George Attla documentary brings together community and sled dog racing

Dec 29, 2019

Sled dogs, community, and teaching the next generation. These themes come together in a new documentary about legendary sprint musher George Attla from the village of Huslia. The documentary has been making the rounds in Alaska: last week in Bethel, a community with its own rich history of sled dog racing.

Within an hour of stepping foot in Huslia, Catharine Axley found herself on a snowmachine behind a team of sled dogs.

Meals for Angoon school children hinge on regular ferry service

Dec 29, 2019

In many Alaska coastal communities, ferry service is more than just a transportation link. It can also be a form of survival.

In Angoon, the ferry is the only way that some children can eat at school on a daily basis. But now that program is at risk with cutbacks to regular winter ferry service.

Mayor Joshua Bowen has a 9-year-old boy and 8-year-old girl attending Angoon school. Instead of eating breakfast at home, they usually leave a little early.

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.

Nushagak and Mulchatna announced as winning names for a star and exoplanet

Dec 23, 2019

Ivory Adajar couldn’t sleep early morning, Dec. 17. Months ago she had submitted two names in a competition to name a star and exoplanet for the United States. She tuned in to a news conference broadcasting from Paris, France, where the International Astronomical Union announced the winners.

“I was shocked, I was very excited," Adajar said. "I broke down and cried and ultimately I was very honored.”

Proposed Nuyakuk Falls hydroproject to test impacts on salmon

Dec 23, 2019

If you look at the Wood-Tikchik State Park on a map, you’ll see a bump on its eastern boundary line, jutting out to include Nuyakuk Falls, just three miles inside the park.

“Well, it’s absolutely beautiful," said Pat Vermillion, one of the owners of the Royal Coachman Lodge, situated about two miles upstream from the falls. “It divides the river into three shoots that are pretty intimidating to even get close to them, they’re pumping so much water through."

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.

Over the past decade, federal officials have logged 77 incidents of vessels hitting whales in Alaska waters. About three-quarters of those, were endangered humpbacks. But, it’s not clear why those strikes keep happening. A group of federal researchers and marine pilots have teamed up to combine what scientists know about whale behavior with what marine pilots know about ships.

Future of overcrowding tied to accurate census counting

Dec 11, 2019

Rural Alaskans are expressing concerns with the counting process as the 2020 Census begins January 21 in Toksook Bay. Some fear there will be repercussions if they share details about their cramped living conditions, but census leaders say accurate data could reduce overcrowding throughout the state.