As I was speaking in several SE Alaska villages while campaigning for a Sealaska board seat, I talked about growing up with adversity and the saving grace of the unconditional love of a grandmother. And for me, my Aunt and Uncle, Augusta and Jerry and cousin Mel.
Without identity you are lost. I’m certain I would be lost if it wasn’t for my grandmothers in this photo – especially my great-grandmother Susie Abraham (third from the left) who let me know where I belong.
I felt very vulnerable speaking about this until I met an Elder named Virginia Mata in Ketchikan. Without knowing my speech, she came upon this subject of grandparents and showed me how a grandparent would pull her close – (she pulled me close by holding my hands) – Now, as she was describing what we both knew growing up, I felt her power – Wow! She left me empowered and I gave my speech with self-assurance. What would we do without grandparents?