Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Celebrating Life's Passages

It's been a month of travel. I was in New York City at the end of May for Book Expo America. It was huge! I signed a lot of books.

The panel discussion I was on at the PEN America Festival is now up! Click here to listen. It was a discussion of children's rights. I spoke of educational rights.  I referred to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people, Article 17:
"Indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control their educational systems and institutions providing education in their own languages, in a manner appropriate to their cultural methods of teaching and learning."   
This has been eradicated in the Untied States. My point is that when we talk about the rights of children and the horrific violations occurring in many parts of the world, we must not forget to look at ourselves and our own violations.

After New York I went to Dartmouth for the graduation of my daughter, Anna Bergitte Ahgeak Tuuluk Edwardson on June 10.

She is in the middle, above, with some of her NAD (Native Americans at Dartmouth) classmates. The NAD program at Dartmouth is powerful. As I heard one visitor say, it's like a United Nations of Native American nations.  Most of the NADs wore tribal dress for graduation. Anna graduated with a degree in Film and Native American Studies. She wants to teach Iñupiaq. She wore a green atiqluk (Dartmouth colors) and kamipiaq or mukluks, which I am really proud of because they were made by one of our very young Barrow seamstresses, Jerica Aamodt, and they are beautiful! Bearded seal, calf skin and beaver:

The photo doesn't quite do them justice. My camera broke in the middle of graduation.

Fortunately there were plenty of cameras around to record the birth of my granddaughter when I returned to Anchorage. Annabel Rose Nuyaagik Tavialuk Kalayauk. She was born on June 28 at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage and she was born with her eyes wide open.

She is beautiful and very wise, I think.

What else is there? Life is good.


  1. Congratulations! Your gene pool is doing really well.

  2. :) Mine doesn't seem to be all that dominant here.