I can't be funny today. There is simply no humor in my topic. I began the morning thinking I'd write something amusing about one idiosyncrasy or another. But then I took a few minutes to check Facebook before I began.
Admittedly I was looking for inspiration so I shouldn't be upset with what I found. Still, I am upset - sad, is really a more appropriate a description. I saw this link, courtesy of my friend Terzah, which I've included here to a Globe and Mail story. Realizing I hadn't exercised my Canadian in awhile, I clicked it.
Upon beginning the article I nearly abandoned it. My eyes were brimming by the end of page one. But, rather than giving into the temptation of avoidance, I pushed on. After all, I'd gone to Facebook for inspiration.
I sat in my Steamdot corner reading and crying, crying and reading. Be advised it is not for the faint of heart. There is death, violence, abuse, hopelessness and much more; but there is also LIFE. Not just life, but hope as well. Granted, it is only a glimmer of hope, but it is there because where there is life (altogether now) THERE IS HOPE.
The story is a cross section of life in Nunavut, Canada. While Alaska is in no way Canada, and native people groups are not "all the same" - quite to the contrary - still the similarities are unavoidable. I see Dillingham, I see Kotzebue, I see many of Alaska's rural communities that are suffering a similar situation.
Like all overwhelming problems, there is no easy solution. The government can't fix it, the church can't fix it, the community can't fix it, the family can't even fix it. These are personal/spiritual issues. The community, as a whole, can only create an environment in which people can heal and thereby the issues will be fixed.
Don't misunderstand, I'm not here to preach. This is not my mission. This is my life.
I am, by proxy of my husband and my children, Alaska Native. You can argue with me. You can say I'm white, I'm a vegetarian, I'm urbanized; the list can go on forever. But if you say those things then I say; you don't know me, you don't know my marriage, you don't know my home.
I am not the only person out there who doesn't look the part but feels this connection deeply. We're everywhere and some of us didn't even marry into it.
So today this is what I have to offer. I promise, next week, to focus once again on smiles.
The trials of Nunavut: Lament for an Arctic nation