Homeless Alaska Natives draw optimism from teaching, giving
Despite hardship, they take joy from basic interactions, UW prof finds
Alaska Native elders who are homeless in Seattle are nevertheless optimistic about life, suggests a small-scale survey conducted by Jordan Lewis, an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work.
“I think just the fact that they talk to you and share their experiences, and pass on recipes or how they used to make things, or where they used to pick berries, is this idea that they are hopeful that you’ll take that knowledge and use it to benefit your own life, but then pass it on again,” said Lewis. He is an Alaska Native who grew up in Nanek.
He hopes to expand the study to more than 100 participants in the near future, he said.