How did Alaska become a destination for immigrants? | Alaska Insight

Immigration is a political hot button issue in the nation, with advocates calling for better pathways for citizenship and opponents demanding fewer entrants and higher border walls. But Alaska has been a state of rich diversity since before statehood.

In this episode of Alaska Insight, Lori Townsend is joined by Chad Farrell, a demographer and sociology professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and Mara Kimmel, cofounder of the Alaska Institute for Justice and first lady of Anchorage, to discuss the history of immigration in Alaska. As part of the Retro Local series, this episode features an in-studio audience.

Related Content:

LISTEN: Alaska’s history of immigration goes farther back than you might think

A community discussion on immigration in Alaska

How immigration transformed the 49th state

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for Alaska Public Media. She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for nearly 30 years. Radio brought her to Alaska, where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting before accepting a reporting/host position with APRN in 2003. APRN merged with Alaska Public Media a year later. 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. 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.