Presbyterians Today

NOV-DEC 2018

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32 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 | Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay 500 people each month. The food bank receives funds from the Arctic Slope Community Foundation, which was founded by the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC). The ASRC is one of the original 12 Alaska-based regional corpora- tions created by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Signed into law in 1971, ANCSA was designed to resolve land claims of Alaska Natives. Two major reconciliation events, one led by the Presbytery of Yukon in 2012 in Gambell, Alaska, and a second national church event in February 2017 in Utqiagvik, responded to the intergenerational trauma that indigenous people have suffered because of the col- lision of Western and indigenous cultures and the complicity of the Presbyterian Church and other churches in overrunning cultures, according to Karns. In February 2017, the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s General Assembly, and the Rev. Gradye Parsons, former Stated Clerk, traveled to Utqiagvik to issue a formal apology to Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians. Directed by an action of the 222nd General Assembly (2016), the apology was delivered during a renewal and healing event. "We didn't just come to apologize," Nelson said. "We came to build a much stronger relationship." He added, "It's our intention to bring this family together, to call people into relationship with one another and to stand firm in the differences wherever Christ Jesus has set us free to be who we are and whose we are, brothers and sisters in have pastors or road access, accord- ing to Harry K. Brower, mayor of the North Slope Borough. "In the wintertime, reaching many of the villages means either traveling by snow machine and sled or aircraft, which is very expensive. Through technology, faith is still being provided to the families that wish to build their faith in their communities," said Brower, a lifelong member of Utqiagvik Presbyterian. Feeding bodies, healing souls The village of Utqiagvik has a popu- lation of more than 4,300 people, of which more than 60 percent are Iñupiat. For a major source of their food, many Iñupiat people take part in subsistence hunting, fishing and whaling. Utqiagvik Presbyterian also operates a food bank, coordinated by deacons with help from community volunteers, which helps feed up to A blanket made of the seal skins that covered a boat whose crew brought in a bowhead whale is used to toss celebrants at the whale feast of Nalukataq. The International Whaling Commission voted in September to renew annual Alaska Native whaling quotas, as long as bowhead harvests remain sustainable.

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