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Alyssa London became the first person of Tlingit descent to be crowned Miss Alaska USA and placed in the top 10 at the Miss USA competition in 2017. She founded the media production company Culture Story, is the executive producer of the series Culture Stories, and is the author of Journey of the Freckled Indian.

“There is a lack of representation of Alaska Native people in the travel and tourism narrative and in media and television in general. Less than 0.4 percent of any media content features Native Americans, even less Alaska Natives. Culture Story is working to solve that problem, to reverse the erasure of what it means to be Native or Alaska Native today. Rebrand what we look like. Most of us are mixed race. That’s why my book was successful, because I actually call out the problem that a lot of indigenous people face today, which is not feeling seen or recognized as being Native because they don’t look like Pocahontas because they’re a mixed people. That’s why we have to have people understand what contemporary Native identity is and not having only content that’s about indigenous people or Alaska Natives showing us in a pre-1900s, pre-colonial context. That’s why no one thinks we exist anymore, because we’re only shown as relics.”

Author

Alexander Deedy is the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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