New Discussion Paper Out: Prayer by Chief Mary Smith Jones

Photo: Eero Murtomäki, 2017

Photo: Eero Murtomäki, 2017

This is Eyak Chief Marie Smith Jones’s prayer at the opening of an international indigenous conference on climate change “Snowchange 2005”, in Anchorage, September 28, 2005. The transcription and translation, May 2017, are by Michael Krauss and Guillaume Leduey, from a videotape provided by Tero Mustonen, Executive Secretary of Snowchange Cooperative, based in Finland. This is the last known recording of spontaneous Eyak text, presumably constituting the entire corpus of 21st-century Eyak text.

A note from Tero Mustonen from Snowchange: “This unique cultural heritage of the Eyak people is amazing testimony to the power and strength of Chief Marie Smith Jones who we had a privilege to know and work with for years. It was the greatest possible honour that she came to open Snowchange 2005 with her opening prayer. I wish to thank our Steering Committee Member and Alaska Coordinator Victoria Hykes-Steere for all the work she did for Chief Jones over the years and for her wisdom and kindness in assisting with this text, as well as Michael E. Krauss, Professor Emeritus and his team for making this translation possible. We will cherish the living legacy of the Eyak peoples and Chief Marie Smith Jones in our work at the Snowchange Co-op. ”

Discussion paper is available here.

For a Conference Report of Snowchange 2005, go here.


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