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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

 

MR. EATON: At this time, that is all that from anybody who has signed up so far. Is there anybody else here who would like to talk, and (indiscernible) has joined us, Donna Galbreath. Are you interested in going on record?

MS. GALBREATH: Sure.

MR. EATON: State your name, rank, and serial nurnber .

TESTIMONY OF DONNA GALBREATH

MS. GALBREATH: My name is Donna Galbreath and I'm a doctor. I work at (indiscernible), I work for Tanana Chiefs. I've addressed you before and I've talked with you about medical issue in Fairbanks. So I'm not going to focus on that too much. Heard a lot about subsistence. And I think everyone here realizes that, you know, subsistence is really important for this culture, for our culture to survive, for all the cultures in Alaska to survive. You know, it's an integral part of them. It's a part of who we are and what we do and how we live our lives. And, you know, how we feel about our spiritual world, how we feel about God, how we eat, how we dress. You know, it touches every aspect of our life.

I assume that this Commission was put in place because you value the Native cultures, because somebody values the Native cultures. And subsistence is a big part of that. You know, it has -- it -- without subsistence, the cultures will go away. They will be gone. And I know there's people who say that, you know, we should just let all Native people become white people, so to speak. And that's the way it's headed now.

We need to support those things that are part of the culture, and subsistence is a big issue. I know it's a -- politically a hot potato. And I don't know what to do about that. But I think that we need to look at Alaska Native people as a unique group of people, as unique as anything else in this world is. You know, we do all sorts of things for animals, to save them, to keep them from becoming extinct. Humans are animals too. And we're looking at populations of people being destroyed by what's going on.

So that's why I think subsistence is important, even though other people don't. And I think that if people actually look within themselves, they will agree with that. Maybe they even those people who are against subsistence; if they look deep inside themselves, they will find that they value other people, they value the difference in every one of us. Each of us is unique here. And part of that uniqueness is our culture. And if they really look, they will realize that it's important to keep those uniqueness, unique parts of us and the unique cultures that are out there. I mean, it's what makes us, it's what makes the world, it's what makes it so beautiful, so fun. It's pretty important.

All the other issues that you are dealing with: Education and cultural issues and health issues, I think that they're all related. I think that in order for them to be those areas to be strong and to continue, it has to be a combination of body, mind, and spirit. All these three components need to go in every single one of those issues in order to make them strong, in order to continue with them.

That's all I have to say.

MR. EATON: Thank you.

 

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