St. Lawrence Island

St. Lawrence Island is located in the Bering Strait region, west of Alaska and east of the Russia Chukotka Peninsula. 

Until the 1800s, there were several settlements on the island. Currently there are only two main villages: Sivuqaq (Gambell) and Sivungaq (Savoonga). There are around 1300 Yupiget (= Yupik persons) living on the island, and another 300-400 living on the Alaskan mainland. (Schwartz et al. 2020, Schwalbe 2017)

Although St. Lawrence Island is part of Alaska, it is actually closer to Russia. Sivuqaq (Gambell), where most of our fieldwork takes place, is only 36 miles (58 kilometers) away from the Chukotka Peninsula. On very clear days, the mountains of Russia are visible from Sivuqaq (Gambell) on the horizon. (See picture below!)

Photo courtesy of Lane Schwartz