by Peter Twitchell
Here’s a motto I saw recently on the cap of someone who used to work on the North Slope: “Survival – Learn to Return”. I believe the same holds true for our children.
We are stewards of our sons and daughters, just like our parents and grandparents taught us in the beginning of our life, “Respect your Elders”. Stop whatever it is you are doing and listen to what your mom and dad tell you.
I believe this is not practiced widely anymore like it was in the 1950s in all of our villages, when our parents and grandparents taught the children our Yup’ik values, Cup’ik values. It was like each village had a textbook guide to a good life.
In later times I saw it in the Bible: Obey your mother and father that your life on earth may be long. Our native values coincide with what God teaches us. We must return to that basic principle.
Kids mirror mom and dad today. Many have forgotten how to respect themselves and in turn respect everyone around them including our Earth. Schools must make this teaching a part of our schools curriculum so that we can survive and return to the basics of life.