My people, my home

by Peter Twitchell

Alaskan Native Elders Group of which I am a member meets every month at the Native Valley Clinic upstairs second floor and you’re always invited to join us for lunch and discuss upcoming events such as our dinner/dance, which is coming up March 4 at the American Legion’s Club.

You’re invited to join us.

If there’s any kind of problem getting the clubhouse, they will move the date up to a final date sometime in March 2 and third week. That’s if we can’t get it on March 4 for some reason such as American legion meeting or something

We just had our lunch and gift exchange last month. Come join us – the “Willow Buds” Country Fiddling – a group I started in Anchorage in 2016 will be performing our hits. Don’t miss it. You’re welcome to take pictures and record us.

I couldn’t imagine a population of 700,000 Alaskans living in the Matanuska Susitna Valley. When I moved here in 2019, June 2, to be exact in my mind it was crowded but the area of land was immense.

There was and still is nonstop traffic going east to west, west to east, north to south, and south to north. It is mind-boggling for this villager from Bethel, Alaska where the population was 200 when I was a kid.

When I first moved here to the valley I felt like a number.

Then I started meeting native people from all walks of life from many villages on the Kuskokwim, Yukon, and Athabascan Country. People like Charlie Kilongak, John R. Andrew, and I ran into Bob Aloysius and his daughter Sophia, Fred Coyle and his wife Irene, Frank Hunter, David Jackson, Liz David, Nus Andrew, Mad Dog, Carl Jack, and David Chanar.

My children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren,

I felt right at home singing Jimmie Rodgers.

When I first came to town, Louise Charles, Joe Coolidge, Paul Fisher, Johnny York, Uksuq, and countless other people from back home – Bethel, Russian Mission, Holy Cross, Pilot Station, Mountain Village, Emmonak, Kipnuk, Nunivak Island, Nondalton, Dillingham, Toksook, and more people from rural Alaska are moving into the Anchorage/Kenai/Mat-Su Valley and beyond.

I felt like I belong seeing these people when I first moved out of Bethel into the Valley. Some have moved on to the spirit world.

Thank you to everyone who made me feel right at home.