LISTEN: A reporter charted the harm caused by abusive priests in Alaska, a survivor lived through it

nome catholic church
Saint Joseph Catholic Church as seen from Main Street in Nome, Alaska in 1999. (Photo courtesy Jerzy Strzelecki via WikiCommons)

The legacy of sexual abuse perpetrated by Jesuit priests against Alaskans in rural villages has haunted families and communities for decades. Shame and fear kept many victims silent for years but courageous voices brought light to the crimes. An investigative series tracked some of the worst offenders from Alaska to a retirement compound outside of the state. We’ll discuss the investigation and hear from an outspoken survivor on the next Talk of Alaska.

HOST: Lori Townsend
GUESTS:

  • Emily Schwing, reporter, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting
  • Elsie Boudreau, sexual assault survivor

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

PARTICIPATE:

Call 550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast

Send an email to talk@alaskapublic.org (comments may be read on air)

Post your comment before, during or after the live broadcast (comments may be read on air).

LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. on APRN stations statewide.
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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 24 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director. In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota. Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN. Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley. She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests. ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori