Our reindeer have arrived!
See the news coverage here:
About 100 residents on the Alaska Peninsula will be trained to manage a new herd of 60 reindeer in an effort to bring back a long-dormant tradition in the region.
After a several-month delay, the first of 60 reindeer began arriving in Port Heiden last week.
Adrianne Christiansen is the business development director for the native village of Port Heiden which has been working to return herding culture and skills to the community. She said the reindeer began arriving Friday via charter plane from Stebbins/St. Michael’s.
It’s going to be a big community learning experience, says Christiansen. For the next three months, an experienced herder will stay in Port Heiden to teach everyone about the reindeer.
"We have a pen built for them, and we have a traditional reindeer herder down to train our young people to learn how to herd reindeer... so they’ll be in the pen until we all learn how to herd the reindeer," she said.
Christiansen says about 100 community members, including 30 school-age children, will get trained.
Once the herd is well-established in the area, the community plans to harvest some for food. Christiansen says that may be four or five years down the road.