My name is Lindsay, and I’ve been working as an artist in residence with USFWS for four years. You have supported a few of my projects in the past, and I’m so grateful. Most recently, you reimbursed my airfare to and from Ft Yukon so that I could attend and assist Julie Mahler in her Culture Camp at 8-Mile for one week. I wanted to send a quick writeup on what was accomplished there, a few photos, and express my gratitude for your continued support for my work in Alaska.
Julie’s camp is 8 miles outside of Ft Yukon, located on a slough off the Porcupine River. This is what the backyard looks like 🙂
Recently, Julie’s cabin burned down, but this didn’t stop this intrepid woman from bringing 14 kids out to camp to learn, play, practice their Gwich’in culture, and enjoy the magnificent land. Here’s a shot of Julie in the outdoor kitchen where we cooked every meal every day:
The wood burning stove, made out of a split oil can, served as both the provider of food and a space for gathering.
We all camped in tents, and the elder who joined us to teach Gwich’in language and sewing to the kids, Freeda, stayed in a canvas tent with a wood burning stove. We all piled in there to do art and listen to stories on a particularly rainy day. Otherwise the kids were outside from morning to night, playing traditional Gwich’in games, building forts in the forest, swimming in the river, learning about the native plants, fishing, and more.
I even taught the kids (and the adults) yoga! Here’s a pic of Stella, the camp dog, enjoying her version of yoga too.
Julie taught them about some of the edible and medicinal plants that are found in the area on a nature hike, and the kids brought back specimens and learned how to draw them.
I brought a bunch of art supplies with me, and we did drawing every day. We stitched together a massive quilt of their drawings that showed their love for Culture Camp at 8 Mile!
I absolutely loved my time at 8-Mile. I learned so much from both the adults and the children and enjoyed sharing the skills that I can. Here’s to many more successful years of Culture Camp at 8-Mile. Thank you for your support!