Splitting table holds memories, cultural knowledge

Excerpts:

We spend hours at the table splitting our salmon. Both young and old hold the ulu as we cut hundreds of wild salmon that feed us during the long, cold winter months. Everyone has a job and everyone contributes, even the tiniest ones. Aiden, my 4-year-old great-nephew, is charged with washing our fish and taking care of his younger brother, younger cousin and, this summer, a younger sister.

There are many more stories about our traditional heritage that need to be heard, written and shared, especially because our way of life is being threatened by the proposed Pebble Mine and its industrial mining district. The large-scale mining could directly threaten the salmon that Alaska Native people have depended upon for thousands of years to sustain our culture. Anglo American, the company behind the project, says that the mine won't harm the fish. But, we know better. Salmon are very sensitive to change, and we do not want to be the experiment that sees if wild salmon and a massive open pit mine can co-exist. The risk is too high. The pristine waters and undeveloped lands of my home are one of the last strongholds for wild salmon, and we are fighting to protect this. Please join our efforts to stop the Pebble project and to protect the salmon that we hold sacred. Quyana.