This project was first conceived by teens in a youth group (Teens Acting Against Violence -TAAV) housed at the Tundra Women's Coalition in Bethel, Alaska in the Yukon-Koskokwim area.
For non-Alaskans, and for many Alaskans too, a little geography lesson would help. The Yukon-Kuskowim Delta is where the two large rivers - Yukon and the Kuskokwim - drain into the Bering Sea.
|Based on map from Enchanted Learning.com|
Most people have heard of the Yukon River, but what about the Kuskokwim?
Wikipedia says the Kuskokwim River is 702 miles long and
is the ninth largest river in the United States by average discharge volume at its mouth and seventeenth largest by basin drainage area.*What's a free flowing river?
The river provides the principal drainage for an area of the remote Alaska Interior on the north and west side of the Alaska Range, flowing southwest into Kuskokwim Bay on the Bering Sea. Except for its headwaters in the mountains, the river is broad and flat for its entire course, making it a useful transportation route for many types of watercraft. It is the longest free flowing river* in the United States.
A body of water existing or flowing under natural conditions without impoundments, diversions, straightening, riprapping, or other modification of the waterway (as defined in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act - 16 USC 1286 [b]). Also see Riprap. (references)
According to Wikipedia, the Yukon is 1980 miles long and there's a dam at White Horse, Yukon Territories.
|Adapted from a map at KYUKonAssignment in Kuwait|
When I am an Elder: A World Without Violence includes youth from Bethel, Kipnuk, Kwethluk, and Napaskiak** reflecting on what they would like to see in their communities when they are Elders. (*My source spelled the village with an 's'. Maybe there are two similarly named villages, but I'm guessing it doesn't have an 's'.)
[UPDATE Jan. 31, 2013 - see comment #3 below that explains there are two - one with and one without the 's'. Thanks!]
The video was made by the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault [I'm on the steering committee which is why I know about this], with funding from the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence.
For non-Alaskans, I'd point out that Western Alaska (and most of Southeastern Alaska) is off the road system. An area larger than any other US state, (and possibly Texas and California combined) is not connected by any roads. Transportation to and from these communities is by boat in the summer and snow machine or dogsled in the winter, by air all year. The map below shows Alaska's road system.
|map from travelalaska|
(Those straight east-westish lines aren't roads.)