The Big Flood

A common story told by the Inuvialuit and by the Iñupiaq of Alaska indicates that a big flood took place “long ago.” Sarah Meyook heard the following story from Irish Kiuruya who was born in 1892:

They say once there was a big flood all over Qikiqtaryuk (Herschel Island). You could see nothing! There was nothing then. Kiuruya always told stories about when Qikiqtaryuk (Herschel Island) was flooded. […] They say long ago when there was a flood covering Qikiqtaryuk there was some kind of animal high up there in the lake. Maybe it came from the ocean this animal. They don’t know what it is. (SM90-4B:1-2)

It is said that after the earth turned over, all the land was covered with water. […] Also there is a man who is one of the people of the Qangmaliq, he, too, has became very old, and I asked him if Umiat was the only land area at that time. At that time during the big flood, if Umiat was the only area of land, this I asked of that little man of Herschel Island. […] He said that just east of Herschel Island are some hills where people caught in the flood escaped. It is said to have had some people at that time long ago. I would not have asked that old man this question but some caribou hunters saw some travellers, newcomers. One among them was a very big man. Now they are all gone. They no longer go to people. (Kisauq 1981:56)


Excerpt from Nagy, Murielle Ida. 1994:21. Yukon North Slope Inuvialuit Oral History. Yukon Tourism, Heritage Branch.

Photo Source: Sandra Angers-Blondin,