rural alaska


Discovering ancient bones near McGrath. The water level in the Kuskokwim River rises and falls in response to snowmelt and rain. High water plucks trees from the muddy riverbanks, transporting them down the river. Low water strands jumbles of wood on sandbars. These wood piles are welcome to the river communities because the logs are a convenient source of firewood. I was six years old when we set out from McGrath to collect firewood. Francis, my stepdad, drove the boat upriver, so that the collected logs could then be floated downriver. Our strategy was to tie a raft of logs to the bow of the boat and gently motor the raft back to town. While my mom and Francis were sawing wood for the raft, I played games with my older brother Burke—setting up sticks for target practice with rocks or a BB gun. Burke recalls that one of the…

Kyle Hopkins. Photo courtesy Anchorage Daily News. Kyle Hopkins, 43, is a reporter and editor at the Anchorage Daily News. Hopkins was a reporter on the series “Lawless,” a collaboration between the ADN and ProPublica that won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The Pulitzer board called the body of work “a riveting series that revealed a third of Alaska’s villages had no police protection, took authorities to task for decades of neglect, and spurred an influx of money and legislative changes.” “One thing that was really instrumental and important to me early in the reporting was learning about a lawsuit about 20 years ago by several tribes that were saying if the state wasn’t going to support local means of tribal justice than it had a duty to provide the most basic of public safety services in villages, in the same way that you can’t just not provide…

Sled dog care and mushing program leads children into the future

[by Jayme Dittmar]

People and dogs have coexisted and worked in unison for thousands of years across North America and Siberia. The oldest archeological evidence suggests that humans started using dogs as an integral part of their nomadic lifestyle as long ago as 14,000 years, in their migration across the Bering Land Bridge.