Children of Unalakleet, Alaska Paint Their Future 2020

Looking towards Norton Sound from Unalakleet, November 2008, Snowchange

Looking towards Norton Sound from Unalakleet, November 2008, Snowchange

Snowchange has been working with the Tribal Village of Unalakleet for close to 20 years on Indigenous knowledge and science of climate change.

In order to see how the children in their community see their situation and things to come, we publish their paintings of the “Future Unalakleet” as a web exhibit to celebrate the vision of the young at the time of immense change in Norton Sound and Alaska.

“In the future I think it will look like one house on the hill and the rest in town. The hill will be bright green it will be really pretty I hope. I will live in that house with my kids. We will go to town every day and it will be very fun.”

Turi: “In the future I think it will look like one house on the hill and the rest in town. The hill will be bright green it will be really pretty I hope. I will live in that house with my kids. We will go to town every day and it will be very fun.”

 

Brendan: “I put snow, snowmans, and clouds. There are shapes and animal clouds. I put the sun. In the future it’s going to snow a lot.”

Brendan: “I put snow, snowmans, and clouds. There are shapes and animal clouds. I put the sun. In the future it’s going to snow a lot.”

 

Caelyn: “Snow Night: My painting is snowing at night. The black thing is the moon but clouds are blocking it. And people could paint their house any color. There is stop, go, and slow is yellow stop signs.”

Caelyn: “Snow Night: My painting is snowing at night. The black thing is the moon but clouds are blocking it. And people could paint their house any color. There is stop, go, and slow is yellow stop signs.”

 

A painting by Eli

A painting by Eli

 

Painting by Ezra

Painting by Ezra

 

Kianna: “In the future I think the snow is going to be colorful. I think the northern lights are all the way to the hills. And the sun looks colorful too. I think the snow mans are gonna be taller and fatter.”

Kianna: “In the future I think the snow is going to be colorful. I think the northern lights are all the way to the hills. And the sun looks colorful too. I think the snow mans are gonna be taller and fatter.”

 

Kiiriq: “The Beach: In the future I think the ocean will get higher.”

Kiiriq: “The Beach: In the future I think the ocean will get higher.”

 

Sidney: “My picture shows what I think it will look like in the future. It might be like a city.”

Sidney: “My picture shows what I think it will look like in the future. It might be like a city.”

 

The visions of the children as painted tell of a future of multiple-coloured snow, sea level rise, urbanisation and houses of distinct colours – reflecting multiple pathways for this strong Norton Sound community might take in the future. Thank you to the pupils and school of Unalakleet as well as Ph D Brie Van Dam for organising the exhibit!

General Store of Unalakleet, November 2008, Snowchange

General Store of Unalakleet, November 2008, Snowchange

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