As 2021 draws to a close I find that I seek sustenance from the earth and the beauty of our natural world, and from the company of family and friends. It is an unsettling time, but the most important thing is to remember our shared humanity and our mutual need for sustenance and comfort. Our 2021 sap harvest was modest, but we are thankful for what the trees share with us this and every year. Our gatherings on this beautiful earth – gatherings of food, gatherings of people – are what sustains us.
It is important to acknowledge that we gather on the unceded lands of the Dena’ina Ełnena and specifically the Dghelay Teht’ana, the Mountain People, in the Talkeetna area. The Dena’ina lived and hunted these lands for thousands of years. The area we know as Talkeetna they called K’dalkitnu, literally “food is stored river” or “river of plenty”**.
We acknowledge, honor, and learn from the ancestral and present land stewardship and place-based knowledge of Indigenous people. With full intention, we strive to care for the land, and gather with good stewardship, reverence, and an honorable harvest.
**This information is provided by the Talkeetna Historical Society.