Page 18 - NOVAGOLD_2016_AnnualReport
P. 18

Erich Kuball
I had been teaching on the Navajo Reservation for seven years when I was o ered a job as a math teacher here in Aniak. Without even looking at the place, I accepted and signed the contract. Three months later I moved here with a couple suitcases in hand. It was just going to be for a year, but at the end of that year I was too broke after
buying a snow machine and a four-wheeler. So I thought, well, let me give it another year. After the second year I realized I kind of like it here. I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere else in my life.
People like to dis on those out here in the bush like we’re not very smart and the school system isn’t very good. Yet we’ve got a lot of really smart kids, some of whom have gone on to get doctorate degrees.
The biggest struggle is employment. The average household income here is only a couple thousand dollars. That puts 97% of our district kids below poverty. The opportunities that your average middle-class kids in the lower 48 take for granted – it’s all stu  our kids usually have to do completely on their own.

   16   17   18   19   20