People of the Lands of the Porcupine Caribou
Sarah Agnes James, (Neets’aii Gwich’in), sings a caribou welcome song to educate the world. She encourages all of us to “learn from each other and go forward for the Earth, so we can live.” Sarah is inseparable from the far northern world of interior Alaska. Her mother, father, and grandparents lovingly taught her to protect the “Sacred Place Where All Life Begins”, Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodiit. The land is her teacher, her medicine, her sustainer, and her way to the Creator. She grew up living off the land and knows the hardships of surviving in the cold north country. Sarah dedicates herself to protecting necessary lifeways, amplifying the voices of her people and beings—especially the caribou. A strong spokesperson and powerful activist, Sarah travels globally to mobilize many into empathy to protect the Porcupine Caribou herd and, defend their calving grounds from oil development and climate catastrophe. She educates and learns from diverse people, bringing her teachings, and also receiving theirs. Sarah works from her village and remains devoted to passing on the ancestral teaching to younger generations. She celebrates her opportunity as a Legacy Leader as a time to take care of herself and others as she works on a biography to contain her story. Her life exemplifies all that a Legacy Leader is.