the men go, they usually bring throwing line. The throwing line has three big hooks to get ahold of the seal’s skin, then you pull the rope slowly so the hooks won’t come off easily. They bring walking sticks, too. At one end of the walking stick, there’s one hook to drag the seal.

When the ice freezes here, people start going ice fishing. We use to make the holes with homemade ice picks, and today we still use the ice picks. Some people use auger because it’s faster and easier to make holes than the ice pick. Egging is when we go climb on the cliffs for Murr eggs.

I like to be an Alaskan because dancing is a good tradition, and it is fun to watch the men catch walruses. I think Alaska is a good place to live. This, here, is all part of our culture.


Proud to be an Alaskan
By Sophie Annie Iyapana, Student, Diomede

I am proud to be an Alaskan because I like hunting and unique things on Diomede.

There are seals and walruses, and hunters always come back with these animals. People eat a lot of these animals, which they call Eskimo food, and people on Diomede love to eat Eskimo food. We also send Eskimo food to relatives.

Kids like to travel to a lot of places where we have never been. We like to explore new places, meet new people, have fun, and go places that we think is fun or something we can get. We sometimes climb Fairway Rock and get bird eggs or just climb for fun. Some people even go around the island and get bird eggs on scary cliffs. Some people see foxes running all over on top of the island. We see blue foxes, red foxes, and the white kind. When we’re climbing straight up, we’ll get really tired that’s why a lot of us bring water, pop, or juice. While you’re in the middle of the island, on the way up, you can see the view over the ocean, can see over Big Diomede, and we can see our whole village. People always walk way back on the island. Sometimes we see boats going to Wales or coming this way from Wales to pick up people, or bring them over. Kids always play “not it” or “hide -in-seek.” They also play around the satellite and climb on the rocks. Sometimes, when there’s big rocks, kids hide behind them or run around them.

Being from Alaska is cool because we have millions of things to see, explore, and learn.