Whether she knows it or not, Miyax is smack dab in the middle of a battle between old traditions and new customs. In many ways, Julie of the Wolves is about the loss of Eskimo traditions and the consequences of that loss on members of the Alaskan community. The novel is full of stirringly beautiful, detailed accounts of various Eskimo traditions, and we watch as our girl Miyax (or shall we say Julie?) struggles to hold on to them. It's easy out on the tundra, when she has nothing else to rely on, but if she returns to town to live with her father, will she be able to resist the appeal of radio, electricity, and hey, reality TV?
Miyax loves Eskimo tradition so much for purely self-interested reasons; Eskimo traditions literally keep her alive on the tundra.
In giving up a lot of his old Eskimo traditions, Kapugen is merely being practical. Many of those traditions serve no purpose in the modern world.