Young Eskimos Break Out on Their Own on TLC’s New Series ‘Escaping Alaska’

Click image to preview series “Escaping Alaska”



This will be the first program from Discovery Networks International to debut in the U.S. first

The Wrap  June 25, 2014

By Jethro Nededog

In a similar vein to its popular “Breaking Amish” franchise, TLC once again places its gaze on a subculture whose youth want to experience the outside world on new series “Escaping Alaska.”

The six-part series will be the first program from Discovery Networks International (DNI) that will air in the United States first before moving on to more than 200 countries and territories across the world.

Debuting on Sunday, July 27 at 9/8c, “Escaping Alaska” will feature the challenging journey of Alaska natives, broadly referred to as Eskimos, Mary, Frank, Tamara, Qituvituag aka Q and Nuala, as they set out to explore the world outside their villages and small towns. Though filled with love and pride in their heritage, these young people yearn to know life outside the insular communities. But, that’s not how their families will take it.

“‘Escaping Alaska’ provides a rare window into a remote world that is quite foreign to many of TLC viewers – a look at the lives of an endangered culture and private community that is seldom seen by the lower 48,” said DNI’s production and development vice president, Jon Sechrist in a statement.

He continued, “The series is a fascinating study of people struggling to preserve their traditional way of life, and the aspirations of its younger generation who are seeking their own way. The five characters featured are a microcosm of their community.”

Leaving one’s home is considered a betrayal in that culture, so these young people will have to use cover stories to mask their true intentions for leaving for California. Their new experiences will include new jobs, dating and challenging their traditional upbringings. In the end, they’ll each make the decision to return home or continue their lives within the contiguous 48 states of the U.S.

Sechrist commissioned and executive produced the series. Hot Snakes Media is producing the series for DNI.

Tulalip Montessori School graduates future class of 2027

TULALIP – The future graduating class of 2027 took center stage on Thursday, June 12, at the Don Hatch Jr. Youth Center’s Greg Williams Court where family and friends of the Tulalip Montessori School’s graduating class of 2014 attended a special graduation to honor the future leaders of Tulalip.

The evening featured a customized photo slideshow and a mini concert performed by the graduates before taking the walk. The Montessori graduating class of 2014 will continue their education journey in kindergarten next year.

Around the Region: Montana movie delves into life on the reservation

Nicolas Hudak films in 2009 during the production of 'Where God Likes to Be.' / Photo by Nicolas Hudak
Nicolas Hudak films in 2009 during the production of ‘Where God Likes to Be.’ / Photo by Nicolas Hudak


Feb. 24, 2014

Written by David Murray GreatFalls Tribune Staff Writer

“Where God Likes to Be” is a film that captures both the hope and the hardship of life on the reservation.

Filmed over the course of a single summer, “Where God Likes to Be” is a documentary filmed and produced by Nicolas and Anna Hudak. The movie premiered at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula this past week, but its genesis stretches back 10 years ago to when the Hudaks found themselves stranded in Browning by a late winter snowstorm.

Growing up in Kalispell, Nicolas had heard all the stereotypes about Browning: The reservation was dangerous and the last place a white person would want to spend the night. But what he and his wife experienced was altogether different. They were greeted with generosity and hospitality.

“That changed my perspective on all those ideas that I had growing up,” Nicolas Hudak said of his stay in Browning. “Yes, there’s definitely a lot of hardships going on — as there has been for the last 100 years or more. It’s a pretty tough spot to make a living. But there are a lot of good people doing good stuff and just trying to get by.”

In 2009, the Hudaks returned to Browning to document the lives of three young people: Andi Running Wolf, graduating from Heart Butte High School and preparing to go to college at the University of Montana; Doug Fitzgerald, a Blackfeet cowboy from Babb working to support his young family; and Edward Tailfeathers, a young man from Browning debating whether to stay on the reservation or leave in search of greater opportunity elsewhere.

The stories of these three people could easily be transposed to nearly any community in the United States. Running Wolf struggles with homesickness and fitting in at college. Fitzgerald comments that becoming a husband and father came sooner than he was expecting. Tailfeathers worries about finding a job and passes the time singing in a band with his friends.

“Where God Likes to Be” emphasizes the similarities its three characters share with young people throughout the United States, viewed through the lens of life in a community where hope and opportunity are frequently in short supply.

WHERE GOD LIKES TO BE Teaser from counter production on Vimeo.

“What’s important here in our film is the deep connection that people have,” Hudak said. “We didn’t set out to make a film about ‘the Indians.’ We were going to make a film about these young people growing up here and what’s important to them.”

However, each of the three characters is deeply aware that the choices they make have the potential to lead them away from the reservation. Each voices concerns about the risks of leaving, and possibly weakening their sense of identity as Blackfeet.

“Everyone I know is here. Everything I have had is here,” Tailfeathers says as he contemplates moving away from Browning. “It’s part of the connection of who you are.”

“Here we are at this cusp of change, and there are two ways this could go,” Hudak said of the decisions his characters face. “One is that everybody just becomes culturally homogenized and there’s really no difference between Blackfeet and anybody else. Or, they can try to hold on to what’s left. This is basically the last generation that has any kind of chance of saving those things that make the culture unique.”

“Then again, they are just American kids growing up in America,” he adds.

Within the first few scenes of “Where God Likes to Be” the viewer is introduced to the film’s fourth main character: the landscape of Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Hudak’s cinematography intersperses sweeping vistas of the Rocky Mountain Front with intimate glimpses of life in Browning and Heart Butte.

“Andi, Doug and Eddie are the heroes of the story, but certainly the landscape is the overseer of everything,” he said. “Part of the reason we wanted to make this film about the Blackfeet in particular is because that area is just so spectacular. There is just something so dramatic and so poetic about the way Browning looks in contrast with Glacier Park. I feel that beauty lies not just in fabulous sunsets, but also in those heavier human elements.”

“If we didn’t teach or learn all these old ways — religion, culture, language — then what are we?” Fitzgerald asks toward the end of the film. “Just a name. This will be a story in a book someone will pick up here and there. I always want to be. Be here. I want to be here where it started and never die, so that my kids will have a good place and be proud of where they’re from.”

Fitzgerald’s words could have just as easily been spoken by any of the young people featured in the film.

As a small budget film, “Where God Likes to Be” is not likely to show at a local multiplex cinema any time soon. To keep track of where the movie is playing, log on to the movie’s website at

Hibulb Antique Appraisal

By Niki Cleary, Tulalip News

Ever wonder where that basket your grandmother gave you came from? How about the artifact, or regalia. Follow the link. Recorded at the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, the Hibulb Antique Appraisals program features local Hibulb museum guests and their Native American antiques and collectibles as an accredited antique appraiser provides information and current market value of their items.


Hibulb Antique Appraisals

Ingenious 19-year-old Develops Plan to Clean up Oceans in 5 Years

Image Credit /
Image Credit /

By: Amanda Froelich,

 September 13, 2013 True Activistcom



Watch video here



With millions of tons of garbage dumped into the oceans annually and repeat incidence of oil spills like the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, it’s the Ocean which has taken the brunt of unsustainable methods from man. In effect, it’s estimated almost 100,000 marine animals are killed due to debris entanglement and continually rising pollution.

To a degree, individual lessening of consumerism and utilizing sustainable methods to re-use and eliminate waste is very beneficial. However, reducing the already-toxic state of the Earth is the biggest concern of environmentalists and engineers, seeking to utilize the technological advances already available. To this avail, it was 19-year-young Boyan Slat that ingeniously created the Ocean Array Plan, a project that could remove 7,250,000 tons of plastic from the world’s oceans in just five years.

Slat’s idea consists of an anchored network of floating booms and processing platforms that could be dispatched to garbage patches around the world. Working with the flow of nature, his solution to the problematic shifting of trash is to have the array span the radius of a garbage patch, acting as a giant funnel as the ocean moves through it. The angle of the booms would force plastic in the direction of the platforms, where it would be separated from smaller forms, such as plankton, and be filtered and stored for recycling. The issue of by-catches, killing life forms in the procedure of cleaning trash, can be virtually eliminated by using booms instead of nets and it will result in a larger areas covered. Because of trash’s density compared to larger sea animals, the use of booms will allow creatures to swim under the booms unaffected, reducing wildlife death substantially.

Economically, the Ocean Array Project also rises to the top due to its sustainable construct; it’s completely self-supportive, by receiving energy from the sun, currents, and waves. By also letting the platforms’ wings sway like an actual manta ray, contact with inlets in the roughest weather can be ensured. It’s a plan that merges environmental safety with thoroughly thought out processes.

Inspired to tackle global issues of sustainability, Boyan began by launching a project at school that analyzed the size and amount of plastic particles in the ocean’s garbage patches; his final paper went on to win several prizes, including Best Technical Design 2012 at the Delft University of Technology. Continuing the development of his concept during the summer of 2012, he revealed it several months later at TEDxDelft2012.

Slat took his well-planned project further by then founding The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organization responsible for the development of proposed technologies. Aside from saving thousands of animals and reducing chemicals (like PCB and DDT) from building up in the food chain, it could also save millions of dollars a year due to clean-up costs, lost tourism, and damage to marine vessels. His undeterred passion to create healthier oceans has possibility to beneficially impact the lives of the entire world.

Although extensive feasibility studies are currently being conducted, it has been estimated that through the selling of plastic retrieved over the five years, the money would surpass the initial cost to execute the project. In other words, it may even be potentially profitable. Because the main deterrent to implement large scale cleanup projects is due to the financial cost, this solution could perhaps pave ways for future innovations of global cleanup to also be invented.

While the project process would take five years, it’s a span that could continue to increase the world’s awareness of garbage patches, as well as the importance of recycling and reducing consumption of plastic packaging.

To find out more about the project and to contribute, click here.

‘Fort McMurray is a wasteland’: Neil Young slams oil patch, Keystone plans


Video: Neil Young says Fort McMurray looks like ‘Hiroshima’


Paul Koring and Kelly Cryderman


Sep. 10 2013


Canadian rocker Neil Young has waded into the bitter debate over Alberta’s vast oil sands and the controversial Keystone XL pipeline planned to funnel one million barrels a day of Canadian crude to huge refineries in Texas and Louisiana.

Mr. Young said in a news conference on Monday that oil sands extraction was killing native peoples, igniting a new firestorm in the ongoing battle between proponents who want the massive reserves extracted and an array of opponents who argue that burning the carbon-heavy crude will seriously exacerbate global warming that threatens the planet.

Neil Young arrives for the film "Neil Young Journeys" at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Sept. 12, 2011.(Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Neil Young arrives for the film “Neil Young Journeys” at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Sept. 12, 2011.

“The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima,” Mr. Young said in Washington. “Fort McMurray is a wasteland. The Indians up there and the native peoples are dying.”

Keystone opponents were quick to cheer Mr. Young’s blunt intervention.

Sierra Club spokesman Eddie Scher said: “Neil Young has been expressing and exposing hard truths his whole career,” adding: “Looks like he’s at it again.”

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver – who was in Washington himself on the same day for a meeting with U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, took a different view.

“I am a big fan of Neil Young’s music,” Mr. Oliver told the Globe. “But on this matter we disagree because Keystone XL will displace heavy oil from Venezuela which has the same or higher greenhouse gas emissions, with a stable and secure source of Canadian oil.”

The singer is among a growing number of well-known activists speaking out against Keystone XL “Neil Young is speaking for all of us fighting to stop the Keystone XL,” said Jane Kleeb, Executive Director of Bold Nebraska, a coalition of landowners and others opposed to the $5.3-billion Keystone XL pipeline. “When you see the pollution already caused by the reckless expansion of tar sands, you only have one choice and that is to act.”

Mr. Young, one of Canada’s best-known singer-songwriters since the 1960s, told a conference in Washington Monday that he recently travelled to Alberta, where “much of the oil comes from, much of the oil that we’re using here, which they call ethical oil because it’s not from Saudi Arabia or some country that may be at war with us.”

As for Keystone, Mr. Young lampooned claims that it would create lots of jobs.

“Yeah it’s going to put a lot of people to work, I’ve heard that, and I’ve seen a lot of people that would dig a hole that’s so deep that they couldn’t get out of it, and that’s a job too, and I think that’s the jobs that we are talking about there with the Keystone pipeline,” he said.

He spoke at the U.S. National Farmers Union conference in Washington, intended to support alternative fuels, such as ethanol, which he did at length, slamming Big Oil and talking about his own LincVolt, an old Continental that runs on ethanol and electricity.

Young said he drove the 1959 Lincoln, which runs on ethanol and electricity, to Fort McMurray while traversing the continent from his California home to Washington over the last two and half weeks.

At the same time, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver was making the latest in a long series of lobbying visits by ministers and premiers intended to sway President Barack Obama to approve the long-delayed pipeline.

Ms. Kleeb wasn’t impressed. “Prime Minister Harper can write all the memos he wants, Joe Oliver can say anything but the reality is people are dying and the alliance between cowboys and Indians is stronger than any K Street lobbyists Canada hires.”

All Risk, No Rewards, another group opposed to Keystone XL also echoed Mr. Young’s comments.

“Canada’s First Nations know all too well the risks of Keystone XL and the risks of expanding the tar sands,” said Rachel Wolf, a spokeswoman for the group. Ranchers in Nebraska and First Nations peoples in Canada have more in common than one might think: they’re ‘Ordinary People’ who share a common goal to protect their land and protect their water, and they both know that these tar sands expansion projects are all risk and no reward.”

Mr. Young described his recent visit graphically. “The fuel’s all over – the fumes everywhere – you can smell it when you get to town. The closest place to Fort McMurray that is doing the tar sands work is 25 or 30 miles out of town and you can taste it when you get to Fort McMurray. People are sick. People are dying of cancer because of this. All the First Nations people up there are threatened by this.”

Mr. Young’s comments don’t sit well with Fort McMurray’s mayor, who called them “blatantly false.”

Melissa Blake, mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray, said she has no problem with people having environmental interests at heart.

But she said Fort McMurray is totally different from Mr. Young’s characterization. With his power in the music industry, she’s disappointed “there wasn’t more rationality to it.”

“When people say it’s a wasteland, it really and truly isn’t,” Ms. Blake said. “When it comes to the community of Fort McMurray, you’re overwhelmed frankly by the beauty of it. You’ve got an incredible boreal environment that’s all around you. You proceed further north into the oil sands and inevitably, there’s mining operations that will draw your attention because they take up large chunks of land.”

The mayor said she always invites outsiders to the region to see the landscape, and to see oil sands companies’ reclamation efforts.

Danielle Droitsch, director of the National Resources Defense Council, said “Seeing tar sands development up close is shocking” adding “these are massive operations and industry hopes to triple its production over the next 20 years.”

Blocking Keystone XL will thwart expansion of oil sands production, according to the NRDC, but Mr. Oliver says Canada will just export its reserves elsewhere.

With files from Steven Chase and The Canadian Press

Violence against women, kids on MT reservations discussed



Click image to see video coverage
Click image to see video coverage

Aug 7, 2013

by Claire Anderson – MTN News

GREAT FALLS, MT – Senator Max Baucus met with Montana Tribal leaders and government officials Tuesday to hear more about the problem of violence against women and children on state’s Indian reservations.

The urgencies is that we have a cycle of violence occurring within our communities that needs to break,” Northern Cheyenne Tribal Councilwoman Jace Killsback said.

Statistics show that the number of cases of violence against women and children on Montana Indian reservations are remarkably high.

“We all have an obligation all of us in Montana, on and off the Reservation, to do something about [it],” Baucus stated.

Baucus says an average of 7,500 children on reservations are victimized every year, and more than one in three Native American women have been raped or sexually assaulted.

“It’s always been an issue. We look at it from a historical perspective that our value system of our family’s was broken down through government policies,” Killsback explained.

I see it every day. I live it at home. You know the social deals that we have – and the lack of funding to address the problems that we have – hopefully these types of [forums] that we have will help us,” Fort Peck Reservation Councilman Robert Welch said.

Montanans, both on and off the reservations, are now looking for solutions.

“It’s up to all of us to do our very best to solve this and to prevent all that from reoccurring as much as we possibly can,” Baucus added.

Reservation leaders are hoping to establish places like safe havens, youth centers, and substance abuse programs thanks to federal funding, but these can’t come to life without monetary resources.

“The biggest issue now is resources. We don’t have the resources to develop…to promote federal programs for substance abuse [or] for dealing with child abuse, Killsback stated.

While lack of funding isn’t a problem unique to Montana’s Indian Reservations, tribal leaders, along with Sen. Baucus, hope these listening sessions are the stepping stone to create solutions – not just empty promises.

Bigfoot Captured On Video By Canadian Hikers?

Bigfoot is once again causing a big stir, thanks to two new videos from British Columbia that allegedly capture the hairy creature on camera.


or view AZCentral video here

The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted: 07/30/2013


The two videos came to light after a Canadian app company called Play Mobility put out a request for videos of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and its Canadian cousin, Ogopogo, on behalf of itsLegend Tracker app, which drops legendary creatures such as Sasquatch and the Loch Ness monster into real settings.

The first video was posted to YouTube on July 18 and appears to show a group of Chinese tourists in Mission, British Columbia, taking photos of a large ape-like figure in the forest.

It’s hard to make out what the creature is, but one tourist helpfully provides a hint by grunting “Sasquatch,” the same way Japanese actors shout “Godzilla!” in the movies.

The other video, posted July 24, shows the distant image of what could be another ape-like creature ambling in a forest, just a little too far away to be seen clearly.

The videos, while compelling, are raising skepticism since the Legend Tracker app allows people to fake their own Sasquatch and Nessie pics.

Blogger Brian Abrams thinks the video footage stinks more than a non-bathing Bigfoot.

“What a coincidence that ol’ Bigfoot made his way into PlayMobility’s neck of the woods. British Columbia, where tech novelties and ancient mysteries collide!” he wrote on his blog,

To be fair, the Pacific Northwest is a hotbed for Sasquatch sightings. Legend Tracker spokesman Miles Marziani insists the company had nothing to do with the allegedly user-submitted videos.

Marziani would not confirm whether the videos were faked to HuffPost BC.

He claims the company is trying to pinpoint the exact location of the July 24 sighting.

Crowd-sourced cryptozoological expeditions have their charms, but that may not be the most effective way of proving the existence of Bigfoot, according to Idaho State University professor Jeffrey Meldrum, author of “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.”

He has created “The Falcon Project,” a drone plane that will fly over Bigfoot territoryand capture conclusive evidence of its existence.

“These unmanned drones, I believe, are the next step in proving the nature of these creatures,” he told the Mountain Express newspaper.

Help Matika Wilbur Get Her TED Talk Out There

Matika Wilbur, self portrait
Matika Wilbur, self portrait


posted by JEN GRAVES on

TUE, JUL 23, 2013 at 11:23 AM

If enough people give Matika Wilbur’s newly released recent TEDx talk the thumbs-up on YouTube, TED will feature it on the main TED site. Mainframing Matika. Check it out and see if you want to support.

Native teen tale The Lesser Blessed

Richard Van Camp’s coming-of-age novel adapted for the screen

CBC News
Posted: Jun 4, 2013 12:27 PM ET

A film adaptation of Richard Van Camp’s Northern-set debut novel The Lesser Blessed, a coming-of-age tale about a First Nations teen, is hitting theatres across the country.

Shot in Sudbury, Ont. (standing in for the book’s Northwest Territories setting), the drama opens in Montreal, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Ottawa on Friday. It opened in Toronto last weekend.

larry-lesser-blessedRussian-born Canadian filmmaker Anita Doron directed the film, with young newcomer Joel Evans starring as the teen outsider protagonist. He becomes involved in an unlikely triangle when he becomes smitten with the prettiest girl at school and also befriends a cool new student.

“The story is as familiar as Rebel Without a Cause or even West Side Story — this idea growing up and having issues with other factions or other cliques inside your high school and this journey of self-exploration,” said American actor Benjamin Bratt, who appears in The Lesser Blessed in the role of Jed.

While attending the Toronto International Film Festival last September, Bratt — best known for his turn on TV’s Law and Order — talked to CBC News about why he agreed to take part in a small Canadian indie film.

Bratt, the son of a Peruvian-born Quechua Indian, said he felt it was important to take the role of a native person who shatters stereotypes by teaching a volatile teen about balance. The actor is interested in the social problems among First Nations people and lauds Doron for creating a film that shows a young native person up against the same dilemmas that all teens face.