by Lisa Haggblom, SAFE staff
Desa Jacobsson, age 69, passed away September 21, 2017, in Anchorage, AK. She was born November 9, 1947. Desa was active in bringing attention to Alaska Native women's rights and political issues.
Desa came to Dillingham in 1998 to assist SAFE with the Bristol Bay Women's Conference in King Salmon, at the invitation of Virginia Baim, SAFE's executive director at the time. Then, she sketched the story of the Woman In The Moon, which set the stage for SAFE's video production of the same name, and presented a modern day domestic violence story in rural Alaska. She continued to assist SAFE through her hunger strikes, and sketched the story of the Heart of the Grizzly for the next SAFE video production. Heart of the Grizzly presented a modern day sexual assault story in rural Alaska, and Desa provided the narration.
Desa provided historical and current perspectives and facts to various writers, researchers, and reporters over the years. She was recently quoted in Monte Francis's book, Ice and Bone, and in Dr. Jeremy Braithwaite's thesis, Of Salmon, Spirits, Silence, and Steam: A Study of Sexual Violence in Rural Alaska. At the time of her cancer diagnosis, she was planning a protest against budget cuts that left victims of sexual violence without much needed protection against perpetrators.
Desa continued to speak out against policies that harmed everything she held dear about life in Alaska until she passed away. Those of us here who had the extreme good fortune to be with her will always cherish her candidness, humor, and passion for issues close to her heart. Thank you, Desa, for all you did and all you stood for-we know you are still with us in spirit.
Click on the candles for Desa's funeral services.
Family Viewingon-Tuesday, 09/26/17, 10am, Evergreen Memorial Chapel
737 E Street, Anchorage, AK
Reception follows from 11am-2pm