Dear Grandpa,

Guess what. I am in protest. After we had your memorial potlatch in 2018, I began to fully focus on my master’s program. On November 18, that same year Clinton raped me. Oh grandpa, I am sorry that happened. I have felt shame and guilt since. But that incident drove me out of Fairbanks.

“Get out of Fairbanks and stay away,” you would tell me. As soon as I could, I followed your advice. I didn’t fully realize the weight of your statement until that morning.

It’s ok now, I got out and found my dream job at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The one that uncle Paul was president at when it started in 1997 or 98. I can’t remember. Grandpa – I am getting older now. I have gray hairs and I forget things like how my mom does or grandma. It annoys me how much I’m like them. But I have your spirit.

Anyway the gray hairs don’t matter because people still treat me like a little girl. My friends don’t take me seriously. My coworkers are scared to speak up.

I don’t know what to do but I spoke up. I am scared and angry and I don’t want to live in this world anymore. I want to go where my cousins are. I want to go where you are. I want to party and bullshit. I am tired of these weak leaders in Alaska. These fake ass natives, the ones who only become native when it’s an opportunity.

Just like what Andy Teuber did. I met this girl named Savanah at ANTHC. She started a few months after me. We bonded quickly, she was from Rampart and I tell everyone you were born there. Savanah was abused in her time at ANTHC and now I am doing what you taught me to do.

Grandpa, I’m in protest until these organizations everywhere take a stand with Savanah. I am standing with Savanah and demanding fair and equitable pay for myself and a job that suits the skills and value I bring to the organization and I demand that executive team be removed and the right people be put in charge.

Grandpa I don’t know how to do this and I am really scared. But I am doing what you taught me to do. You taught me to stand up for myself, to stand up for my people. Well grandpa, Rampart people are my people, and Savanah is my people.

I’ll be ok, I am taking care of myself. I am drinking water. Oh yeah, I am not eating meat right now for Lent. But I am eating lots of whole plant based foods. Tell aunty Raynie I miss her. Ok grandpa I gotta go. Please watch over me. <3 Amenda (I never could tell if you meant to spell my name that way or what).


Leave a Reply