Velma realized that the problems of Fort Yukon happen in other communities too. What bothered her the most about her people, the Gwich'in, drinking? They were losing their tradition of caring and knowing one another.
What disease did Barry get? HIV.
How old was Barry when he died? 35.
Velma says that religion scared them and they didn't trust anyone. How did Barry change near his death? He looked beyond their reality. He asked questions of those he respected. He became at peace with himself.
Why did Barry carry his burden alone? He didn't want to bother others.
Everyone in his family wished they could trade places with him in the hospital. Why? Because everyone in the family loved him, he was respected, the honorable one.
What happened outside the window when Barry passed on? A flock of ravens flew by in a V shape.
Respond to these in your journal.
There is a saying “Where ever you are there you are.” Barry is saying the same thing when he says that you can't leave a problem behind because you actually take it with you. What do you think of this?
What does this mean: “If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.”
The author never comes out and actually says that Barry was gay. She alludes to it but never uses the words gay. Why?
Why did Barry not tell anyone about his sexuality?
Grandma Itchoo said Barry was a Medicine Man. Looking at his life as described by Velma, do you think Barry was a leader?
Do a character map of Barry. Use Handout 3 as a guideline.
Is there a difference between religion and spirituality? Brainstorm ideas with learners on flipchart paper. Ask them to organize their ideas and write a paragraph about region and spirituality.