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Gifts for the Yukon-Kuskowkwim Delta

The Aruqutet Project is funded by Calista Corporation through a geographical

place-based grant to increase food security throughout the Calista Region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aruqutet 2022 is organized by Bethel Community Services Foundation. The project is a one-time distribution of food boxes to as many Calista Region communities as possible by distributing a box to adults 18 and over.

Each Food Box has about 17 pounds of food and includes the following items, please note that due to uncontrollable supply chain logistics substitutions may occur. These items can be used to make a variety of dishes such as stews, soups, bread, casseroles among other dishes.

Food Box Contents

  • Flour

  • Sugar

  • Rice

  • Pilot Bread

  • Ground Beef

Aruqutet 2022 Project Communities

The Aruqutet Project distribution strategy includes distributions along the ice-road communities near Bethel while the conditions allow. The focus will then be on outlying communities in more remote areas of the Calista Region.   

Communities we plan to reach by end of August 2022!​

  • Akiachak

  • Akiak

  • Alakanuk

  • Aniak

  • Atmautluak

  • Bethel

  • Chefornak

  • Chevak

  • Chuathbaluk

  • Crooked Creek

  • Eek

  • Emmonak

  • Goodnews Bay

  • Hooper Bay

  • Kasigluk

  • Kipnuk

  • Kongiganak

  • Kotlik

  • Kwethluk

  • Kwigillingok

  • Lime Village

  • Lower Kalskag

  • Marshall

  • Mekoryuk

  • Mertarvik

  • Mountain Village

  • Napaimute

  • Napakiak

  • Napaskiak

  • Newtok

  • Nightmute

  • Nunam Iqua

  • Nunapitchuk

  • Oscarville

  • Pilot Station

  • Pitka's Point

  • Platinum

  • Quinhagak

  • Red Devil

  • Russian Misson

  • Scammon Bay

  • Sleetmute

  • St. Mary's

  • Stony River

  • Toksook Bay

  • Tuluksak

  • Tuntutuliak

  • Tununak

  • Upper Kalskag

How The Arqutet 2022 Project got its name

“I think we should consult an Elder to make sure we use the right word,” said Carey Atchak, Food Security Coordinator at the Bethel Community Services Foundation (BCSF), during a team meeting to name the one-time food distribution project. She added, “It is really important to also get a blessing from an Elder.” Michelle DeWitt, Executive Director of BCSF, immediately thought of the Elder Mary Beaver, and scheduled a meeting with her and the team to learn more about the different words in Yup’ik meaning “types of gifts”.


Three of the words that we discussed were 1. Cikiutet 2. Payugutet 3. Tuvqakiyaraq. Cikiutet is something you give as a present or gift “cikirluku.” “Payugutet” is something that one person brings to another person, “payuggluku.” Tuvqakiyaraq is usually sharing of a catch (in memory of a person). We explained to Mary Beaver that the goal of the project was to give food and, if we are able, subsistence aids/tools to communities in the Calista region using ARPA funds. She did not hesitate to give us the correct word that had not been mentioned, “Aruqutet.”



Mary Beaver explained that the word “Aruqutet” would be a more appropriate word than the others because it means “to distribute.”.

Practice saying the word, Aruqutet

A-The a-sound is straightforward, it’s the English standard a, like ah or uh.


Ru-The r-sound sounds like a growl in the back of the throat. To make the sound, lift the back part of your tongue up towards the upper back part of your palate, like when you’re going to gargle with water. The r-sound is a short sound, but elongated a little when the oo-sound is added.


Qu-The q-sound is another sound using the back of the throat. With this sound the back of your tongue completely covers the back of your throat and adds the oo-sound. The q-sound has been likened to the sound someone makes when they’re choking “Qeh” but adding the oo-sound at the end gives it the “quu” syllable.


Tet- The first t-sound sounds like a d in the English alphabet. The last t-sound is the regular t-sound in English, det.

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