About Our Family:
My name is Colleen “Yaari” Walker and I am St. Lawrence Island Yupik (aka Siberian Yupik) from Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. I am a mother of seven and wife of Marq Walker of High Point, North Carolina, who is the son of Larry and Carlene Walker. Our clan is Aymaaramka on my father Herman Toolie’s side. My mother is Esther Pungowiyi-Toolie of the Qiwaghmii clan. I am a tribal healer. Our passions are to help people all walks of life, ride our motorcycles, play pool, and to spend time with our family. I also enjoy teaching the traditional values of our people.
Our Yupik culture:
“The first Yuuk” Story (the first human)
Ungipaghaaninguq imaani – Once upon a long time ago, when our Creator made earth, he put many different types of animals in every part of the world, according to environment. The Creator put the first yuuk in a qayaq (kayak). The qayaq washed up on the beach. The animals were curious, so they gathered and went to the beach to see the qayaq; inside they saw a creature sleeping and naked. The caribou says, “Look at this creature! He won’t survive, he will freeze to death”. And the polar bear says, “Look at this creature! He won’t survive. He can’t hunt like us; he doesn’t have claws and teeth like us. He certainly won’t survive. We must sacrifice ourselves to him, because without us he will not be able to survive, but he must treat us with respect. The animals decided together that they were going to call him “yuuk – human”. Eventually the yuuk woke up. The wolf said, “You are yuuk, you are human. We have decided that we will sacrifice ourselves to you, because without our fur, you’ll freeze to death, without our bones you cannot make tools, without our meat you cannot eat; but you must treat us with respect, you must not take more than what you need, you must not waste, and you must share”. The yuuk and the animals made an agreement. This story teaches the human race to treat the animals with respect, for without them the human race would not be in existence.
These are some of our values:
“Yiilgingigatut – It’s not okay to talk about other people behind their backs”, “Akiinniqungitatut – It’s not okay to talk back”, “Ellnginaghaayugtegpenang – Don’t be selfish” –, “Iilqayugsaghaghpenaasi – Don’t try to make others depressed”, “Amyuqetiqegpenasi – Don’t be abusive to any living thing”. “Siivanlleghet nagaataqluki – Listen to the Elders”, “Nangllekaqluki ilaasi – Be compassioinate, loving, caring, helpful, and respectful with others. “Kayusighimanginaghaqlusi – Be helpful with others”, “Sivulighaayugtegpenaasi – Don’t try to be first”, in other words be considerate of others. “Ilaakullusi – Be together”, “Qerngaghpesi qepghaaghaqlusi – Work together”. “Qallegsaghiigatut – don’t try to convince someone to make bad choices. “Angaayuqaasi nagaataqluki – listen to your parents. “Siivanlleghet nagaataqluki – listen to the Elders. “Yughaaghaqlusi – Always pray. “Taghnughhasi piniiqaqluki – Love your children. “Nulqaavighhsaghaghpenaasi – Don’t try to depress others”. “Piniiqelleq atuqaqluku – Use love”. “Seghevutinginaaghaqlusi – Be forgiving”. “Kitum sameng pighllagngaaten, kiyaghtaaqestaghhaaten – If anyone says anything to hurt you or disrespect you, just keep living your life”.