Tommy Pikok Research Paper

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If your family is starving but the laws told you that you cannot go out and get food, what do you do? A similar question was running circles in Tommy Pikok Sr. and John Nusunginya’s head when the law told him he could not provide food for his family. In 1961 the Duck-In began when the Migratory Bird Treaty was signed. This treaty outlawed hunting from March to September when the birds were only available for harvest in Alaska. As a result, the hungry Iñupiaq people in Barrow decided to pay no mind to the law and protested. This tragic event proves that the law cannot jeopardize the Iñupiaq people’s way of living. This event showed leadership by taking pride in the culture, working together, and by making the citizens of Barrow voices heard. The warden first arrested John Nusunginya for hunting ducks off- season and shortly after Tommy Pikok Sr. Pikok was outraged due to the fact that he could not provide food for his family and therefore, he kept rebelling. He exclaimed to the warden that they should go ahead and arrest him, however, if he comes back from jail and his children and wife are skinny, he will hunt the warden down and feed him to Tommy’s dogs. The Iñupiaq people take pride in who they are and that is why Tommy Pikok Sr. said those fighting words; furthermore, they lived the laws according to their ancestors because if it was not for…show more content…
It was a time when people’s lives were at risk because families were scared they could not hunt ducks for food, a time when the Iñupiaq people came together as one to fight the law, and a time when taking pride in your culture could overpower the United States government. If it was not for the leadership skills the community and individuals portrayed, the Iñupiaq people’s way of life would be completely different due to the fact that the language, subsistence, and the way of living would diminish away or we would have to live accordingly to the urban way of
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