ARCTIC VILLAGE, Alaska — Arriving home on one of the last regular flights before pandemic restrictions went into effect in mid-February, Sarah James got to her house to find two caribous worth of meat in her freezer.
Since flights have become intermittent to this indigenous village 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle, said James, a leader of the Gwich’in Athabascan people, the store periodically runs out of basics like meat and sugar. Subsistence hunting, fishing and gathering have been more critical than ever.
To ensure that Arctic Village’s population of fewer than 200 have enough to eat, the village council has designated several members to hunt caribou, the Gwich’in’s traditional staple. Someone had also taken time to make sure that James’ freezer was well