It is funny, the other day I was telling the girls I ran into one of my sisters who lived out of town at the store and she lives in town now. One of the twins was saying to me "Hey, mom, if she is here maybe we should move down there (down there meaning Atka where our distant family lives now) for a year or something."
Wow, what a strange thought! I do want to go visit there some day and have a ton of cousins and such there but none I know very well enough to say "hey, we are coming to visit and will be staying on your couch! see you soon." The cost to fly there for all 5 of us is prohibitive and they are planning on doing some college courses here in town next year too.
I was telling them what we can do is think about it seriously and write up a sort of proposal and apply for a federal grant for my idea which I still need to picture fully. I said we (or mostly me but all them too) will need to make up a plan and details and a timeline and costs and all that stuff to show we are serious but that is a very fun idea. How I want to discover what Aleuts were like 'prehistoric-like' -if that is a word. But how to discover all of this when much was lost over time. I think many hold pieces of the puzzle, stories and thoughts passed down from mother to daughter that I can collect to help form a picture of it.
One of my sisters applied for one for writing a book but I haven't heard if she got it or not since I haven't talked to her in ages. But it is kind of growing on me as I think of it. I will have to think of it but can write it up as a sort of 'finding my roots' approach but from a feminist sort of viewpoint since I think it is a part of me so will always keep that as part of "me".
I would love to go to Attu since I have pictures in my mind from my mother's stories about growing up there. What gets me mad is my mom's village is now a navy station and bird watchers paradise instead of our home. Attu Island and it makes me wonder when will we get our lives and heritage back???????? According to the census data from 2000 it has "The racial makeup of the CDP was 18 White, 1 from other races, and 1 from two or more races. 5 of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race." I love how they gloss over the part about the Natives being forced out and not allowed to return like we all just decided one day to pack and leave! Sigh, some days it is really a 'beating head against wall feeling" wanting things to change but knowing no one else besides us really cares enough to help change it. But I am hoping that will change as more people learn about us and other Alaskan Natives and the crisis we are in. Here is a blurb about how the Navy pictured us and makes it sound like we had a choice in moving to Atka. Navy Station and want to point out that this is my mom and my heritage they are talking about. I would love to write up a proposal of some sort to get it back! I think I read there are vague plans of this around but will need to find it again and see what is happening with it.
But I was thinking of it a bit because of the computer game I am planning and designing right now. It is set in a sort of fantasy version of Alaska and is meant for (minority) woman. It is a role-playing type one, the kind I enjoy playing best, and will hopefully be fun and educational though the words I used are made up they are based a bit on actual Aleut words. But somehow my mind went from thinking about this game and thinking we should go there.
It must have been picturing the landscape that made me want to actually go there and see it with my own eyes. I can picture it since my mom often talked of it with me so I have her images of it in my heart and wonder if i will see it differently or will my daughters.
I think part of it was reading Dr. Edonna that really inspired me to go out and talk to people and "do it"...
But it is why I enjoy coming here since never know what I will be reading and what will inspire me and that is what makes getting to know all the woman on here so fun and makes me want to go meet some Aleut woman now too!
A funny thing, I was going to head outside to think and saw it was snowing again, big fat snowflakes. I told my daughters and one said 'What, snow, now?! Why?" and I was remembering what someone once said about snow being like a form of protection that can happen when the group prays for protection and thinking someone on here must be praying for us and our safety. So thanks!