Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope
Three generations. Julia Trennert’s heart is set on healing three generations—hers, her daughter’s, and her granddaughter’s. Julia is a member of the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. She grew up on the tundra and her life was good. The lifeways of her people were healthy and abundant, living on the land. The Indian Residential School dramatically changed that for Julia. Her good life changed when she entered residential school.
Julia calls herself a “survivor.” She has devoted years to healing from her own personal traumas. She is using her own experiences and learnings to support others faced with grief-work that is necessary to find recovery. Julia has worked hard at mending traumas within her own family. Residential school life has left the legacies of languages lost and the absence of necessary childhood care, love, and understanding from parents and relatives.
Through volunteer work in community trauma recovery programs and through educating others on the history of the Indian Residential School era, Julia is making a difference. Sometimes it is the comfort she offers in the courageous telling of her story to others whose story may be similar. Sometimes it is bridging the division between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to educate and inform new policy development.
At this stage in her life, Julia feels like she has almost come full circle. She desires to dedicate her time to three generations, sharing from her childhood memories of life on the land, teaching from the traditional knowledge of her family, and revealing lessons from her healing journey. She is a strong Inuvialuit Elder and she is offering that strength to support and empower others.