Lily Lalanya Hudson Hope and her mother, Clarissa – December 2013 – Juneau, Alaskaphoto by Kelly Burnett

The moment Lily was born the morning of January 30, 1980, my condemning, self-judgments began to cease.  This thing called “love of self” was felt in every cell of my body; I remember it quite well.  I feel this is the gift she gave to her mother and this is the gift she gives to the rest of the world – it is also the gift in and of herself.

Lily is all kinds of things, but first and foremost the past six years, she is a mother of two of my favorite people in the world, Bette (Grandma’s nickname for her is “SikiKwaan”) and Louis (Grandma’s nickname for him is “Ajuju”).  She enjoys  homeschooling her kids; being a full-time mother right now is her favorite job, though for her sanity, she has her own weaving/sewing/beadworking room!

Lily has done all kinds of jobs, she always went “up the ladder” in no time due to her organizational abilities, her mathematical mind and her love to just be busy making people happy.  When she was 18, after only a month, she became the manager of McDonald’s in Pagosa Springs, Colorado; then at 20 she became the Marketing Director for Whole Foods in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a beadwork artist for an internationally-famous mask-maker out of New Orleans.  When she returned to her hometown of Juneau, Alaska 10 years ago to help take care of her Grandma Irene, she was led back into her Native roots.

She received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Alaska Southeast in 2005.  By way of Perseverance Theatre in Douglas, she became an actress and with the assistance of her Grandpa Bob Hudson attended the San Francisco School of Acting.  She also became an award-winning storyteller, winning top awards in the All-Alaska Storytelling competition; she and her husband, Ishmael Hope have performed at the Smithsonian.   She got back into Ravenstail and Chilkat weaving and won 1st Place for the 4-piece, child-size woven ensemble in the Traditional Arts category of the Sealaska Juried Art Show.  She used to have a website under Lily Hudson, but her name changed when she married Ishmael and she hasn’t gotten her younger sister, Ursala the web-designer to create a new website just yet.  Although you can visit Ishmael’s superb website at:

Ishmael, Lily and their two children live happily  in Douglas, Alaska.

Happy Birthday, my Nina!