Koyukon Athabascan, Specifically The Native Village of Ruby
Henry Birk Albert se’ooze’. Tlaa’ ologhe hut’aan eslaanh. I’m 19, from the Nowitna River band of Koyukon Athabascan Indians. I’m enrolled in The Native Village of Ruby. My small village is situated along the Yukon River next to the Nowitna Wildlife Refuge. These ancestral lands fed my subsistence family. My father is an “Athabascan Living Cultural Treasure” yet my parents placed me on a plane at age 12 so I could have a stronger public education. I graduated Lake Placid High and finished freshman year at Wells College. My Political Science/History major will impact change in our great nations.
Generation Indigenous means I’m a part of a network reaching back to generations of expertise and kkuskkaat (“living a good, rich life”) woven into our DNA. I am an important part of the Indigenous web of life. I am also a unique 21st Century being born in the Noghee hut’aane (Nowitna River People) ancestral lands. Gen-I means we owe a debt to those who survived following game on winters snowshoes. Youth need each strand of oyhdzaaye -the ‘snowshoe heart’ – formed in the web from elders, peers who haven’t found their trail yet to respectful allies to progress our Nations.