Sitnasuak Native Corporation (Sitnasuak), in partnership with community organizations, is glad to announce October 1, 2018 as the dedication date for the Sitnasuaŋmiut Quŋuwit.
This quŋuwit (Inupiaq for gravesite or cemetery) memorializes the indigenous people who are peacefully laid to rest at this site located in Nome, Alaska. The cemetery has been known as the “Sea View Cemetery” and “Eskimo Cemetery” in the past.
The site was used as a cemetery during the early 1900s and a plaque of known individuals buried at the cemetery will be located at the site. During the 1918 global flu pandemic, at least 170 Sitnasuaŋmiut (People of Sitnasuaq) who perished in Nome were buried at this cemetery site in a mass grave. There are other mass grave sites throughout the Bering Strait Region that reflect the impact of the flu pandemic among our Alaska Native people. Under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), this land was selected by Sitnasuak Native Corporation to honor and recognize our past which is important in preserving the history of the Sitnasuaŋmiut. Today, this quŋuwit is considered historical and no additional burials are currently permitted.
In recognition of the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 global flu pandemic, Sitnasuak has worked with Bering Strait Native Corporation, Arctic Native Brotherhood, Bonanza Fuel, LLC, Nanuaq, LLC, and Sitnasuak Construction Services, LLC to fund, construct and complete improvements at the site. There will be a dedication ceremony open to the public and community on October 1st beginning at 11:30 am at the Sitnasuaŋmiut Quŋuwit which is located on the west beach just past the Port of Nome. After the dedication ceremony, the community is invited to a memorial luncheon at Old St. Joe’s from 12 noon to 2:00 pm, located at 407 Bering Street.
According to Bobby Evans, Sitnasuak Board Chairman, “This is a very important site and we are honored to dedicate the Sitnasuaŋmiut Quŋuwit on the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 global flu pandemic. This has been a collaborative project with the support and leadership of the Sitnasuak Elders Committee, Land Committee and full board of directors. We appreciate the contributions of everyone to both honor and remember our ancestors laid to rest and invite the community to participate in the dedication ceremony and memorial luncheon on October 1st.”
Quyaana/Thank You to the following that supported the improvements and recognition of this quŋuwit: Sitnasuak Native Corporation (including subsidiary companies Bonanza Fuel, LLC, Nanuaq, LLC and Sitnasuak Construction Services, LLC), Bering Straits Native Corporation, Arctic Native Brotherhood, Nome Eskimo Community, City of Nome, Electroimpact, and contractor PLS Construction, LLC.
About Sitnasuak Native Corporation
SNC is headquartered in Nome, Alaska, with operations in Nome, Anchorage, Wasilla, California, Virginia and Puerto Rico. Sitnasuak’s family of companies and brands include Bonanza Fuel, Bonanza Express, Fidelity Title Agency of Alaska, Mat-Su Title Agency, Nanuaq, Mocean, SNC Technical Services, Aurora Industries and Sitnasuak Applied Technologies. SNC is one of the Alaska Native village corporations created in 1971 under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Today, SNC is the largest of 16 village corporations in the Bering Straits region with over $134 million in annual revenues. SNC is owned by almost 2,900 Alaska Native shareholders. For additional information on Sitnasuak as well as our business products and services, please visit our web site at www.snc.org or like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/Sitnasuak/.