Here's my September 2011 interview with Danielle Desruisseaux on All Lit Up, KSJD Radio in Cortez, Colorado, whose fall membership drive is currently under way.
The brown and white object in the sign, I'm told on good authority, is a pinto bean.
I am Iñupiaq, and I live most of this lifetime without my language and sometimes that pain becomes too much to carry. Most often I’m not even aware I carry that energy around in me, but sometimes it leaves me in deep, almost violent waves of tears. These are ancestral tears. I am absolutely positive it’s not just me crying, it’s all of my relatives who have passed away who are witnessing our younger generations' lives without their language. This is a collective and generational weeping.”This younger generation has grown up understanding that they don’t have the language because their parents and grandparents were punished for using it—but in a very real sense, they don’t really understand what this means because they weren’t there and they haven’t felt, on a purely visceral level, what it means. Fiction can take them there and let them experience it and through experiencing it, they can understand and through understanding they can heal....
|Photo by Sally Canzoneri|