by Alice Crow
At the direction of our mother, and in memory of our own late father who was Martin Moore’s Kusquqvak friend, I extend the Crow family’s appreciation for the life of our friend across generations—from Bethel on the lower Kusko to Emmonak on the Lower Yukon and across our diaspora.
Crows thank the Redfox, Johnson, and Moore families for sharing Martin Moore as he did his good works so all of our people could benefit from your family’s continued demonstration of a high standard of unwavering, visible, influential, right-footed, and consistent and ongoing care, advocacy, and right actions for the good of our people, our fish and game, our land, rivers and ecosystems, our steadfast and evolving lifeways, and our drive to achieve basic infrastructure across rural Alaska while fulfilling our full potential as real human beings of this land.
We acknowledge and thank you.
I am but one among many blest to come into my awareness as a real human being with Martin Moore and other good people engaged in robust fish talk with our folks while joyously eating boiled lush heads in our humble childhood home on the tundra beginning when I was a little girl.
I am also but one among many blest across my life with the steady provision of Martin Moore’s care-filled listening and counsel, loyal support and protection; his grounded example of deep thinking towards right living; and generous sharing of know-how.
I still keep his phone number in my cell contact list as a steadying reminder to keep a faithful can-do attitude while also being with the truth and among the people in the way I am taught to be in this world.
I acknowledge Martin Moore—like all of us— had tough times as he remained a true Yup’ik leader with a servant focus for every person.
He is a big man who centered, celebrated, and conducted himself to do all he could to protect and promote our way of life perfected across multiple millennia.
Our core value: Takaquciyaraq:
Cat tamalkuita takaqluki.
Takarnarquq. Takaqelaraqa. I respect Martin Moore very much and therefore bring his spoken thoughts into this space by quoting him from the late Justice Thomas Berger’s Report of the Alaska Native Review Commission published by the Inuit Circumpolar Conference in 1985. He signed his name on page 27 of our Village Journey when we convened at the Holy Family Cathedral on January 6, 2022 to laugh together and share a meal on the joyous occasion of Dora and Doy’s marriage.
After taking in testimony, Justice Berger surmised ANCSA promises as unfulfilled and ANCSA as a symbol of failed expectations. He acknowledged Martin Moore as the first of 1,450 witnesses in widespread public hearings conducted. He recorded this statement:
The land claims settlement act raises a lot of questions. The people here, if you talk to them on a person-to-person basis, will testify and tell you that they really don’t have anything as far as livelihood and welfare of the people are considered. The claims settlement act, to this date, has never put any food on the table yet. You could ask the people sitting here. They’re still living the same way they lived centuries and thousands of years ago. They don’t have jobs. They don’t have checks from the regional corporations. They’re still the same.
Martin Moore’s tone-setting and straightforward words reverberate across almost 40 years—almost two generations— to remind us to remain vigilant and razor-focused in taking on our significant work ahead in order to yield real progress and meaningful results for our people and God’s Country.
May we continue to call on him to stand firm and confident beside us—to envelop us— as we work to protect ourselves and our fish, our human and tribal rights, indeed our dignity as distinct human beings.
May his memory be eternal.
May we call in and draw on Martin Moore—among our ancestors who remain with us here—when we —whether seemingly alone or strong together—when we live the true strength in reaching for our ancestors. And by drawing them in, our ancestors continue to join us as we convene with strong hearts and minds to do good for all life of this land in all we do, each and every day—for the health and well-being in ourselves and each other and the lifeway Martin Moore lived and saw to us living too.
And I thank your family and church volunteers for gracious hospitality. We appreciate your care-filled preparations and ask blessings for the preparers.
Alice Rose Crow ~ Maar’aq
Holy Family Cathedral, Anchorage, AK
April 12, 2023