LISTEN: Attla documentary shows legend’s last race, to teach dog mushing before he died

George Attla

As Alaska heads into the heart of sled dog racing season, there’s some new required watching for sprint mushing fans in a recently released documentary film about the legendary Huslia Hustler himself, George Attla.

Attla overcame tuberculosis and a fused leg in his youth and went on to win 10 Fur Rendezvous World Championships in Anchorage — the most ever — and eight Open North American Championships in Fairbanks.

Attla passed away in 2015, not long before mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, re-routed due to snow conditions, used his home village of Huslia as a checkpoint, just down the trail from his final resting place.

The new documentary is called “Attla,” and it’s directed by Catherine Axley. It tells George Attla’s story and includes as a focus how Attla was training his grandnephew to mush right up until his death.

Axley spoke with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove about the film.


Related: Young filmmaker’s George Attla documentary brings together community and sled dog racing

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Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at

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