Communities from Mekoryuk are looking to cultivate their economy in a unique way: selling reindeer meat.
The Nunivak Island natives are looking to upsize their sale of indigenous reindeer to combat local unemployment.
Per Associated Politics:
The endeavor includes plans to build a new slaughterhouse with $1.8 million in federal grants and offer reindeer steaks and roasts for sale in urban parts of Alaska such as Anchorage and ultimately the lower 48.
The plan to grow will have immediate benefits:
The expansion is expected to bring additional revenue for the tribe’s commercial reindeer subsidiary, Nuniwarmiut Reindeer and Seafood Products, while creating as many as 20 seasonal winter jobs for locals.
Like other remote communities, Mekoryuk, the island’s only town, has limited jobs opportunities.
The plan to expand is praised by ecologist Greg Finstad:
“Right now, our demand exceeds the supply,” he said, adding the chain would like to buy more reindeer as the supply increases.
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Finstad said he applauds the village’s efforts to become less reliant on government.