‘I’m not separate from the land, I’m a part of it’

#iamthewest: Giving voice to the people that make up communities in the region.

 

JODY JOSEPH-POTTS
Han Gwich’in tribal leader, mother, guide
Eagle Village, Alaska

“My parents raised my brother and me here, all over the lands around Eagle, with a traditional subsistence way of life. I feel really fortunate to be raised on this land — I’m not separate from the land, I’m a part of it. It’s my driving force for the work that I do and my passion to protect this place. 

There’s this place in the high mountains where I take my kids to look for caribou, where our people have been making rock stacks on high points. When I think that my ancestors have been here, looking for caribou just like my kids and I are in 2022, it’s just so powerful. It ignites a fire in me to make sure that we are able to have these sacred places for the future.”

Emily Sullivan is a writer and photographer focused on outdoor recreation, community and environmental wellness, and the human experience. She is an athlete and a community organizer for climate justice, Arctic sustainability, and land issues in Alaska.

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