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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide


Submitted to the
Alaska Natives Commission
in connection with a hearing at

Fairbanks, Alaska
July 18, 1992

4000 Old Seward Highway, Suite 100
Anchorage, Alaska 99503


Witness List | Exhibit List | PDF Version


Deposition Exhibit #7 - Testimony of Melinda Peter


Melinda Peter, Ft. Yukon

My name is Melinda Peter. I am a youth from Fort Yukon.

I want to talk about concerns the youth in Fort Yukon and the other villages have. It is something that I have experienced - Teenage Pregnancy. I have a son that was born this year on January 29. Jared is five months old now.

I know that the youth have heard a lot about it but are they really trying to prevent it? Are they practicing safe sex? I know that I heard a lot about it all the time, but I never did anything about it. I thought teenage pregnancy was something that would never happen to me. I was pretty sure of that. But I was wrong. It did happen to me. It's something that I never expected. I can't even begin to tell you how hard and how much frustration there is in raising a child. It really changes your life. You have to grow up real fast and start taking a lot of responsibility. You're bringing another human being into the world and you have to raise that baby the best that you can. I want to go to college and stuff, but I don't know if I'll be able to do it now.

I still have one more year of high school and it's so hard to try to raise a baby and do homework and stuff at the same time. I'm lucky to have my family and my friends helping me out. But even with their help it's still hard at times. A lot of girls don't even have anyone to turn to. Their boyfriend or whoever got them pregnant might not even care. I'm not saying that this is only a girl's problem, it is also a boy's problem. I really urge the youth and any others who may be sexually active to USE condoms and practice safe sex.

Condoms not only prevent pregnancy, they also protect against HIV and a lot of other sexually transmitted diseases. Both boys and girls should carry condoms, Even if you're not sexually active you never know what will happen. Tell your friends and family to use them too. Condoms are really easy to get. Some people think it's too embarrassing to buy or ask for them. But would you rather be embarrassed for a few minutes or have HIV? Go to the store and buy or go to your local health clinic and get them free.

I hope youth will learn from my experience with teenage pregnancy and use some type of birth control during sex. And also remember that latex condoms are the only things that will protect you against HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

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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Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
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Last modified May 12, 2011