Eva Dawn Burk - “When We Eat, We Heal”
Eva Dawn Burk is one of the filmmakers featured in “Stories for Climate Justice.” To restore her Denaakk’e (Koyukon) and Lower Tanana Dene’ Athabascan traditional harvesting practices, Eva Dawn is returning to a semi-nomadic lifestyle, living in relationship with her family’s ancestral lands and waters. To help make this transition, she spent the last few years volunteering and working for her village of Toghotthele (Nenana) as a Wellness and Culture Camp Leader, Fisherwoman, Cook, and Laborer. She is a research assistant and is working on a Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environment with a focus on “Healing Through Food and Culture.”
Eva Dawn is dedicated to improving food sovereignty and security and community well-being through maintaining traditional lifestyles, advocacy, and opening educational spaces on ancestral lands. Her short film “When We Eat, We Heal” focuses on returning to the land to seek healing through harvesting and spending time with family processing and preparing traditional foods such as Noya’a (beaver). Family tragedies and ecosystem collapses affect her family’s ability to fully maintain their traditional harvesting practices. She sings a grieving song to honor her late brothers and encourage others to spend time on the land. When you are connected to the land, you understand its pain and work harder to protect it.
Image courtesy of Eva Dawn Burk.