“I wanted us to belong to the same nation.”
“I don’t feel part of the United States.”
She said this after leading our small study group in a two hour lesson in how to introduce ourselves. She is Yup’ik. She was raised by her grandparents until she was 12, moved to five different camps corresponding to different seasons – three different fish camps, squirrel and greens gathering camp, and moose camp. Then her grandparents died and her family “disintegrated into alcoholism.” They lost their boat and engine, their camps fell into disrepair; she lived in foster care for a while, married twice but neither marriage worked out, and yes, she would go back to moving from camp to camp if she could afford it and could find a good man who could hunt.
I know all these things because she told us in her introduction. She told us that a good Native introduction offers something for the other person…
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