Alaska is a place like nowhere else in the world. It is vast, diverse, and unique. It has major cities with big airports, upscale malls, and large hotels. It also contains millions of acres of untamed wilderness. There is Mt. McKinley, the highest point on the continent. In addition, there are plentiful oil fields, which supply much of our oil supply. Alaska is also known as the last frontier. Clearly, there are manydifferent attributes of Alaska, and I chose one—its native peoples.
The Eskimos and Indians that populate a small fraction of the state are also descendants of its first residents, the nomadic tribes who crossed over from Siberia many hundreds of years ago. What I was looking for when I went to Alaska was the ancient ways of these people. The intangible article of "native culture" is tucked away in the farthest reaches of Alaska. It is separated from highways and cities by endless miles of tundra. But it is worth the trip because experiencing traditional native life might soon be impossible due to the increasing westernization of these peoples.
I was fortunate to receive the Bolton Stipend my senior
year of high school, which funded part of my trip. This trip tought me
a great deal about Alaska, and I hope you have time to read at least someof
my essay on that experience. It is really a different world. In what other
state is the main means of transportation small airplanes? The state's
capital is not connected by roadway to its largest city. How many places
can you go these days to find people who are truely locals? Many of Alaska's
natives have still made little contact with the outside world. And where
esle can one find the sheer natural beauty that characterizes the state?
The scenery is as diverse as Alaska is large, ranging from desert to swamp
to glaciers. Please continue on this journey with me. First, there is the
story. There are also links for further information, photos, and a comments
page. At present, there is only a single photo of mine I have scanned in;
however, there will be about 20 by October 1st. The links can be used if
a visual reference is necessary. I hope you enjoy it; please click
here to continue...