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Testimony

Submitted to the
Alaska Natives Commission
Social/Cultural Task Force at

Ft. Yukon, Alaska
June 9, 1993

ALASKA NATIVES COMMISSION
JOINT FEDERAL-STATE COMMISSION
ON
POLICIES AND PROGRAMS AFFECTING ALASKA NATIVES
4000 Old Seward Highway, Suite 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99503

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Witness List | PDF Version

 

TESTIMONY OF POLDINE CARLO

MS. CARLO: I wanted to say something on what Pat said about the Native people being jealous of other Native people that try to make a goal of their life and try to make a better life for themselves and their families. I experience that a lot and my family also. We were at a mining place in the village, coastal village, and those people really gave us a bad time. This one young fellow, he had a wife and two kids, he even used to call us through the winter at home, when me and my husband were alone, 1:00 at night the phone would ring and there would be this guy from this village; we people don't want you in this town, we're going to (indiscernible) your house out into the -- on the bank.

So it's really true what he said, you know. The Native people, instead of helping one another, they don't like to see their own kind making a better home for themselves. And they're always cutting you down. But let a white man come into the village, and they're all out to help that person. Now, what is the difference? Why is that?

And then look -- we're talking about Native language also. A lot of times when people talk about Native languages, say, well, it's the BIA or it's the priests, that's the reason why we lost our language. I -- when I was growing up, we were not allowed to talk Indian in our school, which was a Catholic school, because we were going there to learn our ABCís, arithmetic, spelling, and why should we talk Indian when the nuns didn't understand us? There we were there to learn from them. But soon as we got out of the school, everything was Indian-Even the kids have Indian names. And we just, la-la-la-la-la, blah-blah-blah-blah, in Indian, you know, not in school but outside of the school, that's all we talked was our Indian language.

People don't seem to understand that -- well, I'm speaking for Nulato. But that education that I got there from the nuns and the priests, there's no way that I could ever thank them enough for what they taught me. Because all through my lifetime, I had a beautiful life. There isn't anything that I regret that I have done. It's through the teaching of the nuns and the priests, and also my grandmother and my grandparents, my grandfather. They taught us the Indian of what which is right and wrong. The white man's way of what is right and wrong.

We were so scared of everything we did, you know, we were so afraid because of the strict ways we were taught in the Catholic way. But the first time I -- well, in our Catholic religion we have to go to confession in order to get excused for whatever wrong we did. So the first time a young man kissed me, I remember I was so scared to go to confession. I never went for about three months. And finally I had to go, you know, so I was telling the priest. And he said, well, it's not a sin, that's not a sin. But if you play around with fire, you (indiscernible), if you play around with fire, then you'll get burned, or something like that. But still, I didn't know what that was till long afterwards (laughter). I was telling my husband about it, and he said, this is what he meant (laughter).

So really, as I say, I -- there's just no way I can thank the whole ways that I was brought up, because I think I had a beautiful, wonderful life, a nice family, a good provider, and good, good family. So that's something that I have to always be thankful for, all through my life (indiscernible). Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Could you please state your name?

MS. CARLO: Poldine Carlo.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Thank you.

MR. SCHAEFFER: Our next speaker is going to be Titus Peter, but before we -- before I ask him to come up here and sit down, I'm going to have to catch a plane. I've got another meeting in Austria that Iíve got to go--

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: (Indiscernible).

MR. SCHAEFFER: (Indiscernible) flying to do. And what I wanted to do is just mention a couple of things, just in case somebody doesn't bring them up here for the record. Because I -- like all of you, I've been talking to other people here. And I wanted to bring up a couple things. And one of the elders here talked to me about ANICA. And I hadn't heard that anywhere else before. But the comments he made was that ANICA should be looked at, since it was a program that the BIA put together for -- to assist villages to get cheaper groceries and better food services and other supplies. And be felt that if had exceeded its usefulness, that they were now -- had just built their own little bureaucracy, didn't even support the state, all of their 35 employees in Seattle. And they placed their orders with Carr-Gottstein in Anchorage to send stuff to the villages. And not only that, but they put an extra mark-up on the costs so that they could pay dividends to their member stores every year. So they were actually charging more than the stores would get if they had some other system.

And he thought that if the -- the reasons that they first started were still valid, and that was to help the people get cheaper groceries, that we had to look at an alternative for ANICA. That was one.

The other one I wanted to bring up, one of the reasons I wanted to come here was -- and I hope John will talk a little more about it, but I still wanted to make a comment about it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE SPEAKER: Off record.

(Tape changed - Tape 2, Side 2)

 

This document was ocr scanned. We have made every attempt to keep the online document the same as the original, including the recorder's original misspellings or typos.

 
 

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Last modified July 27, 2011