Two Eskimo Boys Meet the Three Lucky Swedes
Pride in Culture - puyaunau iupiaqtun iLLusiq
Most Alaskans have heard of the "three lucky Swedes" who found gold in Nome - the legend behind the gold rush of 1899. In 2000, Sitnasuak Elder and Sitnasuak Native Corporation (SNC) Board Member Jacob Ahwinona told an often overlooked part of that story to visiting children's book writer, Jeff Kunkel: The three Swedes did not find the gold on their own, they did so with the assistance of two young Eskimo boys, Constantine Uparazuck and Gabriel Adams. This story was passed on to Jacob by oral tradition; he is a direct descendent of Constantine.
Jeff and his wife were invited to Nome to meet with the SNC Elders Committee and the Nome Beltz Native Youth Leadership Organization (NNYLO). Subsequently, the Board authorized Jeff to write and publish the story.
The book, "Two Eskimo Boys Meet the Three Lucky Swedes" was published in 2002. Though it is now out of print (copies can still be purchased through SNC), something of great permanence came of it.
At that original meeting with Jeff and his wife, the NNYLO took it upon themselves to begin the process of having a large bronze statue erected to commemorate the two Eskimo boys. Peter Fillerup of Wild West Designs in Herber, Utah, created the statue. Nine years later, descendents of Constantine Uparazuck, Landis Bjorgen and Jacob Ahwinona proudly unveiled the statue in the summer of 2010; it is located in Nome's Anvil City Square.
This statue is a great representation of what SNC stands by: pride in culture, respect for elders and a carrying on of the traditional Sitnasuak values.
To order "The Two Eskimo Boys Meet the Three Lucky Swedes" book, please call (907) 387-1200. The price is $13.80, which includes Priority Mail shipping. Nome residents please add 4% sales tax. We accept checks, money orders, VISA and MasterCard. No cash please.