Thursday, June 5, 2008

A shot of encouragement

I read an article this morning, and it finally pushed me over the edge. It was a good edge, though. Or at least a good place to fall to.

As a young Alaska Native woman, I've found it difficult to find "me" represented even in the citizen-driven World Wide Web. Researching what the Web has to say about Alaska Native health care or Native corporations can become a painful experience. The sheer amount of ignorance and hate that abounds is staggering.

Which is why, when I read the paper, I was so gratified to see something of the voice of sanity. Linda Biegel, known to the Web through her blog "Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis", was chosen as Alaska's blog for the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Her Community Voices column in the Anchorage Daily News talked about her difficulties with racism accusations once the blog choices were announced.

What I expected to read was a lot of defensive attacks and assumptions, but instead, she actually looked at both sides. I didn't even agree with everything she was saying, but there was truth in the writing, and an openness to other's ideas. But what hit me most was with her last paragraph: "I want to be part of the solution and I want to find more writers of color to be contributors to 'Blue Oasis,' especially Alaska Native writers. Alaska's diversity needs to be better represented in the blogosphere."

I had been playing with the idea of a blog for quite a while, but between arguments about, "Oh, the vanity!" and "Could I really find enough to comment on?" the encouragement and challenge posed really struck me. I believe that "Alaska's diversity" needs to be represented, especially the Native voice, but what on earth was I waiting for? No, I certainly won't be the solution to all ills, but it's one of those proverbial small steps, and I'm a leapin'.


RunninL8 said...

Sounds great already! Came by your blog via Celtic Deva. Welcome to the blogosphere!

Morgaine said...

Welcome to the blogsphere! I love finding new Native writers! Found your linkon Pam's House Blend and I've added you to the blogroll at What She Said! and gave you a little post there.

I'm really looking forward to reading your posts!

Unknown said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! Keep on writing! I came here through Pam's House Blend through a post by Celtic Diva. I live in Northern California now but loved living for 19 years in Fairbanks. My daughter just directed "WinterBear" in Fairbanks. It was a wonderful play about the Athabascan ways in the modern world. I got to watch it on a webcast. I loved seeing all the middle school and high school kids from the villages and Fairbanks and Juneau learn stagecraft from my daughter. They were great kids! I miss living with the Native peoples of Alaska and learning of their cultures and ways. There was so much to learn that 19 years only scratched the surface. I encourage to keep writing in your blog. I look forward to listening to your voice.

I just started my own blog. Give it a read when you get a chance.

Best of luck to you and enjoy the Midnight Sun this Solstice!


E. Ross said...

Welcome to Alaska's diverse blogosphere!

Dale said...

Writing Raven, I know little about Alaska and its people. I am glad you started this blog and eager to read your thoughts.

Steve said...

Good to have you blogging. Stay true to yourself and to your readers and you'll do fine.

Matt Smith said...

Good to have your voice in the mix! Look forward to seeing how the blog develops. Good luck with it - from a gay White male who isn't comfortable having our society dominated by White males.

CelticDiva said...

Yay! I'm so happy that folks have come by!

Writing Raven said...

Thanks everyone, for welcoming me into the 20th century! I plan to catch up to the 21st soon, I promise. Although I've now had a fair share of warnings also, this has been two of the most encouraging days I've had in the past year.

The Tundra PA said...

A little late finding you (through ADN's newsreader today)but happy to welcome you to the blogosphere! And looks like you've been quite prolific since this first post; I look forward to gettin' busy with some reading.

I'm a non-Native writing about the Yup'ik culture of SW Alaska where I've lived for the last 10 years. I'd love to have you visit and comment if you are moved to...

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