Over the past few years, acknowledging the Indigenous roots of the places we call home has become more common. This is especially true in Alaska, a state rich with indigenous history and the state with the highest percentage of Native people in its population.
Alaska, however, also has a rapidly growing non-Native population that may not completely and accurately understand that this state has been and always will be a Native place. Why is it important for new Alaskans to know their home state’s indigenous roots? What are some respectful and productive ways to do this?
Join us as we explore these questions and more in today’s episode of Hometown, Alaska.
Guests and their backgrounds:
Melissa Shaginoff is part of the Udzisyu (caribou) and Cui Ui Ticutta (fish-eater) clans from Nay’dini’aa Na Kayax (Chickaloon Village, Alaska). She is an Ahtna and Paiute person, an artist, a social activist and currently the curator of Alaska Pacific University’s Art Galleries. Her work is shaped by the structure and processes of the Dene ceremony of potlatch. Melissa has participated in the Island Mountain Arts Toni Onley Artist Project in Wells, British Columbia, as well as the Sheldon Jackson Museum Artist Residency in Sitka, Alaska. She has been published in the Alaska Humanities FORUM Magazine, First American Art Magazine, Inuit Art Quarterly and the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center Learning Lab.
Ruth (Łchavaya K’isen) Miller is a Dena’ina Athabaskan and Ashkenazi Russian Jewish woman, raised in Dgheyay Kaq (Anchorage), Alaska. She is a member of the Curyung Tribe from the Lake Iliamna region, and also has roots in Bristol Bay. She is a recent graduate from Brown University, built on occupied Wampanoag and Narragansett lands, and received a BA in Critical Development Studies with a focus on Indigenous resistance and liberation. Ruth is the Climate Justice Director for Native Movement, a matriarchal grassroots Indigenous organization that fights for the rights of Indigenous peoples, our lands and waters, and justice for our ancestors and descendants.
HOST: E.J. David
- Ruth Miller, Climate Justice Director for Native Movement
- Melissa Shaginoff, curator of Alaska Pacific University’s Art Galleries
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- LIVE: Monday, April 5, 2021 at 10 a.m.
- RE-AIR: Monday, April 5, 2021 at 8:00 p.m.