When they were on the island, they lived in the village of Ukivok, which clung - impossibly - to the sheer rocky south side of the island.
But they didn't spend the whole year on the island. In June they migrated to the mainland where they lived in a summer camp at Nome, hunted, fished, gathered, and worked and sold carvings to raise money.
In October, when the weather began to get really cold, of all things, they left the relatively large and modern support network in Nome and migrated back to their barren rock to spend the winter largely isolated from contact with others.
During the winter they lived an unexpectedly comfortable life in homes perched on stilts (to level them out on the steep slope). The Bureau of Indian Affairs supported a small school and coop store, and the Catholic church maintained a priest and church.
They exploited a wide range of resources - fishing for fish and crab through the ice right in front of town, harvesting seals, polar bear, and walrus from the ice around the island, and harvesting small plants, birds, and bird eggs from their rock once the spring and early summer had come.