An Alaska Native Art Writing Initiative Project funded through A Journey to What Matters

Storyknife Writers Retreat

Story & Photo by Laureli Ivanoff


Oftentimes I can sit at my kitchen counter and write a column while my husband and young son put together Lego train sets in the living room. However, I’ve learned that in writing my memoir, a long-form project, physical and emotional space is essential.

I need space because writers are truth seekers and truth tellers. To find the truth often takes emotional digging which can be exhausting and painful. Quiet, space, time and rest are essential for this process. At Storyknife, in the safety of the Peggy cabin, I found myself able to relax in a space necessary for creating, for revising, for emotional digging.

While at Storyknife I revised and organized the seven draft chapters. Along with the writing, I made important relationships that have carried on into today. Three of us meet every Friday for a writing group, where we talk about our projects, catch up with one another and create space to write, through Zoom, together.

Finally, I’ve come to take myself more seriously as a writer. An entire crew of people take our work seriously enough to create space for our work. The experience and the continued gifts Storyknife has given has been invaluable.

Through this initiative, Museums Alaska and The CIRI Foundation are fostering cultural sovereignty and preserving Alaska Native heritage for generations to come. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable endeavor when the program cycle is open in August 2023. Together, we can celebrate and honor the richness of Alaska Native cultures and promote a deeper understanding of our shared history.

Read more about TCF’s A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture