KENAITZE INDIAN ST LAWRENCE ISLAND SIBERIAN YUPIK ESKIMO
Sam Schimmel is an Alaska Native youth with a passion for subsistence hunting and fishing, both of which keep him connected to tradition and infuse his efforts to combat issues like suicide, drug abuse, and cultural disconnectedness. Having seen the effects of climate change in Alaska firsthand, Sam is also working to raise awareness of its effects on tribal communities. Sam has educated peers from around the world about the impacts of climate change on coastal subsistence communities. “The issue of climate change is very important for Native youth because it affects our traditions… we need our traditions”
My art is a pair of ivory earrings. We traditionally hunt walrus for subsistence and the ivory has always been used for both art and function. My ancestors carved Ivory for tools and to make life more beautiful. My earrings are made from knowing the ivory and how to cut and shape carve and polish it to make its beauty show. These particular earrings can only be made from one specific part of the tusk. The marbleing of the ivory shows off the natural beauty of something of an animal that has sustained our culture for ever.