This is a continuation of the interview with Alfred Jonathan on December 11, 2013 by Leslie McCartney and Barbara Cellarius at his home in Tanacross, Alaska. In the first part of the interview (ORAL HISTORY 2013-14-04, PT.1), Alfred was joined by his wife, Mildred, but she had to leave for work so Alfred continued the interview without her. In this second part of a two part interview, Alfred talks about being sober and recovering from alcoholism, the old community of Mentasta, and the importance of speech making. He discusses changes in the village of Tanacross, in the animals and in the weather. He also talks about subsistence activities in and around Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and the importance of teaching the youth about their culture and the importance of taking pride in their Native identity.
Digital Asset Information
Project: Wrangell-St.Elias National Park
Date of Interview: Dec 11, 2013
Narrator(s): Alfred Jonathan
Interviewer(s): Leslie McCartney, Barbara Cellarius
Videographer: Leslie McCartney
Transcriber: Joan O'Leary
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Sobriety and reconnecting with traditional lifestyle
Old community of Mentasta
Effect of the Alaska Highway on the community
Employment with the Alaska Road Commission and wood cutting
Going to school and relocation of old Tanacross village
Nabesna Road, Chistochina, Northway area
Lena and Frank Charley
Changes in the land, animals, and land use
Changes in the weather
National park, hunting, permits, subsistence need
Culture camp and kid's listening
Importance of Native identity and knowing your past
Working hard and working together
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After clicking play, click a section of the transcript to navigate the audio or video clip.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: -- process -- going back out and reconnecting with the land. ALFRED JONATHAN: Uh-huh.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: And subsistence. Can you talk about that at all?
ALFRED JONATHAN: How? About --
LESLIE McCARTNEY: I've just heard some people say that when they sobered up they just went back out and did trapping and lived on the land and they got power and spirit from that to help them.
Has that been your experience at all too or --
ALFRED JONATHAN: No, not really. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Okay.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Not really. It's those people that say that -- the -- most of them grew up and then they didn’t do it. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: So when they sobered up -- like this one guy I know he's gone now but he said he wasted damn near 50 years of his life in this -- in this area here -- in this era where I abused and I call it good time.
I laughed. I had good time. I had friends. I had money. I work. I didn’t buy anything that I needed. I just lived in motel or runaround or stuff like that. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: For 50 years. When I sobered up, he said, when I sobered up I look -- it give me chance to look back and it give me a chance to I wonder where I’m going from here.
And then he said -- and then every now and then he probably lay down or when you meditate -- you start meditating. You learn how to meditate.
You learn how to remember your grandma’s and your grandpa. It'll come back to you. It'll start coming back and say this is -- I like it. I like to think about my grandma and grandpa. I like to think about them.
I think they lived a good, healthy life. Maybe in my thought, maybe I’ll research it. I go back in my thought and maybe I’ll start picturing that stuff and maybe I’ll go back out in the woods.
Maybe I’ll go back in the wood. They go back in the woods and you start trapping, hunting and start living -- start living in the bush.
And some of them -- some of them become good -- some become -- some become good, but they get tired of it and they come back out. They get -- it's kind of like off and on.
But already you’re born with it. You’re raised with it. But it’s supposed to come natural. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: But they lose everything in that drinking. But that’s how it is.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: So, when you say you lived with your grandmother, which grandmother was that? Was that your father’s mother or -- ?
ALFRED JONATHAN: That’s my mom’s mom. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Your mom’s mom.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah, Annie Moses. She come from Mentasta.
Mentasta was just -- there wasn’t no Mentasta. Just Mentasta was my grandma and that Bessie Thomas, that’s my aunt Annie Dennis' mom.
And then another lady Jessie Frank, my dad’s aunt, I think. And then their brother, Big Albert.
She was -- come from right where that Mentasta Lodge, around there somewhere. That’s where -- that's their place. That's their --
And back in ’50, early ‘50’s or ’49, only Fred John and his family -- Fred John -- Katie. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: They live in that old village on side of a hill. 1949 I was there. I was just I think six years old. I only seen Fred John, his family, his kids -- on the other side, Short Lucy. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: That's Short Lucy come from Kechumstuk. She married somebody. A guy from down there, but she was old last time I seen her.
She live over there, take care of herself. That was ’49. No Mentasta. That's the Mentasta right there -- that little place.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Just the family.
ALFRED JONATHAN: And then most of them at that time live up Nabesna. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Still up that way. Houston Sanford and other people. They still live up that way.
And later on in ’50, is when they move over here this side. They had some kind of lodge there -- that lodge -- that old road lodge. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: They -- they -- Fred John built his house and other people starts coming in cause road went through and everybody come out to the road.
That’s how they moved -- road system.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: And how did the Alaska Highway effect your community here in Tanacross when it was put in? Do you remember?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Oh, I think -- I kind of talk about that years ago or I didn’t really talk about it. I just my thought go back and --
I was born in 1943, but in 1941 somewhere around there they're building that highway and that field up there -- airfield. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: And I said my idea was that the US government -- that was during the war -- was that the US government interfere with our life. They interfere with our village -- our community.
They come in and build airfield and they had road system come through there. It's going -- it's going to take all the way of life. How they live, they interfere.
It's going to take away all that stuff. There's good and bad in there. There's good and bad. There's education and then they’ll -- they’ll give us chance to advance.
You advance more and then they -- but they’ll take away the hunting. They’ll take away the outdoor. They’ll take away your food.
And then they give you cigarette, alcohol and all their, like, you know, they put it on display. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: In other words, they influence. They influence you into a lot of stuff and they --
that’s one thing I don’t like about it, but it's good and bad. For work. Most of it's for work, cause you have to --
My dad and others have to work to -- you can live off the land, but I don’t want to use poor in a way. I don’t want to -- cause that’s how we live. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: We -- we live -- we live enough -- we have enough. We have enough to get by. We have enough to year after year we have enough stuff, but we don’t have like over.
Right now if you -- somebody working they’ll have 20 pair of shoes, about 20 pair of jeans, 20 -- you got more than what you need, but back then you only have -- you only have enough to -- enough is enough. You can get by. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: That’s how we live back then. We -- we comfortable -- happy with it. And I was anyway. I was happy with it.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Where did your dad work and then where did you work for, Alfred?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Who?
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Your dad -- you said your dad worked?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Oh, he worked for at that time it was Road Commission (Alaska Road Commission).
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Road Commission?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah, Road Commission he work. And then he -- some of them worked for Road Commission, and then some of them before -- before that, back in 30’s I think, some of them worked for that steamboat. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Hm.
ALFRED JONATHAN: So some of them did. Some of them did work. And them steamboat they buy wood, so they live that way.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: People cutting -- did people -- ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah. BARBARA CELLARIUS: -- earn money cutting wood for them?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah, about twenty, thirty cords of wood. So they pick it up. And stuff like that. That was back in 30’s, before my time.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: So I had a question. Actually, I had two questions?
The first question is you talked about when you were going to school -- the BIA school it was in the old village?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: And do you remember when they moved -- more people moved over to this side of the river?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah. That school operated BIA, and then I think back in ’60 something it went to state.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh. ALFRED JONATHAN: Took over. And then I went to high school in, I think ’63 or ’64 -- ’60 between ’62 and ’64 right in there -- ’65.
Try to go to Tok High School. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: I went to ninth grade -- as far as I went. And then we’re having trouble kinda like back and forth.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: You had to get across the river?
ALFRED JONATHAN: With boat -- bunch -- BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Bunch of -- bunch -- it's kind of like dangerous. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Springtime and when the ice going to -- Even then we went to school.
We went to school and the parents they -- some of them they’re scared, but they got -- you got to go to school. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: And then some got concerned and then same time that housing --
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: They talk about -- what do you call it -- public health -- BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: -- and safety stuff like that. You got running water, bathroom and other kind of stuff like --
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Warm water?
LESLIE McCARTNEY: They put it on this side of the river somewhere and people moved over?
ALFRED JONATHAN: That -- that was the concern -- the health -- health safety.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Right.
ALFRED JONATHAN: So the -- at that time the state, some kind of programs that they can give you house, so they selected three, four place, but they select this one.
And they want it over there, but the people from Juneau said they can’t build it cause it's too high risk flood -- too low.
So they gave us this one, and that’s when we -- that was 1973.
And I was happy with it because you have refrigerator, you have a freezer, you have running water, bathroom. You got your own room.
Over there you -- in that old village you just one big room. One room and sometime some of them have back room and live.
But first some of them move over, they got hard time to adjust cause they used to live in just one room. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Now when you got living room and time to go to bed you got your own room, so they had hard time with those stuff -- older people. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: But I like it. It just -- just a lot of improvement for public health -- health wise.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Barbara, you had a second question?
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yes, I had another question. You mentioned Houston Sanford and some of the other people in -- related to Fred and Katie John living out Nabesna Road. Did you ever go up there -- out Nabesna Road?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah, I do. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah, I do. Nabesna and all the way up to Twin Lake.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh. ALFRED JONATHAN: Even further back.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Did you ever go to the mine or just as far as like Twin Lakes, Lost Creek -- ?
ALFRED JONATHAN: As far as -- far as there. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: And then the -- back when I was younger I didn’t -- I knew they were back there, those people. Some -- some from Northway.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Lived up there. They migrated into Northway. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Some from here, too. All the way down to Chistochina. They were all from up that way. Like Lena Charley.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah, I know Lena real well.
ALFRED JONATHAN: She -- she pretty much grew up outdoor -- outdoor. She was tough lady when she was younger. She --
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah, she and her sisters they grew up at Twin Lakes and --
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: -- out on the land.
ALFRED JONATHAN: I always tell -- I always tell them that they’re stronger than men when they -- she laugh. She even -- she even outrun her -- her daughter with snowshoe.
So she laugh about it and their daughter probably get mad, but that's how she grew up.
She grew up tough and she grew up strong. She -- she know the country. She knows her country. She knew -- her and Jerry. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Jerry was -- I know Jerry a long time, too. He was --
BARBARA CELLARIUS: That was really sad.
ALFRED JONATHAN: He's dead.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: I miss him. ALFRED JONATHAN: Frank Charley. Frank Charley was -- Frank Charley was a good speaker. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: A good speaker. A good -- when they speak he was a good speaker. My dad, all of them, my mom, grandma, all respected him -- Frank Charley 'cause he was strong in speech.
Speech is --when they make speech back then it's like people know their Indian way. They know their Indian way and you can’t beat them cause they know -- they know the land, they know the strength, they know their clan, they know the -- where weakness, strong, all that stuff.
And you -- and they -- they’re up there to -- to -- sometimes they use that negative strong stuff -- strong speech and they need to use it, so people can listen.
And they speak strong and sometime -- sometime they get carried away, too, but just to -- so people can listen cause sometimes they lose their loved one and everybody is quiet. Everybody is kind of like wake up -- strong.
Don’t let it be quiet. Just have a feast, cook, drum, sing and that’s what it's about that -- when funeral.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh. Is that when people give speeches?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah, when people say -- it's kind of like celebrate, but you don’t call it celebrate.
You call it like wake up and they -- people just -- if you get into that -- you get into that quietness and then you get into -- you get into depression, you get into that stuff than it's no good.
So they -- crowd will lift that thing up and say you better go out there to those visitors that come see you. They come see you. You sit with them. They talk with you. Cheer you up.
But there’s good meaning in there. That people come from long ways will give you -- anything that they want to give they give -- food, money, blanket, whatever it is.
It's just automatically it come and that’s way Native does. And it's --
A lot of white people really they say impressive. How they like it. They like -- they say something good in there. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: It brings Native people -- there’s a lot of love in there. That’s what it is about. It’s a lot of respect, a lot of love and a lot of --
they go a long ways to pay them a visit, cause it's hard for -- just them go through that. They don’t want it. They got to be over there with them.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: I had a different question, Alfred. I was going to -- just about the land. You used to travel with your dad on the trapline. Do you see any changes in the land now when you go out to hunt?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: What do you see?
ALFRED JONATHAN: I think back when my mom was younger, 1930 or '20’s and '30 even in almost '40, she said there was no trees up in our area.
You can see somebody five -- five or ten miles. Long as you can see --
BARBARA CELLARIUS: You can see a long ways.
ALFRED JONATHAN: You can see somebody coming, like coming over the hill. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: You can see somebody. And back then, when they -- not too much moose back in -- even in 50’s not too much moose, but right now you can -- there's moose right in our village -- moose. There's a lot of moose.
Then back in '60 and '50 I think the most caribou I ever seen. And caribou was 10,000 or more -- 50 - 60,000. Cause my dad used to work up toward Taylor Highway 1956 -- ‘55 somewhere around there.
You have to stop overnight on that road before that herd go across and sleep right in that panel. That’s how much caribou -- a lot of caribou back then.
And then them land -- there's a lot of change, cause back then kind of like wilderness, but right now you can see white people got -- they lease land from the state and have cabin somewhere without -- without saying anything they --
they don’t think they interfere with somebody, but they put land there and then pretty soon you’re hunting -- hunting somewhere and then you see cabin and what you gonna say?
Aand then you got that’s -- it’s just like their area, but I don’t mind sharing it with people but it makes you feel -- it makes you feel funny. If you -- a little bit angry, too, but you can’t help it.
The state -- they lease it from state. They build cabin and -- and they start acting funny like they own it. That’s what I don’t like about that.
But us Native, years ago they said all land is Native -- all the land. They can use it. It's just for use -- just for use to hunt whatever, trapping, walking, recreation, use until that lot and stuff come in.
And that’s a change right there. That’s a lot. You got to have title where that land and that will screw up everything.
And you have to have -- you gotta use that attitude white people that’s my land, get the hell out of there. So that change.
Back then I thought land was -- when I was younger, I thought land was free -- free. Free to, you know, go all over.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: To use?
ALFRED JONATHAN: It's like national park -- like national park. You can only can use it for certain -- certain way for everybody. You don’t own nothing. That big government own that.
That’s how I looked at it when I was younger. That government own it, Native own it. They can use -- they can build their home, but no title.
But if you have title, you are going to sell it so see that’s a difference right there.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: How about changes in the weather? Has the weather really changed, too?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Oh, weather. I don’t think nobody can predict it. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-uh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Not even Native. But there's a lot of things that change. All that weather we have is down in the Lower 48. They can have it.
They got that storm back in 50’s. We had it. Sometime one -- one year in 1957, I think, we had 10 or 12 foot of snow one day. Next day window all cover. You can’t get out and then no electricity.
Gosh, I don’t know how we -- we made it, but even back then they didn’t call it disaster or nothing. You just -- you got to make it. That’s the only thing.
People made it. They -- they -- no com -- no complaint. Nobody ran to -- nobody ran to government or school or nothing.
They -- you start digging out and then they survived. I don’t know how they done it, but that -- they -- they done it.
We went over in that old village, 1955 I think, we had big wind, too. It cleaned out that whole village and they survived.
They -- no -- not -- no government aid -- nothing. They made it. My dad’s house was all torn apart. Nothing. All blown apart. Not a darn thing.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: You have a magpie in your bags out there.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah, that -- it getting my fish.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: I thought so. You might want to get him off of there. He’s a little persistent magpie. ALFRED JONATHAN: (Inaudible)
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yes.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yep. That’s how --
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Any -- any other thoughts just about the park itself and how it's changed?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah. I think it's just that park -- that’s national park now you have to have -- to hunt in there you got to have permits and stuff like that, but --
BARBARA CELLARIUS: But -- but people who live in Tanacross they -- you can get permits to hunt in the park. Not everybody can, but people from Tanacross can.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Uh-huh. Yeah. I try to keep up with those stuff, but changes park and permit.
For me, myself, when I grew up when you grow up as Indian your first thing is you -- you grew up with killing. Is not the right word for taking animals. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: You take -- you take animals and you -- automatically it’s in you -- it’s in me to take.
And when -- when you need it you take a moose, caribou when you needed it. That’s how I look at it.
I didn’t really -- I try to follow that law -- not too long that's when I start following that law and then pretty soon I got interested in Tetlin Refuge -- that program --
how they counted and they keep track the high and low and stuff, migration, what change caribou.
There's lot of them that changed. Some have stayed. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: All of them didn’t go back. Some stayed this -- they’re around here. But even that one we don’t take advantage of cause we don’t need it.
If family need to take moose or caribou, if they need to take it, I’m with them. It’s food. Cause we don’t know most of them family you don’t know how they live until you enter their home.
So you -- if family with kids that needs to take moose -- not all the time, but if they need it. If they take it, I’m with them.
If they need it, they use it. They use all of it. If they use it for -- they shoot it for nothing and -- and misuse it, then I’m not for that.
Yeah, let him off.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Well, any other questions, Barbara? I think we’ve covered a lot.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Yeah, we’ve heard a lot of interesting things from you.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Let me tell you one thing about Mildred mentioned a program like Culture Camp.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Culture Camps, yes.
ALFRED JONATHAN: She -- she mentioned some kids are not too interested in learning.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: And I think most of it is not the kids. I think it's the parents -- most of it's kids’ parents.
Some of them their parents -- they're parents, but they don’t do too good a job. Some are not cut out for being parents.
Their own kids can’t even listen to them, so that's where it should start from. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: And that’s why they have a lot of trouble in school. School is where you discipline -- you -- when you go to school you -- you don’t horse around, you don’t -- they discipline you to obey and to respect and listen.
You are there for one purpose is to learn. To learn and then you -- they’ll teach you how to, you know, get along in crowd -- get along with teachers, get along with people, but kids nowadays it’s a long story.
Its -- people -- they don’t listen -- it seemed like they don’t listen, but they probably listen, but when I was a kid I probably didn’t listen. Maybe they are like me, but you -- they still listen.
After a while, when they go through some kind of life -- I look at life this way. It's like a ruler and you got numbers on there.
You’ll have -- this is your part of growing, this is your teenager, this is your middle, this is -- some of them takes them long time to mature -- to grow out of it.
If you grew up as a hippie, you stay hippie. If you grew up as short hair cut and then pretty soon down the line you want to change you start growing your mustache or whiskers and you change.
And then when you start growing your whiskers and shaggy clothes, the other people like your family say what the heck’s the matter with you? Why don’t you clean up and look like a man?
Look like this. But that’s how it is. It's -- it's -- And then pretty soon the family will go after them.
Not really all of them, but somebody. They’ll use somebody and say tell them for me. But --
LESLIE McCARTNEY: But you started the culture -- did you start the Culture Camps or did someone else?
ALFRED JONATHAN: I think we started -- we were part of it. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Part of it.
ALFRED JONATHAN: Me and Mildred. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah.
ALFRED JONATHAN: We were part of that. And we -- we were in it ever since it were beginning.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: And it's still going on? ALFRED JONATHAN: Yeah.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: But just not as much?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Yep. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Yeah.
ALFRED JONATHAN: We had it -- gee we had it big. We had a pretty good -- pretty good size. We had Maggie -- Maggie Jewel from Chistochina. She was in there one year.
A lot of them old people were there. They even chartered a plane into Mansfield Culture Camp. It was good size. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: And they -- we -- we combine it with white people. Some had different kind of skill so we -- we tell him that we --
you work with us through your program, and then we'll put you in some area. So we work it that way. It worked out good.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: And was a lot of it language learning, too?
ALFRED JONATHAN: What’s that? LESLIE McCARTNEY: Did you do a lot of like trying to teach the language, too, or was it mostly skills?
ALFRED JONATHAN: Some did. My mom did some birch bark stuff like that and then some of them --
Mildred’s dad did some language and Native song, drumming, stories like that. And some of them went out snare, identify roots, and stuff like that.
And then some say you got to know your land and I think it’s important for them younger kids to know their land. They don’t know their land, they don’t know nothing.
You gotta -- you gotta know your this way you know about this way, you know about this way, you know, all over you know about camp, you know about whose camp, who lived there, who raised their family there.
And who move into this community short while and where they come from. I think it’s important to -- to don’t lose your identity. Don’t lose your clan. Don’t lose your -- where you come from.
Don’t be ashamed of telling your parents where I come from. Who’s my clan? Who’s my dad?
Most of them kids -- some of them born without father. They don’t know who their father is or something like that.
Even that one Native people they -- they’re -- they get offensive too easy. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: In other words, they get -- they get mad. They get -- I don’t know.
But kids should tell mom, "Who’s my clan? Who’s my dad’s brother?" So they know. So they grow up. Just don’t stop. Just always ask questions. Ask and then you learn. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: That’s how to learn just speak out. I never did speak out, but how I learnt is I observe.
I’m interested in people. I mean -- interested in both ways: white people and Native. But I always tell my Native people white people are good with taking time away.
What do you mean? I work with a lot of them and they say kill time. Let’s bullshit for a while and then we kill time and let time go by.
Let’s not work too hard for that company and then we -- they’re good with that -- they’re experts with that.
Said be that way. Become that way. You do something. You do a little something, make business out of it like white people. They make little things. They make big business out of it.
Get that attitude and get in there. You got to -- and then you got to be more just like them. They’re out there take advantage of it. It’s out there. Opportunity.
And then you be competitive, and you never know until you get out there and there’s something good in you.
White people and you can make something happen -- can make something happen if you find it.
One white person, two white person, you use him with his education or his field and then you get in there with your knowledge -- your Native way -- your other way, you can make something happen.
Use it that way, I tell them. And that’s -- I think that’s the way to teach them young people so they can think about it down the line. They can think -- make them think. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: It don’t come easy. Nothing comes easy. You got to work hard for it. It takes a long time to get to one point to the next place.
And I’ll say to them younger one don’t be happy with what you have, get more than what you still have it, but get more.
And then I tell them be careful, cause if you have a lot of stuff look at the TV. People that’s middle class rich. They got everything they need. They leave it one place that Mother Nature take the whole thing away.
They give it to you. You have chance to use it. You didn’t use it right, take it away. LESLIE McCARTNEY: Uh-huh.
ALFRED JONATHAN: That’s how it is. That’s how I believe it anyway. I think that’s it.
BARBARA CELLARIUS: Okay
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Okay. Thank you, Alfred for all your time. BARBARA CELLARIUS: Thank you very much.
LESLIE McCARTNEY: Thank you very much.