Creating Opportunities for Yourself

I have been very honored to travel to Washington D.C. this past weekend to talk about the struggles and success that Indian Country is facing. A new initiative called the Champions for Change has been launched through the Aspen Institute created by Senator Dorgan. 

I can not express how great this initiative is, because the goal is to highlight youth in Indian Country and their success stories. Which in hopes will inspire other young indigenous people to step forward, and speak up about all of the issues we can overcome. 

I not only know that this is going to be a great step of achievement for Native Americans, but I also know it is going to save lives, because its another opportunity to show we are strong, cultural individuals. 

To find out more about the Champions for Change initiative or if you would like to apply please visit (www.cnay.org)

Happy Holidays Hope4Alaska Readers, and I am more than thankful for you! :) 

A Tribute of Memories

I remember a few years ago, I would look at my Tata’s (Grandpa’s) walls, on them were two pieces of paper that declared my uncle had went to college. I would say to my self I am going to get a college degree. Let it be hold, we had lost my uncle this past week. 

I can not express how great of a loss he is to our family. When I was younger, he gave me a nickname that stuck with me until this very day. I used to hold his daughter when she was born, only five years old, and one proud cousin. I remember every time my dad would take us to Anchorage, we would stay with him, and play with his ferrets. So many memories. 

As of now, I apologize to those that read this a head of time. A year ago, my uncle came and supported me at the Alaska Marketplace,my first competition for money for Hope4Alaska and told me that “we need this in our state, I am proud of you”.  A few months ago, I received a message, disclosed was every sign that my uncle had become suicidal. I panicked, I talked with  him, and now all we have left of him is memories. 

Memories, are always cherished, no matter what. A suicide is the hardest loss one can have. Alaska has lost another life to our for ever long battle, suicide. This was not just any life, he was my dads brother, my grandparent’s child, a best friend, a father, an uncle. 

My mind is on my family, all across the state of Alaska. I wish I can be with everyone right now. I wish I can take the pain away, and make everything better. 

Finally Seeing Light

We have come so far to see this light. As part of Indian Country, and our state we are ten steps further than we were last year. 

By just talking about suicide, making it a less taboo subject and creating an atmosphere for youth and adults to connect we have combatted the worst of it so far. We have shown that we will not let this effect our families and friends like it has been before. 

I can not say how proud I am, and can not express how heart touching it is to get to this mile stone. We all do not want our future generations to feel the same pain we had faced, as friends that lost friends and families that have lost loved ones. 

As a state we had made it this far. The real question now, is how do we go further?

Please read the article that highlights my great friend and mentor Erin Bailey’s accomplishments and how Native Americans in Indian country come together to help each other realize what one suicide can do. 

Much love. 

Life at San Diego is amazing. Although, I spent the greater half of my day studying I can not tell you how appreciative I am of how many people helped me get here. 
It amazes me how many people just want to see you strive and do your best yet still be so humble and giving. I was never the person to look at things in a brighter light but coming here made me realize that its up to you on where you want to go, weather you like it or not. 
I honestly can not believe I am in college already. I just wanted to give a quick up date, a shout out and let the world know that I am going to be absolutely happy. Much love. 

Life at San Diego is amazing. Although, I spent the greater half of my day studying I can not tell you how appreciative I am of how many people helped me get here. 

It amazes me how many people just want to see you strive and do your best yet still be so humble and giving. I was never the person to look at things in a brighter light but coming here made me realize that its up to you on where you want to go, weather you like it or not. 

I honestly can not believe I am in college already. I just wanted to give a quick up date, a shout out and let the world know that I am going to be absolutely happy. Much love. 

Its National Suicide Prevention and Awareness week. Alaska has come so far with suicide prevention. Which gives us so much push to go further, because one is to many. This week please pass an act of kindness, tell someone you care or just make someones day!

Normal Kid Worries…

I am not going to lie…sometimes I just want to have normal kid worries.

I wish I can just worry about when I am going to get a new phone, and how I am going to make friends at a new school, in a new state. How am I going to pay for all of these books? Yes, these are worries but they are not top on my priorities list.

I have forced my self into the adult world through this campaign, and I don’t regret it one bit. One peice of knowledge that I have learned and think is a very important lesson in life is people are always going to walk in and out of your life and you don’t realize that it has happend until they are already out the door.

The real true value of this lesson is how you deal with it and trust me people are going to be pulling you left and right. Saying you should do this, rather than that.

Do not make it a priority to get someone back in your life that has already left.

It probably means that they have left for a reason. It will not only help you grow as a person but it will benifit your surroundings. To make this a priorty means to that you are putting your self second, and chasing something unreal or not there anymore.

Its not going to be easy to watch someone walk right out of your life, especially if they mean so much to you but you can’t do anything about it.

Besides, whoever said life was easy? No one.

But we all know that life goes on.


Suicide Prevention Week is September 9-14th! The Alaska Statewide Suicide Prevention Council , AASG, and the Department of Education are teaming up this year to provide high schools with materials to do the three things to live for activitity! If you need help or would like to start an activity in your school email ma2tna@acsalaska.net or message me! =]
Suicide Prevention Week is September 9-14th! The Alaska Statewide Suicide Prevention Council , AASG, and the Department of Education are teaming up this year to provide high schools with materials to do the three things to live for activitity! If you need help or would like to start an activity in your school email ma2tna@acsalaska.net or message me! =]

Becoming a Role Model

This past summer, I really went on a jouney to find my self. I left Alaska, and am proud to say that I now live in my own apartment, and am very homesick. Yet, that I also pulled back from the things I have been doing this past year to rest and to think about what my next step in life is. Every so often I stopped and asked my self “is this who I want to be?” “Do I want people to see me as this type of person?”

Yes, I have made plently of mistakes in the past even some recently that I am not proud of and that is why I want to change. I want to be able to be a role model for my brother and sisters, for my sisters children and for my community. I want to show my mom that I am a hard worker just like her, and that I am responsible. I want to show my friends that I can have fun without drugs. Its something I knew coming into the summer, that I was going to work on making my self better.

Its true that young children are looking up to you, even when you least expect it. Right now in the eyes of our younger generation, is us (teens/ young adults) and yet, we can’t even carry on a conversation that doesn’t involve partying. I am a strong believe that everything starts out young, when you are exposed to it once it lives with you.

Just like when my Uncle commited suicide, I was five. It lives with my family and I till this day, and it still hurts. Its an option and that is the same for everything else. I have such strong passion in changing our surroundings in the villages, because we deserve better. But I also believe that people need, “to want” to change in order to make the change. We keep talking about how bad the high rates of rape, abuse, suicide, and we know they are horrible, but its not going to change unless we make it change, by becoming role models.

It may live with our generation, and our parents generation but we have the tools and resources to change it for the next. Its time that people start seeing the real values of our way of life.

Yes, we are on a long journey, but the reward is limitless.

Ask your self, “Is this the person I want to be?” and make the change.

We Breathe Again- Heartbreak and Hope in Alaska

A very heart touching documentary is being made in Alaska, everytime I watch the preview to this documentary, it never gets old. (Watch the preview by clicking the title)

Thank you Evon Peter and team!

Two Worlds for Indian Country

Today, as I was sitting in at this conference called the First Stewards Symposium here in D.C. a lady was talking about how all Native Americans are living two lives. It took me back to this movie that my native cooperation made, where they filmed young Alaskan natives using technology and still trying to re-learn their culture. This help me realize, that many of our Alaskan Native youth and their parents are living two lives.

They are striving to keep their culture alive and trying to keep up with the westernized world their land is becoming. Not only that, the westernized world is starting to become ten steps in head of its self. Recent college students who now have their undergraduate degree sit here knowing that we have to get our PhD.s because no one will higher them with out it. Making high school diplomas more diluted, and possibly worthless.Yet many minority students only get their high school diplomas.

Native Americans sit here today and watch their culture crumble under the massive weight of western civilization, juggling two worlds. Culture. Education.

This is its own paradox, and something I believe contributes to the large statistics of suicide in Indian Country. No, I am not saying that Native Americans struggle with education. I am saying that we struggle because we are forced on two opposite ends of the table, the ones of our elders and the one that we have to create our selves because no one else has done it for us.