It will never end until we say it is time

We must come together as a whole to stop the use of alcohol

by Victoria Hill

Hello, my name is Victoria Hill; I reside in the village of Hooper Bay. I am writing this letter, to voice my concern about the use and abuse of alcohol. I’m speaking out, mostly on the behalf of our future generations. The manufacturing of it in the villages is getting out of hand. It is not a part of our culture.

I was told a story of when alcohol came to our shores. Many of our ancestors did not know what the bottle was or what it contained. One of the villagers took it and drank out of it, becoming drunk. The other villagers did not know what came over him, as he was no longer himself, but a violent man. In their fear they tied him up to a pole, because they did not like who he had become. It was the bottle, full of “spirits”.

That’s what they call alcohol: spirits. It alters our state of mind. It changes our personality. Bringing us almost to our real selves. Of who we really are. You see, we all wear masks, but alcohol, alcohol brings “out” our true nature.

The “spirits” in the bottle help us “achieve” bravery. Help us “achieve” what we always wanted to do, or say what we think is “needed” to be said.

That’s not bravery, its cowardice. It’s not okay, just because we are under the influence of alcohol. We all have made mistakes because of the use of alcohol. I thought I was on top of the world, because of alcohol. But I wasn’t. We all weren’t.

I wanted to gather some info from our children, and their thoughts and feelings of alcohol. We all have our own stories of our family members having alcohol problems. We all have our own scars.

At what price must we pay, to finally put alcohol at bay? More destruction? More broken families? More sexual abuse? More violence? More lies? We are losing this never ending battle with alcohol. It will never end, until we say it is time, and folks, It. Is. That. Time.

Our people are dying. Our children are hurting. Our elders are leaving, and we aren’t learning a darn thing.

We must come together as a whole to stop the use of alcohol. I have read stories from communities up north, concerned parents coming together and protesting against known drug dealers and getting them out of town. The drug dealers had no choice but to leave town. All because of the concerned parents.

Is alcohol so “normal” in our villages, we are not afraid of it, but we are of drugs?? Are we stark raving, totally, blinking daft?!?!

We all have a sober friend in our lives. Those that suffer from the grips of alcohol, find new friends, sober friends. Aren’t you tired of being hungover? Aren’t you tired of looking for your next fix? Aren’t you tired of all the drama associated with alcohol? How much more of that can you take? Before you are finally tired of it all.

It’s time to link up and take charge of our villages. What are we leaving our children behind? Memories of drunk parents, of drunk sisters/brothers. Of drunk uncles/ aunts. A broken family.

It’s time to stop. It’s time to quit.

Victoria Hill is a resident of Hooper Bay, AK.