Real Native was a slur used when I was growing up for people who act, talk, walk, think, or even dress too native. Like being native was a bad thing. Real Native was and is still used a slur used by people so colonized and assimilated to western society that they themselves look down on their own identity, humanity and way of being. Well today, I’m celebrating those who are Real Native.
Real Native reflects truth in our small Alaska communities. Real Native celebrates the people who make rural Alaska home. Who are experts at life in the north. Who have respect for all living things. Who know how to take care of this earth. Who bring perspective and knowledge this world needs.
Who am I? I’m just a former reporter and news director at KNOM Radio in Nome, Alaska. I am now a freelance writer in my hometown of Unalakleet. I cut fish, make seal oil, and after decades of learning in western education systems, I am thirsty for indigenous knowledge, Inupiaq language, and a deeper understanding of the Inuit mindset.