New Project Announcement: Visiting Remote Native Alaskan Villages
Friday night I called my father's cousin outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. It was nearing midnight for me. Only 9pm for him.
Redgy works for a Christian radio station up there, has for many years. The station reaches villages far away--villages of only a few hundred people unreachable by road, villages comprised almost entirely of Native Alaskans.
"It's like a whole other world," said Redgy--and this from a guy who lives in a part of the U.S. most Americans would already consider to be another world.
In these villages, Redgy said few homes have running water, some even without electricity. I hadn't considered such places in America until Friday night. And I'm considering them a lot more now, because my reason for calling Redgy is that I'm traveling to Alaska the second half of this August.
I had already made plans with a cousin also outside of Fairbanks and another of my father's cousins outside of Anchorage. Both contacts will introduce me to ample frontier to gaze upon with wonder (and long summer days will offer extra sunlight to do so:) Both will reveal popular Alaskan outdoor culture and the characters who embrace it. But Redgy's connections to these villages are shaping up to offer something extra: a rare human story to experience and share here with you all.
By the time our call ended Friday night, I had committed a couple of days in Alaska to exposing myself to these remote communities and the people who call them home. What's the day-to-day like in places like Fort Yukon? (pictured) How familiar are people there with their ancient customs and language? How connected are they to the dramatic issues shaking the rest of the U.S. these days?
I always knew a trip to Alaska would be a life-changing look at Mother Nature. I'm thrilled and honored that it may include this eye-opening human element as well.
Such an opportunity wasn't on my radar for this trip until this night. Then Redgy started talking about his work, and.... light bulbs in my head lit up. Life does seem to direct me to such places. I'll do my best to share them with you.