Young Elders

Anchorage April 9, 2016 – “I’m glad to say we’re getting some young elders now” Mark John said to a group of scientists a few years back in Anchorage, and I finally have figured out what he meant. Being an elder is not just a matter of age. During the presentation at the UAA bookstore about the new Yupik oral history of warfare, Marie Meade, Ann Feinup-Riordan and Alice Rearden explained that being an elder is about sharing the culture. The ones who tell the stories are the ones who are the elders. When young people share stories, they begin becoming elders. Furthermore, to tell the stories only to your own family is considered stingy. A real elder shares the stories more widely.

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