Magazine article Anglican Journal

They Will Still Be Here

Magazine article Anglican Journal

They Will Still Be Here

Article excerpt

MY FRIEND LARRY and I stood watching as the Arctic sun began its drop behind the seemingly endless ice and snow. It was beautiful. Tikigaq (Port Hope in English) is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the Americas. It is an Inupiat (Inuit) community, organized around its deep faith, constant spirituality and its living relationship to the land and sea.

Larry said, "When the cities of the south slip into the sea, the people of Port Hope will still be here-maybe a little higher up in the hills." He isn't lnupiat, but he has lived in Tikigaq most of his life. He knows of the many threats residents faced in recent years, including Operation Chariot's attempt to build a harbour on Alaska's north shore using nuclear detonations. For thousands of years, their genius for adaptive survival has kept Tikigaq alive and thriving. It is truly awe-inspiring.

One of the most damaging assumptions that arrived with colonialism was the idea that indigenous cultures would disappear. Perhaps this was because the cultures seemed so backward or Western culture so irresistible. Either way, no one expected indigenous cultures to survive. And for some, this excused assisting in their termination. …

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