In April, residents of Diomede relied on melting snow and run-off as drinking water for 11 days. The community’s running water was restored, but local experts say they aren’t out of the woods yet, as the system still is not fully functioning.

According to Laura Achee, a spokesperson with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, or ADEC, part of the limited information ADEC received was that the water tank was inoperable, and the system was having issues.

Anchorage musician Quinn Christopherson wins NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest

May 17, 2019

An Anchorage singer-songwriter is the winner of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert contest. Quinn Christopherson beat out 6,000 entries from around the world with a song called “Erase Me”, recorded in front of the huge, famous Sydney Laurence painting at the Anchorage Museum.

Christopherson sat down with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove earlier this week.

In Anchorage, land acknowledgments gain ground

May 14, 2019

Maybe you’ve heard of a “land acknowledgment.” It’s a statement of respect at the beginning of an event acknowledging the Indigenous inhabitants of a place and their claim to the land. In some countries they have been happening for decades, even incorporated into official protocols. In Alaska, the conversation around land acknowledgment is relatively new. But, it’s picking up.

As the ice goes, Arctic nations find their bonds are tested

May 13, 2019

In the end, the eight nations of the Arctic Council signed a short statement, affirming their commitment to peace and cooperation. But two major issues loomed over the Arctic Council meeting in Finland this week, and they pull at the seams of Arctic unity.

What does warmer temperatures and changing ice mean for whalers?

May 13, 2019

On the North Slope of Alaska, the Iñupiat tradition of hunting bowhead whales has an ancestry more than 1,500 years old.

Today in Utqiaġvik there are two annual hunts when the whales pass by on their migration. The fall hunt has historically been done on open water, and the spring hunt from the ice that attaches to the coast each winter.

Through language, Yup’ik teacher passes on a way of life

May 10, 2019

On a warm, sunny day in the village of Tuntutuliak, a group of children run around each other on a boardwalk outside of the bright blue building that houses the village’s K-12 school.

Their shouting is a blend of Yugtun and English.

That blend of languages is mirrored inside the school. Small, flippable signs hang on the outside of each classroom door. They designate the language of the day. Some days it is English. Others it’s Yugtun.

In Alice Fitka’s class, it’s always Yugtun.

Hoonah’s Icy Strait Point is positioning itself as one of Alaska’s top cruise ship destinations.

Roughly 1-in-3 cruise ship tourists will visit the entertainment complex on the outskirts of the small Southeast community next year.

Executives from Norwegian Cruise Line visited Hoonah to participate in the groundbreaking of a second cruise dock designed for the company’s two megaships deployed to Alaska.

The statistics tracking the number of Native women who have disappeared in the U.S. are tough.

And Alaska, with its small population, has the fourth largest number of missing or murdered Native women. Anchorage has the third highest number of all the cities surveyed in a report from the Seattle-based Urban Indian Health Institute.

In death, beached Turnagain humpback offers clues, research samples and food

May 7, 2019

A humpback whale died after it beached in Turnagain Arm south of Anchorage near Girdwood. Biologists say it is an uncommon location for a humpback and they are now studying its death.

The whale became stranded twice early last week. It appeared to free itself but its body washed ashore Tuesday a few miles away from where it had first beached. Researchers carefully took measurements and samples, and subsistence users harvested blubber for food.