Diana Saverin, APRN Contributor


Five years ago, Peter Williams was depressed and an alcoholic, hitting bottom. Now, he’s a successful artist in Sitka who hunts sea otters and sews mittens, scarves, and other products from their fur. He says learning how to hunt marine mammals offered him ‘a place to heal.’

In the tiny and remote communities of southern Baranof Island in southeast, there aren’t enough kids for a school. So parents have to home school. And both the parents and the kids try to strike a balance between a more traditional education of reading, writing, and arithmetic, with a more creative approach.

In Alaska, we know it’s not always easy to just bring in help. If you want to fix something you often have to do it yourself. This is especially true on an island, where the nearest town is hours away by ferry. This past year In Sitka, on Baranof Island in southeast, inhabitants learned just how much they could accomplish as a community.

Alaskans live in many different kinds of creative structures. Reporter Diana Saverin recently traveled across the state taking shelter in everything from a converted garbage shed to a wall tent. She also found yurts – lots of yurts.

With the approach of winter, Alaska’s sled dogs prepare for a new season. Some teams train for races, others mush with tourists, and many run for recreation. For Denali National Park’s 34 sled dogs, though, winter means work.