Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
There’s a new Facebook-like website for Alaska Natives. Alaskanvillages.org was created by Iditarod musher and Native rights and sobriety activist Mike Williams. Williams of Akiak says Native people need a new tool to stay in touch.
The website feature individual pages for each village where messages can be posted. Williams says it mixes elements of Facebook and Craiglist, and is open to anyone. Williams says Alaska Natives living in urban areas often feel isolated from their culture, and that the immediate communication allowed by the internet, can play a role in sustaining and reviving it.
Williams, a mental health counselor, says a rash of suicides in southwest Alaska villages in recent months has heightened the need to connect. He’s organized local healing circles, and has mixed feelings about technology’s effects on Native people, but says it can be a positive tool.
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