Because of transportation costs, food in Kotzebue is expensive. A gallon of milk can cost up to $8—four ears of corn costs $12!
"The groceries are so expensive because the only way that you could get to Kotzebue is by flying in or by boat in the summer, so a lot of our groceries and our milk, they're flown in daily," Mary says.
Mary says to keep warm and healthy, her family eats meat every day. The main source of protein for most Eskimos comes from their own backyards. "My husband hunts. He goes caribou hunting as well as moose hunting," Mary says. Two or three caribou will last Mary's family through the winter. The family also eats a lot of muktuk, a dish made from bowhead whale blubber and meat.
Despite the high cost of living and brutal winters, Mary still feels Kotzebue is the best place to raise a family. "The culture here is very awesome. Being a little kid here, they like to celebrate life. I love this close-knit community," Mary says. "I'm proud to be an Eskimo, and so is my family."