Letter: Homeless need helping hand

June 28, 2013 

Tonight, watching the news concerning the homeless situation in Anchorage, the thought hit me yet again that Native corporations such as NANA and Calista might have a partial solution or a helping hand to offer their people.

I have fought for Native rights and equality all my life. Maybe it’s because my mom was a Sami Finn, which meant that our people were considered backward reindeer herders there in Finland. 

So they say that 42 percent of homeless are Native Alaskans. That’s a pretty big number.

What I’ve always valued about Native culture is their sense of extended family and respect for elders, and not farming elders out to live, forgotten, in some government system.

I get that some of these people were kicked out of the villages. I get that I’m some “Whitey” saying stuff.

Actually, I’m indigenous too. I just don’t get a paycheck for it because Europe didn’t have the Alaska Native movement.

OK. It’s a movement that should keep on moving. Show me why I’ve admired your culture now.

— Lillian K. Staats


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