A day or two ago I suddenly began thinking about Alison, who was a Wa He Lut Board member and part of the Frank family. Today Tiff came over and at one point jumped up and ran out to her car, returning with a blanket that she put on my kitchen counter.
At the one-year memorial of Alison's death just a few days ago, Maiselle called both Tiff and me up (neither of us were there, in fact I didn't know about it at all) at the giveaway. Generally speaking, Native Americans observe a one year mourning that is ended with a giveaway both for all and for specific people, the intent being that observers are witnesses to the process. The gifts carry that person's memory on, too.
I was very touched, especially as I've been gone for years. I used to attend things like that fairly often, for naming ceremonies (Karen as a grave two year old handing out gifts), an end to mourning (Thomas, Nadia, and Erika dancing at the end of their grandmother's mourning period), and other occasions, and it never fails to give me pause to consider life, ritual, and relationships.
Some links about the fishing rights struggle HERE, HERE.
posted by - 6:27 PM