by Peter Twitchell
COVID-19 did a lot of damage in lost revenue to everyone, loss of life, loss of work and small businesses, reduced funding to schools, lost revenue to colleges due to reduced classes and dorm occupancy, social distancing, and increasing costs to keep facilities functional.
We were all negatively impacted across Alaska, the United States, and worldwide. We are just waking up to the devastations caused but through in all in 2020 we stuck together as families and communities.
People have always supported and shared our resources, it is part of our Native culture. There’s strength in working together.
We’re changing by moving into the technological age. We can’t live without it. Our children are on a career path as we guide them, making sure they have options in how they want to apply themselves.
We guided our kids to go to school and apply themselves, because that is the thing to do to succeed in life. Twelve years of school, then college or trade school. It is good to see the education system reaching out to districts like the Lower Yukon. Their students go to their schools in Anchorage for hands-on learning, partnering up that way to help them excel in modern technology across the state of Alaska accelerating learning and understanding.
Also the conferences our students from rural Alaska attend at the Alaska Federation of Natives gatherings where they learn traditional ways from our Elders. It is very important to always remember where we came from and who we are.
We also help our kids to get their drivers permits and licenses and motivate them to embrace education to realize a sense of independence.
Some will move forward to get their welders certificates, building trades, etc. We can help our sons and daughters secure a brighter future.