Salmon sales raise funds for Alaska Native villages
Moved by a letter from an Yup'ik fisherman, a seafood consultant is raising funds to offset the high cost of electricity in Alaska Native villages.

Nicholas Tucker, from the village of Emmonak, sent a letter to news organizations last month that detailed the struggles facing the 21-family community. The plea, which was picked up by bloggers, prompted consultant Jon Rowley to organize a monthlong fund raiser at a restaurant in Seattle.

Rowley will donate 20 to 25 percent of the revenue from the sales of Yukon chum salmon to a fuel fund for Alaska Native villages. "These are strong people who are used to enduring hardships," he told The Seattle Times. "They do it quietly and are not used to asking for help.

Tucker's letter has brought help from other sources too. Hundreds of food boxes have been sent to Emmonak and other villages, where dwindling salmon runs have hurt the economy.

"With the cost of fuel and the lack of fisheries, it kind of just exploded," said Billy Charles, a former mayor of Emmonak. "But it's been developing for years."

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Salmon dining to help suffering Alaska villages (The Seattle Times 2/3)