My son is 14 years old, which means he can legally get a job here in Kotzebue. When filling out his previous employment he asked if he could write things down like, "commercial fisherman for 4 years," and "hunter for my family since I was six," etc. I had to tell him that even though, at age 14, if the world were to end, he would survive with duct tape, a snare wire and a knife, that he could only write down professional experience, things he got paid for and he paid taxes on.
When he was a baby, I swore to myself that I wouldn't raise him in a city. A place where you worry about who your children are around or worry about them if you haven't heard from them for a while. Don't get me wrong, I freak out when I don't know where my kids are, but not nearly as much as I would in a city.
My kids have been shooting, gutting and cutting Caribou since they were out of diapers (before they were two) and taking shot guns out since they were six. They've been cutting Ugruk with me since they could yield an ulu (or knife) and cut the blubber into strips. They've helped me pick 40 gallons of berries for the winter, and fillet 100 salmon, then vacuum seal them for winter. They've sat on the ice fishing through a hole for shiifish so we could eat throughout the year.
None of that really matters though when you're 14 and want a desk job because being a hunter just doesn't "pay" for your things. Like wrestling camps and basketball camps, which cost at least triple thanks to airfare and lodging away from home. Since he's been fishing with a gill net since he was little, he is going to get his "helper's license" and "help" my cousin commercial fish. So he can go to wrestling camp, or Bible camp, or basketball camp.
Today my uncle dropped off an ugruk for me to cut up. Last week I told my kids to go fishing for me and get two buckets of Herring. So they did. Without question, and fully knowing exactly what to do.
They then scaled the fish and then beheaded and gutted them and soaked them in a bucket of salt water. During the process, they took out the suvaks (eggs) and ate them right out of the belly. And in a bucket they sit to be pickled so we can eat then during the winter.
I guess that just doesn't cut it though in "the Real World."