Alaska Native culture


Janessa, Angela and Ermelina in 2006 and 2020. Photos by Gonzalez family and Samantha Meza Photography

As the seasons change, I find myself reflecting, purging and thinking of the future. In 2012, I shared some things I’m grateful for. The list popped up on my memories. It’s amazing how things change over time yet stay the same. I’m still grateful for these things but have a new appreciation for ways I’m grateful for them.

Things that I am grateful for (written by Angela Łot’oydaatlno Gonzalez)

I’m grateful for family and friends who love me and to be able to laugh and cry with them.
I’m grateful for experiences that help me to be a better person.
I’m grateful for opportunities presented and being able to pursue dreams.
I’m grateful for life.
I’m grateful for the ability to provide for my kids and to make a home for them with my husband.
I’m grateful for my Ancestors.
I’m grateful to be able to help others.
I’m grateful to live in Alaska and to be able to enjoy the great outdoors.
I’m grateful for clean air, water, food and earth.
I’m grateful for the little shared moments with my kids that make me smile and surprises.
I’m grateful for challenges and mistakes I’ve made even though they can be overwhelming.
I’m grateful to know what pain feels like. I’m a better person for having lived through tough times, and maybe can help someone else in the future.
I’m grateful for the ability to smile and to make others smile.
I’m grateful to have listened to stories from Elders.
I’m grateful to be able to so easily connect with people from all over.
I’m grateful for my imperfections.
I’m grateful for thoughtful and honest people.
I’m grateful for you.
I’m grateful to be able to learn Athabascan cultures and ways of living that will help me and my family well into the future.
I’m grateful to capture moments in time in many different ways.

Over the past year, there’s a lot of things I’ve missed, like seeing family and sharing tradition foods with family and in community. There is so much more to be grateful for, including those who have shared their stories on the Athabascan Woman blog. Enaa baasee’!

I’ll leave you with this video on missing Native foods. I enjoy following #NativeTikTok, and how we use humor to share stories.


I sure miss foods from home. What foods do you miss the most from gatherings? #potlatch #nativefood #nativehumor

♬ original sound – Tati

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