APRIL 20, 1976

INUPIAQ ARTIST/EDITOR HOWARD UYAGAK ROCK OF TUNDRA TIMES DIED

Born in Point Hope, Alaska, in 1911, Rock went to boarding school before attending the University of Washington.  In World War II, Rock served in the army in North Africa.  Eventually returning to Point Hope in 1961, he was village spokesman in a dispute over the Atomic Energy Commission’s “Operation Chariot”—a plan to create a harbor by use of atomic devices.  Also, in 1961, despite no prior journalistic experience, he was asked to create a vehicle for informing Inupiat villages.  In October, 1962, the Tundra Times was started.  Rock was its editor & publisher until his death.  The paper’s circulation grew to over 3,500 and was standard reading on Alaska Native issues.  Non-partisan, the Times endorsed based solely on Native issues.  It also sponsored the Eskimo-Indian Olympics.   In 1975, the paper was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  Rock received “Alaskan of the Year,” (1974) & “49er of the Year,” (1975).  In 2009, the Alaska Press Club renamed its 1st Amendment Award for Rock and Times manager Tom Snapp.   

Sources:  Robert M. Fox, “Guide to the Interview with Howard Rock,” Archives and Special Collections, at the UAA/APU Consortium Library, 1976.  Retrieved 6/30/2020, https://archives.consortiumlibrary.org/collections/specialcollections/hmc-0210/
 Elizabeth James, “Howard Rock and the Tundra Times,” LitSite Alaska.  Retrieved 6/30/2020, http://www.litsitealaska.org/index.cfm?section=digital-archives&page=People-of-the-North&cat=Native-Lives-and-Traditions&viewpost=2&ContentId=3102
Photo:  Tundra Times. Fair Use.  Source: About Tundra times. [volume] (Fairbanks, Alaska) 1962-1997 « Chronicling America « Library of Congress (loc.gov).

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