© 2018 by Janine Gibbons. 

"It’s time to Warrior up for Mother Earth." - Autumn Peltier, 13 years old, First Nations

March 24, 2018

This painting is now headed to the Aviation Museum in Anchorage.  Purchase of this artwork has been made possible through the support of the Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund.


Grandma Helen worked at Waterfall Resort. It was a cannery in the beginning... so really she worked at the Waterfall Cannery on Prince of Wales Island with her sisters and her Aunt. I heard that this headdress and blanket were gifted to her by a Chief from somewhere south. 

 I think the postcard (above) written to my Great Grandmother Margeret was from my Great Grandpa Johann Rustanius (photo below) but could also be from one of her sisters, Nellie or Dolly.  For the moment I like the love postcard concept <3.  She was orphaned young and  he was a Finnish immigrant from Helsinki.


Great Grandma Margeret, bottom right.



Woke up thinking about Autumn Peltier being nominated for a global peace prize for standing up for Mother Earth.  I was just watching a video about her the other day and had my kids sit down and watch it with me.  She's amazing!  I said to my kids "you could do that. Stand up for what's right... saving the earth.  You have a voice!"  Then a few days later this great news!  What courage this young woman has!  I'm really proud of her.  Also I'm really proud of those Parkland students for using their spotlight to highlight gun violence and speak out for students of color "I know you guys are going through the exact same thing. You just don't have the platform. People aren't listening to you." Seriously the world is in a crazy place but these kids are brilliant and transforming their heartache and worry into tangible accomplishments... they are making a difference!  We should all be emulating these wise warriors.  



I'm just going to write for a few minutes while I drink my coffee.  I've got some morning yoga to do (iPhone App makes it possible wherever I go... GIAM Yoga Studio) before the kids wake up.  My friend Margaret is bringing over her daughter Ofelia to play all day and I also have a trunk show at There's No Place Like Home, Inc. from 12-4.  It's Spring Break now in Colorado so there's going to be plenty of fun.  UPDATE:  OFELIA 7:43 a.m. OFELIAHAS BROKEN HER ARM AGAIN... trampolines, UGH!


The day before yesterday I posted a picture of my grandmother, Helen (Hamilton/Rustanius-Tyson) Todd, on my social accounts (I'm giving all the last names just in case I haven't included a branch of the family and I have to hear about it later from a second cousin).  I had just found a picture I had taken of a postcard of a love letter postcard that was written to my great grandmother Margeret Hamilton and it reminded me of this picture of my grandma with a headdress on.  She was a fearless woman as were all the women before and after her.  I'm pretty sure my daughter is the reincarnation of my grandmother Helen.  When Lili was three years old I did a show in Ketchikan about my grandmother Helen and her second husband, Ed Todd.  Everyone called him "Beaver" and I usually refer to him as "Grandpa Beaver".  They were bush pilots.  My grandmother was inspired by her sister Marguerite Fiorella and both were the first Haida women to fly in Alaska.  I assume that statement to be correct since there were not many Haida's at that time...from an estimated 30,000 to less than 600 in the early 1900's (all surviving indigenous people of NORTH AMERICA were numbered like cattle so if I'm wrong I know I'll hear about it eventually).  I feel like one of the quickest way to know you are wrong is to say a false statement... I appreciate people calling me out and doing the research to prove it!  The story goes: My daughter, my three year old at the time, and I were looking at this painting I had just finished of my grandmother and all of a sudden Lili says "Grandma Helen didn't say goodbye to Grandma Jackie, she just said goodbye to the boys because Grandma Jackie's bedroom was a mess." Jaw on floor.  Lili didn't know I had two uncles or that indeed that what's happened.  My mom and her mom were in a fight before she flew out that day... later crashing into a lake and dying of hypothermia.  She was 40 and my mom was 15  (her dad had just passed away 6 months earlier). There's a lot more to that story too...  okay must go to yoga.  Have a beautiful day!  Change the world by being courageous and stand up for good things and marginalized people!


THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW:  https://www.facebook.com/resistforgoodpage/videos/316244102136415/




This painting is now headed to the Aviation Museum in Anchorage.  Purchase of this artwork has been made possible through the support of the Rasmuson Foundation Art Acquisition Fund.


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