U.S. Senate passes bill with funds for murdered and missing indigenous women

Nov 11, 2019

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate agreed to spend $6.5 million to tackle the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women.

It’s a small line-item within a massive spending package, but it’s one Sen. Lisa Murkowski is proud to have included.

“That opens up funding to go … to investigate cold cases and just really put some energy behind this issue,” Murkowski said.

Yup'ik Elders revive traditional baby parka

Nov 7, 2019

Sewing atasuaq, traditional baby parkas, was almost a lost skill until a Yup’ik Elder helped revive it. And the result? An atasuaq, sewed with bird skin, from the coastal village of Toksook Bay.

‘Landless’ tribes stake out selections of the Tongass

Nov 4, 2019

Some Southeast Alaska tribal communities who were excluded from forming village corporations in the 1970s continue to push for a land settlement. Residents and descendants of natives in Wrangell, Petersburg, Tenakee Springs, Ketchikan and Haines call themselves landless tribes. The effort backed by Sealaska Corporation, has released a series of maps with acreage they’d like sliced out of Tongass National Forest.

Most fluent speakers of the Lingít language are elders. But the instructors of an immersion classroom in Juneau have high hopes: to raise a new generation of Lingít speakers.

When you step inside the Haa Yóo X̱ʼatángi Kúdi classroom, two rules are immediately clear: shoes off, and Lingít only. At least for the adults.

Haa Yóo X̱ʼatángi Kúdi means “our language’s nest,” or “our language nest.”

Sea ice a long ways off from Western Alaska

Nov 4, 2019

With a poor start for ice forming in northern Alaska waters this season, the latest climate forecasts predict sea ice may not reach Western Alaska until December.

Learning Yup'ik on the go: A new language app for Bristol Bay

Nov 4, 2019

Atkiq Michelle Ilutsik-Snyder and Diane Wetter are trying out a new way to learn Yup’ik during a conference at the Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham.

"All right! So we’re looking at the Yugtun app. Lesson three: foods. So we’re going to learn," Ilutsik-Snyder said, starting them off.     

Da Ku Cultural Centre celebrates 150 years of the Kohklux map

Oct 31, 2019

Yukon First Nations and Alaska Natives gathered Saturday at the Da Ku Cultural Centre in Haines Junction to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Kohklux map. That’s the oldest map of the Southern Yukon region from Klukwan, Alaska to Fort Selkirk in the Yukon Territory.

The maps are kept in a climate controlled room in the Da Ku center while they are on loan from the Bancroft Library.

Many Alaska Native gravesites in Juneau are overgrown and all but forgotten. Tlingit storyteller and cemetery caretaker Bob Sam hopes to change that. He led a tour through Juneau’s cemeteries during the Sharing Our Knowledge conference in September to raise awareness and respect for the graves and the ancestors buried in them.

Kids across the country are embracing the new animated show “Molly of Denali” that launched this summer on PBS.

It is the first children’s TV show with an Alaska Native lead character. Now some young fans want to dress like their hero Molly for Halloween.

The show’s producers want kids to have fun — but not co-opt Molly’s Athabascan culture.

‘Devilfish’ playwright’s favorite audience? Eighth-graders

Oct 24, 2019

Eighth-graders in Juneau had a day at the theater this month to watch “Devilfish,” a play that tells the story of a young Tlingit girl struggling with grief and new responsibility. After the performances, cast and crew visited middle schools to answer questions and share a few tricks of the trade.