Oct 22, 2009
My Google news alert for rural Alaska has been pretty active in the run-up to the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention that started today in Anchorage. One news item mentioned there would be streaming video which intrigued me so I checked it out.
The video stream has a live chat next to the video window which was interesting – everything from chatters trying to get tickets to Quyana Night dancing to speculation about whether a speaker was chewing gum.
I got to the site just as the group broke for lunch and a screening of a new PBS film, The End of Jim Crow in Alaska, was about to begin for those remaining in the hall.
The film wasn’t shown on the video stream but a pre-taped interview conducted by Alaska’s US Senator Mark Begich was. He spoke with the film’s producer Jeff Silverman and participating advisor Rosita Wohl about the making of the film and a powerful preview was aired in which actress Diane Benson pleaded for the rights of Native families to settle in urban neighborhoods .
The film, which will be aired nationally in November, traces the quest of Alaska Native People seeking equality in Alaskan cities twenty years before the civil rights movement in the lower 48. Senator Begich is hoping it will be used in a new Native curriculum soon to be introduced in Alaska’s public schools.
Watch for it – it’s a proud tribute to the First People of Alaska.