Thursday, March 18, 2010

Republicans Sponsor Anti-Pebble Mine Movie

Did that title get your attention? It's true, but only indirectly. I was working on a post yesterday in the staff/public lounge when Rep. Ramras walked by, stuck his head in and said, "You want a film festival for your blog?" Hmmm, film festivals have been on my mind, so of course I followed him downstairs.

Rural Alaska Honor Institute (RAHI)
Student Documentary Film Debut

The Beltz conference room was packed.  This was a joint committee meeting, they were showing movies, and there was free pizza and popcorn.  So there were a lot of senators and representatives there.  Someone pointed me to a Denise Wartes who explained that we would be seeing movies made by Alaska Native students from various villages.

Then Sen. McGuire began to speak.
"Rep. Ramras and I had this idea after we were in New York and seeing film festivals come together at the Alaska House that our Alaska students would have something to say."
They contacted Denise Wartes who is head of the Rural Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  RAHI has summer college prep, including college level classes, for rural Alaskan students.  They took on this film making project as part of the program students were given video cameras and tripods to use and went off to make their own movies.

So each student did a brief intro and they showed the movies.

I have to give them lots of credit.  Here was this flat out anti-Pebble Mine movie.  They had seen all the movies ahead.  They knew what was coming.  But they played it anyway.  Their kept their commitment to the students.  Later there was a movie about how global climate change was affecting Barrow.

I was able to get one of the students on video before they were rushed off to other meetings.  He was articulate, he was poised, and he had something important to say.  This young man had a powerful energy.  I highly recommend you take a minute to listen to what Coreau Joseph of Kwigillingok.

I never know each day what I'm going to see, who I'm going to meet.  It's amazing.


  1. Thanks, Steve, for posting this and the video of Coreau Joseph.

  2. Anon - thank you for the comment! It was a pleasure to be able to document what these kids have done. And that the legislators promoted them.


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