Updated: Sep 3, 2021
I was the quiet kid in the back of the class. Growing up, I sensed that there was something always missing. The summer before going to college, I was depressed. I couldn't find a reason to get out of bed. My cousin, who I was staying with, encouraged me to go. I applied two weeks before school started. With being broke, I received just enough money from our local church to buy a ferry ticket to Juneau. Without knowing if I was accepted or not, I stepped foot on the ferry.
I arrived in Juneau on a Sunday to attend the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). The campus was empty. During that time, I looked online to see what classes to take. And there it was, an online Haida Language class. To put it simple, our class was pressing buttons and attempting to read the words out loud to yourself.
It wasn't until I went back home to speak at my uncle's funeral was when elders would ask me,
"What language are you speaking?"
When the elders put me under their wings, that's when my true love for my culture started. I ended up changed my degree from being a teacher to Anthropology emphasis on Haida History and Culture.
During my third year in college, I stumbled across an Enthnographic film class. I ended producing the Native Oratory 2011 film (you can watch the film on this website). I would skip classes and forget to eat. That's when I found my new passion, filmmaking. My ADHD mind was working on overload and it as all hands on. Mixing my two loves was the ideal situation.
It took me a few years, but I eventually attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks to pursue my degree in filmmaking. On my very first day my teacher asked me, "Why do you want to make films?"
"To help save my culture and others like me through the medium of film."