Tripp Crouse

KNBA News Director

Originally from the Midwest, Tripp Crouse (Ojibwe, a descendent of Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) has 15-plus years in print, web and radio journalism. Tripp first moved to Alaska in 2016 to work with KTOO Public Media in Juneau. And later moved to Anchorage in 2018 to work with KNBA and Koahnic Broadcast Corporation.

As KNBA's News Director, Tripp covers Alaska Native and indigenous issues and policies. Tripp also currently serves as chair and represents Alaska Native and tribal radio on the Station Advisory Committee for Native Public Media.

A member of Native American Journalist Association, Alaska Native Media Group and Alaska Press Club, Tripp is an award-winning journalist with the goal of increasing the visibility and representation of Indigenous people in media.

Organizers of the Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon, made a decision to cancel the event over coronavirus concerns.

Kyle Khaayák'w Worl has been participating in Native games for the past 11 years. And for about the four years, he’s coached young athletes and helped reintroduce the sport in Juneau.

A veteran of the three Arctic Winter Games, Worl was saddened by what the cancellation means for his athletes -- who were looking forward to the international competition.

On Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, a number of community organizations will host a vigil and healing drum ceremony at the Alaska Native Heritage Center,  8800 Heritage Center Drive, Anchorage, to honor and remember the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Children.

Charlene Aqpik Apok (Inupiaq) is the gender justice and healing director for Native Movement, one of the host organizations of the event.

One of the biggest stories of 2019 was the display of passion that two young Indigenous women had for their environment.

“It’s our life. It’s our future.” said Quannah Chasing Horse – she’s a Lakota Sioux and Hans Gwich’in from Fairbanks. She’s also 17. “It is not just about us either. It’s about the world. The Arctic is feeling twice as much as the entire world. We are thawing twice as fast as anywhere else in the world. And it is right now.”

The only tribal gaming casino in the state is in Metlakatla, on the Annette Island Indian Reserve. But a federally recognized tribe near Anchorage wants to change that.

In the state’s early history, a federal law -- the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act -- parceled out land to 12 regional corporations, Native Village corporations and thousands of tribal allotments. In exchange Alaska Natives gave up further claims to land and most of the resources on and under the ground. 

Alaska also considers most gambling -- outside of state-licensed gaming -- illegal.

Indigenous fans have taken to adopting “Baby Yoda,” declaring the character is Native.

One look at Baby Yoda and you can see why he’s captured the hearts and minds of Indigenous people -- he’s cute, tiny, with big ears and big round eyes that reflect the world around him.  And he tries really hard to help sometimes. But he’s also still playful like a baby experiencing the world for the first time.

Speakers and language learners came from around the U.S. to a weeklong workshop in Anchorage with the goal of translating census materials.

At the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, a group of about 25 people represented the Gwich'in, Inupiat, Yup'ik, and Koyukon cultures from Alaska. They gathered to translate materials for the 2020 Census.

Five Alaska Native groups will receive more than $16 million dollars in federal affordable housing funds. 

According to a news release, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, awarded nearly $200 million dollars in Indian Housing Block Grant funds to 52 Tribes and Tribally designated housing entities nationwide. Five of them are based in Alaska.

Aleutian Housing Authority was awarded about $2.5 million dollars. Erin Wilson is the deputy director. She says the funding couldn’t have come at a better time.

A summit next month in Fairbanks hopes to build collaboration and strategies that address the challenges of relying on oil-and-gas development.

Organizers hope that the Just Transition Summit – January 8-10, 2020 – provides a space for “Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaboration to build critical thinking around economic and social transition.”

At the 2019 Elders and Youth Conference, the running theme is “Language is Our Superpower." The elder keynote speaker Sally Tugidm Ayagaa Swetzof (Unangax̂) talked about the importance of keeping Unangam Tunuu alive.

Swetzof was born before Alaska gained statehood. Growing up in Atka, Unangam Tunuu was her first language.

“It wsa the language always spoken at home and in the village when I was growing up,” she said from the mainstage. “Nobody spoke English unless they were talking to the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) teachers or some other non-speakers.”

In Interior Alaska, Athabascan fiddle music is a staple at social gatherings. At the 2019 Elders and Youth conference, elders taught young people how to dance the signature style – called jigging. Gwich'in fiddle player Jerry Frank originally learned to play the guitar, but when older fiddle players passed on – he took up the instrument that’s a signature of Athabascan jigging – a style of square-dancing folk music.