The 2013 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention this past October was memorable in many ways, but no more so than the closing remarks delivered by Lance Twitchell, Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Languages at University of Alaska Southeast.
“We’re protecting our children, our women, our men, our Elders. We’re listening to the cue of the ancestors and repeating their wishes,” Twitchell said to the AFN delegates. “We’re not reading about what has happened. We’re creating the story of our own transformation. We’re not waiting for anyone to help or tell us it’s okay or that it’s a good time to do that.”
His address was at once inspiring and a call to action. “We need to unite and see what the world is like when we freely give compliments and hope instead of gossip and hate.”
Twitchell was born in Skagway of Tlingit, Haida, Yup’ik and Sami ancestry.
To watch the entire 18 minute speech, click here: