Alaska life, Alaska Native culture

If I Were A Warrior

Arctic Valley near Anchorage. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
Arctic Valley near Anchorage. Photo by Angela Gonzalez

A poem written by Angela Gonzalez in November 1997

If I were a warrior,
We would all be warriors,
Fighting for our birth rights,
Inherent in all of us.

To survive we need each other,
This we call a war,
A war we all strive to understand,
To understand ourselves, our culture.

A culture we believe in,
Spirituality at all corners,
Of keeping moose meat and half dried fish,
On our tables – our sustenance.

Dry meat and fish. Photo by Eleanor Yatlin
Dry meat and fish. Photo by Eleanor Yatlin

With baaba (food), we feel good and healthy,
Healthy enough to say “I care”,

I care for all of my family,
Cousins, aunts, moms, dads, friends.

Friends and family help us remember,
Remember our past only to,
Help us get through the future,
A future that is unwritten.

Our future is unwritten,
We are the future,
What a thought to behold,
Keep your head high.

We have to remember who gave,
Gave us a future – grandparents,
We take care and love them,
They taught us all that we know.

My grandmothers, Lydia Simon and Alda Frank. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
My grandmothers, Lydia Simon and Alda Frank. Photo by Angela Gonzalez

Grandparents taught us through,
Our parents cared for us daily,
Little things like, anaa’sa’ baaba,
Yes, we are beholden to them.

If I was a warrior,
Only means that we are all warriors,
Our future is in our hands,
A war worth fighting for.

 

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