Center for Alaska Native Health Research
Institute of Arctic Biology
205 Arctic Health Research Building

 

Phone: 907-474-5528

1-888-470-5576 toll-free within Alaska 

Fax: 907-474-5700

uaf-iab-canhr@alaska.edu

Drawing on historical strengths to prevent problems in the future

Ten-year-old August Seton sat in a small crowded community building in Hooper Bay surrounded by people of all ages, from little kids to elders. He clutched a piece of brightly colored fleece in his hand, slowly stitching the ends together.

“I’m gonna sew this way, and then turn it around and then go back that way,” he explained, pulling the thread taut.

He was making a face mask for his mom to block the cold coastal wind when she travels on a snow machine through their village and other parts of southwest Alaska.

For August, learning to sew isn’t just a practical skill. “I like about it because it reminds me of my grandma,” he said. “She used to like to sew. All the time.”

August was doing more than taking a sewing class. He was connecting with the people around him and remembering his family and his culture. He was participating in Qungasvik, a community-driven program that uses culture to help young people feel safer and more connected with their community.

Click here to read the full article from Alaska Public Media.