Home, Sweet, Home

Alaskan Native Life, Pride

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Home, for this Girl, is a small island off the tip of the Alaskan Peninsula, an island bursting with awesome scenery, abundant wildlife, and great people. Popof Island is where my home is, a small town built around a creek that opens up to a harbor. The town itself is named Sand Point, surrounded by mountains, bays, and islands that make up the Shumagin Islands.

As I reminisce of my home, I can visualize the foreground; the Unga Mountains shadowed by a glowing sunset, fishing boats criss-crossing the bay, and eagles swooping from the skies to catch their bounty from the sea. I can smell the rocky beaches blanketed by kelp in the mornings, and the scent of smoke-houses filled with salmon. I can hear the waves crashing on the rocky shore, the chatter of good-spirited towns’ folk, and the clanking & clatter which echos from the boat harbor and neighboring cannery. Never shall I ever forget the taste of fresh clams fried in a half shell, cutting into bidarkies still soaked with saltwater, the first salmon of the season grilled to perfection, and most of all, the king crab that is pulled from the ocean to savour and enjoy with family and friends.

Fishing is the lifes’ blood for my small town surrounded by ocean. The waters are abundant with numerous fish that sustain our livelihoods, but we are always in awe by the enormous sea lions, playful otters, and the occasional pods of whales that surface as they travel through the strait. The wildlife does not only inhabit our waters; it’s vastness includes a herd of Buffalo that roam free on the eastern side of the island and the Ptarmigan that return to the tundra in flocks that land to forage, their feathers camouflaged mimicking the seasons’ colors. 

Home Sweet Home is beyond the senses of sight, sound, or smell. It’s the heartfelt warmth that supercedes everything else, a warmth that runs through your soul. Family, heritage, and culture that grows roots into the land.