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Fifty Miles from Tomorrow A Memoir of Alaska and the Real PeopleNunavut tigummiunHold on to the land It was just fifty years ago that the territory of Alaska officially became the state of Alaska But no matter who has staked their claim to the land it has always had a way of enveloping souls in its vast icy embrace For William L Iggiagruk Hensley Alaska has been his home his identity and his cause Born on the shores of Kotzebue Sound twenty nine miles north of the Arctic Circle he was raised to live the traditional seminomadic life that his Iñupia ancestors had lived for thousands of years It was a life of cold and of constant effort but Hensley’s people also reaped the bounty that nature provided In Fifty. The author states it clearly at the beginning Most stories of Alaska are people from other places moving to Alaska finding themselves and talking about it The stories of Native people don't get told Hensley shares his story of being Inupia as a child living as people in Alaska have lived for generations going to school which worked to erase his culture getting involved in politics as a young man to work to preserve land for Native people then realizing the ultimate importance of preserving the spirit traditions and culture of Natives For me it was another book that put real shape and substance to something I only had vague knowledge of previously It's a fascinating read and necessary for learning about how we the USA should act in terms of not treating white culture as the neutral culture that everyone needs to merge intoI've been thinking so much about the points Henley brings up about school For Inupia children to uote the book The schools were designed not to reinforce their identity but to destroy it In the place of a well rounded individual who knew who he was who knew his language his family's history and the values that sustained his people the powers that be wanted an individual trained in arithmetic English American history and economics The children were not allowed to speak their native language and instead of learning the skills that had kept their ancestors alive for generations were learning the standard American history multiplication tables the usual The Inupia children were being trained for low wage jobs while their traditional way of life was intentionally being erased Even now in all parts of the country we give our kids to the government for seven hours of every day five days a week and trust that our children are being taught the right things That's a scary thought for all of us Also Both the beginning and the end of the book have information about the Inupia language bonus interesting material

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Miles from Tomorrow Hensley offers us the rare chance to immerse ourselves in a firsthand account of growing up Native Alaskan There have been books written about Alaska but they’ve been written by Outsiders settlers Hensley’s memoir of life on the tundra offers an entirely new perspective and his stories are captivating as is his account of his devotion to the Alaska Native land claims movement As a young man Hensley was sent by missionaries to the Lower Forty eight so he could pursue an education While studying there he discovered that the land Native Alaskans had occupied and to all intents and purposes owned for millennia was being snatche. Willie Hensley is one of the most prominent tenacious ambitious politicians in contemporary Alaska I've heard him speak on several occasions and always thought his personality especially as he makes himself known through his speaking voice enigmatic No wonder Hensley lays it all out in this book The height and distance of his life's arc is remarkable The story contains much information about the establishment of Alaska Native people in the new state's political discourse But for people already versed in that social history what stands out most is the portrait of a man grappling with almost unbearably heavy uestions of duty respect cultural identity and personal destiny

free read Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People

review Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People ´ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Å Nunavut tigummiunHold on to the land It was just fifty years ago that the territory of Alaska officially became the state of Alaska But no matter who has staked their claim to the landD away from them Hensley decided to fight back  In 1971 after years of Hensley’s tireless lobbying the United States government set aside 44 million acres and nearly 1 billion for use by Alaska’s native peoples Unlike their relatives to the south the Alaskan peoples would be able to take charge of their economic and political destiny The landmark decision did not come overnight and was certainly not the making of any one person But it was Hensley who gave voice to the cause and made it real Fifty Miles from Tomorrow is not only the memoir of one man; it is also a fascinating testament to the resilience of the Alaskan ilitusiat the Alaskan spir. This is a fascinating perspective on life above the Arctic Circle from the subsistence lifestyle of the past to today looking back on what has been gained and lost through Alaskan statehood and contact with the rest of the world I recommend it to anyone interested in understanding native culture particularly in Alaska but also among indigenous people broadlyWilliam L Iggiagruk Hensley's background of first being immersed in the indigenous way of life and thought and then the white educated way of life and thought makes him a particularly well positioned interpreter of one way of life to the other It's different from someone who started as an outsider and then went to live among native people He is also obviously gifted as a writer and leader passionate about the welfare of his peopleHensley was born in 1941 to an InupiaEskimo mother and a Lithuanian fur trader father he never knew Neglected by his mother he was adopted by her family who taught him to fish hunt gather berries care for the sled dogs etc His great aunt and uncle became his parents and the extended family lived in a one room tarpaper house in the winter and sod house in the summer without electricity or plumbing They faced many potentially life threatening situations including severe cold thin ice and diseases and injuries with no medical help available nearby His adoptive father and sister in law died from botulism from food gone bad His life took a crucial turn when a Baptist missionary arranged for him to attend a church boarding school in Tennessee far from everything and everyone he knew He went on to attend George Washington University and the University of Alaska but never forgot where he came from When the native land rights issue arose he became a passionate advocate playing a key role in the settlement to preserve some Alaskan lands for their original inhabitants and to create the native associations and corporations that play an important role in Alaskan politics today He also ended up serving 10 years in the state legislature Eventually he turned from preserving land to the importance of preserving native cultures and languagesThe stories of his early life are fascinating He is not so forthcoming about his later life other than to confess he neglected his family