LEADERSHIP AND STRENGTH IN BARROW, ALASKA
Since 2009, we have partnered with community leaders to collaboratively design a project that shares community members’ stories about living well in Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska. This project draws from the Iñupiat Values and the Iñupiaq Learning Framework as models for leadership, strength and healing. Our project goal is to collect these stories for the community and future generations.
We use a community-based framework to show how women and men across generations build leadership, strength and community well-being. We root our work in a participatory and inclusive approach where research and learning projects are part of larger decolonization processes.
“It’s important to also hear those stories, face them, tell those stories because we can’t move past something that we’re stuck in. Those stories have to be told, they have to be acknowledged and that’s something that’s part of the healing process: acceptance, forgiveness and acceptance are huge. And that’s where a lot of my strength comes from.”