Friendship Flight
, Alaska
to Provideniya, Siberia


The following is from a brochure received sometime in 1999, issued by the Friendship Flight Cultural Fund of Anchorage, Alaska, offering philatelic covers.


<Picture of Covers offered>


This Philatelic Commemorative cover has been provided to document the Alaska Airlines FRIENDSHIP FLIGHT between Nome, Alaska and Provideniya, Siberia on June 13, 1988. Government and business leaders, reporters and Eskimos seeking reunions with relatives in Siberia were on board.

The cachet for this souvenir commemorative envelope was designed by Alaskan artist Jon Van Zyle, who has the reputation as story teller through his art work. He provides intimacy with the land and its people.

For this historically significant event, Van Zyle choose to utilize the design from an early piece of scrimshaw depicting the extensive trade network that existed between the North American Eskimos, Siberian Eskimos, and the Chuckchi-Siberian Eskimos living west of the Bearing Strait. The large skin umiaks were used by the Siberians to make the dangerous voyage across the Bering Strait.

Alaska Airlines, the aircraft shown here beneath its Eskimo logo, is seeking to implement and facilitate the reestablishment of trade and friendship between the North American and Asian Continents.

The artwork also shows Vitus Bering, the Danish naval officer who served in the imperial navy of Peter the Great of Russian. Bering is credited with the discovery of Alaska. It portrays an early Eskimo man with this wife, wearing the traditional tattoos on her chin. Eskimo children, representing future generations, coexist within a legacy of peace and harmony. The Russian symbol for peace, superimposed on its corresponding English translation, provides the background.

The Nome cancellation-postmark was designed by Jim Stimptle of Nome, Alaska, as part of his effort to extend a hand of friendship across the Bering Strait. It was authorized and produced by the U.S. Postal Service. The cover was printed by Color Art of Anchorage and is sponsored by Piquniq Management CorporationA North Slope Native firm.

This insert was prepared by the Walukiewicz family and printed by ASETS.

Bold with friendship: We shall meet
A time for sharing; A time for caring

Closed from one another; for so many years

We no longer knew: each other any more


Freely, our grandfathers
used to pass the invisible line; that now separates us.

Today, we shall meet: Today we shall visit

Once again as our ancestors did; Bold with friendship.


Poem by Bernadette Alvanna-Stimptle,
A King Island Eskimo, now residing in
Nome, Alaska.



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This page last updated 02 February 2012



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KEYWORDS: Polar Philately, Covers, Flight covers, Siberia, Alaska, Friendship Cultural Fund, Alaska Airlines Friendship Flight 1988, Alaskan Poetry, Bernadette Alvanna-Stimple, Bering Strait, Eskimos, Vitus Bering, Bering Straits Expedition