The next donation auction item is a cowl from the Jack Frost warp with hand spun super fine merino weft. The weft is in a colorway named "Sugar Plum Fairy" and has stellina sparkle fiber in with the super fine merino. It is textural, soft, and elegant. The auction will be to benefit the Northern Alaska Environmental Center in support of its work to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. With the release of details of the 45th President's plans to open this sacred and wild space to drilling, this feels like it needs to be the next of this hand spun and handwoven offering series.
Weaving Jack Frost was a meditation on snow and cold; I finished the warp as the last snow was melting in my yard and while I was personally more than ready for green grass and warm air, I was also keenly aware of the way that winter is changing. I wove this warp as a gratitude practice for the cold and as an offering to the spirits of the frost.
The Arctic is warming as a consequence of climate change, and that warming is reflected in changing winter weather patterns here where I live. Cruise ships can now make their way as far north as Nome. The villages of Shismaref and Newtok are relocating (yes, the residents are moving the entire town) due to the effects of climate change. Climate change echoes throughout the ecosystem and indigenous lifeways of the Arctic and it breaks my heart.
The land I live on bears Athabaskan place names, and the Gwich'in people call the coastal plain in ANWR "Iizhik Gwats'an Gwandaii Goodlit." This translates to "The Sacred Place Where Life Begins," as it is the birthing and nursing grounds of the Porcupine Caribou herd who have nourished the Gwich'in for millennia. I have linked below the trailer for a documentary movie by Miho Aida "The Sacred Place Where Life Begins | Gwich'in Women Speak," you can find out more about the project (and donate!) at http://mihoaida.com/gwichin/. One of the advisors for the project is/was Princess Lucaj, a local Gwich'in woman whose voice is powerful. She writes publicly on Medium, go read her there and follow her on social meda! She commented recently about how the indigenous human rights issues are often overlooked in discussions of conservation and ecological policymaking. Its powerful and important stuff, this question of under whose legal stewardship this land should be. While that legal stewardship remains with the settler government, it is the absolute least we can do to support the work of defending these wild and sacred places.
May this small offering from my hands, the intention and prayers poured into the spinning, the magic and gratitude of the weaving, and the money it raises work in support of climate healing and defense of the sacred. So mote it be.
The donation auction will be held next Wednesday, May 31st from 1 pm to 6 pm Alaska time in the chatter group on Facebook. Join us there!
#KeepAlaskaCold #DefendTheSacred #KeepItInTheGround #JustTransition