I’m at an Open Space conference in Grande Ronde, Oregon which is a summit of Tribal leaders and federal government agencies from around the Pacific Northwest of the USA, and Alaska. The subject of the meeting is improving relations around environmental issues.
As we were wrapping up our action planning session this morning, a young man walked into the room who I hadn’t yet met. He apologized for being late. He got delayed on the way in.
“No problem,” I said. “What was the delay all about?”
“Oh, I live near Nome Alaska and we were out hunting. Got a bearded seal and a walrus. They’re about 45 miles offshore on some ice floes and it took us a while to get them back. I’ve got to get back and get it dried and frozen and then go out and get a beluga. Some good open water now and the whales are only a mile off shore.”
I just looked at him. What can you say to that?
“Yeah, and on top of that, I’ve never been out of state before and I can’t believe how cheap things are down here. These sunglasses I just bought for 13 bucks would cost me 50 at home. I’m going to pick up a laptop and a necklace for my girl.”