Meet Aqavzik, she/they, a 20 year-old queer woman from Gambell, Alaska which is located on St. Lawrence Island (traditionally known as Sivuqaq). Aqavzik is Siberian Yupik and Lingít on her mother's side and Iñupiaq on her father's side. Raised by a single mother and older brother in Alaska's big village of Anchorage, they experienced the "typical" Native household where inherited trauma left untreated resulted in an alcoholic family.
Being one of the youngest in her family, Aqavzik has always sought to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma and actively works to change the "drunk Native" narrative by living her truth. Navigating through it all, Aqavzik finds solace in freehand writing and hopes to someday publish their poetry and maybe even a memoir!
Navigating a world that is not built for you, while also doing the work of (generational) healing and stepping into community leadership roles is the perfect recipe for burnout. Putting pen to paper and allowing the words to flow has been a helpful practice when the weight of it all feels too much to carry- sometimes it's unorganized paragraphs, other times it's entire poems. These words came to me during different breaking points and times of transformation- where they came from? Not a clue but I hope they speak to the right people!