As AKontheGO stretches beyond the boundaries of traditional family travel journalism, I’ve noticed a few things. First, Alaska children are an incredible source of knowledge about their peers, themselves, and the future. Second, why has no one tapped into this? Perhaps we are not listening.
Let’s change that, shall we?
Tundra Vision is a public history consultant firm owned by local history professor Dr. Katherine Ringsmuth, who also teaches at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Katie, as she likes to be called, contacted me last month to ask if I’d fill an empty slot for a speaker series event at the Mountain View Library. Sponsored by Tundra Vision, the February series is titled “Alaska Grown: Alaska history through the eyes of youth,” and just the name revved me up, nevermind the other speakers listed on the poster.
These hourlong events are designed for the entire family and include a walk through young Alaskans’ formative years; from early homesteading families to those children of military, Alaska Native groups, the mining and oil industry, and more. Tundra vision. The long view. Seeing what was behind us so we are better-equipped to look ahead.
On Friday, February 16 at 6 p.m., I will be presenting about “Alaska Kids: who they are and what they know,” a nod to both my travels and the insightful, incredible young people I have met while writing for the Anchorage Daily News.
Tundra Vision organizer Ringsmuth has also given me some space for a project to help kids determine their perspective and feelings about Alaska. We’ll have art supplies available for everyone, and the results will help me determine my own vision to continue the conversation in other places around Alaska.
So, young people of Alaska. Who are you? What do you think about this place we call home?
Bring your friends, your parents or caregivers, your teachers, coaches, and mentors and join me.