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momma white and i opened our package from alaska yesterday before joining the ak native culture group at the park for food and crafting. yay! they are beautiful. ossie kairaiuak and momma white met and made a heart connection at the 2017 world eskimo indian olympics (weio) in fairbanks ak last month. momma shared the story of our imminent move into a multigenerational family home, of our family's ongoing efforts to connect with the songs, dances, stories, and culture of our people. ossie went away from weio and made these drums to inspire and help clear our path to the ancestors. he explains that the drum mom holds, "white loon's journey," is inspired by one of the oldest yup'ik stories about beginnings. the animals that are harvested seasonally to sustain communities circle the loon and are depicted in blue, symbolizing air, land, and power within. he shares the meaning of the drum i hold, "my roots empower me." like a prayer, our ancestral roots are a foundation for growing our individual and collective family strength. ossie shared these words of yup'ik elder john philip from kongiganak ak, "do not be foolded that just because we are speaking english now that the land will change. you still can gain wisdom from it and it will always remain yup'ik." i'm so excited to share these drums with family! i am especially excited to dance and sing with momma white next to me while my brother plays "my roots empower me" and my tiny nephew, jonah sage whitewolff, plays his small white keggluneq drum beside him!

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