Updated: Jun 20, 2020
To explore what it means to be colonized, and how or why this has been detrimental to Alaska Native life; to explore the Alaska Native history with colonization; and to explore Alaska Native resiliency and how we can mend relationships with ourselves and with non-Natives, Coffee & Quaq interviews Ayyu Qassataq and Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle.
"That’s part of the awakening that needs to happen is that the world that we’re living in right now, in the United States the white western paradigm that we're in is not neutral. That’s part of the collective lie that we’re living under. It's that all things are equal and this is neutral and unbiased. But it is not neutral and unbiased to this Inupiaq girl, growing up never, ever seeing or hearing about our brilliance our contributions to the world. That just fed my feelings of invisibility. That fed my feelings of not being of value, not being important. Hearing things like wow you’re really pretty for a native girl or wow you’re really smart for a native girl. Those double-edged compliments that cut at your spirit. And you don’t even know it. The system that we’re in is certainly not neutral or unbiased. And it understanding that most people don’t know that and it’s finding loving ways to help them see what we see." -Ayyu Qassataq
"That’s what the power of our culture is and our identity it brings so much joy and strength that we can be experiencing the toughest of poverty and third-world conditions but we still so are blessed and rich with where we live and how we live and how we carry responsibility for each other. We really try to let these lawmakers see that. Because if we’re going to address some of the toughest challenges before us they have to understand why culture is so important and empowerment through culture is the only way we are going to make our communities sustainable because it’s our culture that gives us the relevance to where we live.” -Megan Alvanna-Stimpfle