By Rhonda McBride
Channel 2 News
7:04 PM AKDT, October 26, 2012
That phrase, "It takes a village," takes on a whole new meaning if the whole village has to move. But state and federal agencies who have been tracking erosion and the warming climate in the Southwest Alaska community of Newtok say it has best ten or fifteen years before it collapses into the Ninglick River.
The tribe doesn't want its people to be parceled out to other communities. In the two final installments of "Newtok: Village on the Edge," KTUU reporter Rhonda McBride and photographer Eric Sowl look at why it's so important for the people of Newtok to remain together. And they take you to Mertarvik, which literally in Yup'ik means "getting water from the spring." It's where Newtok, which means "rustling grass," hopes someday to get a fresh start on higher and safer ground.
Friday, Oct. 26.
Part 4: Keeping Culture. From Native song and dance to a strong subsistence lifestyle, a look at how Newtok is using its Yup'ik culture to cope with change. It's what gives this Yup'ik community of 350 people an identity that transcends the physical and becomes almost a spiritual connection.
Part 5: The Promised Land. Mertarvik is the new site of the village. While it sits on a rock that makes it safe from erosion, aside from a barge landing and a few homes, it’s a long way from being a functioning community. But for Newtok, however, there’s no turning back.
Thursday, Oct. 25.
Part 2: Losing the Battle. A look at some of the immenent threats to the community's life and safety.
Part 3: Living in Limbo. A look at how the village's basic infrastructure is begining to fail. Although efforts to move to Mertarvik, the new village site across the river are underway, Newtok has a big struggle ahead. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates that relocation costs range from $80 million to 130 million.
Wednesday, Oct. 24.
Part 1. Sound and Fury, Losing Ground. When it comes to dealing with the consequences of a warming climate, is Newtok like the canary in the coal mine? At least one agency, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Corporation, is monitoring the impacts of erosion on basic infrastructure in Rural Alaska. In the sound and fury of a fall storm, Newtok students track the erosion, just outside their school.
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