For the first time in its 74-year history, Matanuska Electric Association is on its own. The Palmer, Alaska-based electric cooperative became “self-generating” at midnight May 1 when the new $324 million Eklutna Generation Station started cranking out power as a utility.
In this episode of Indie Alaska, we meet Iñupiaq artist Ross Schaeffer. After spending most of his life hunting, trapping and fishing around Kotzebue, Scaeffer transformed his lifestyle into creating artwork and carvings that blend traditional and modern techniques.
Our rented pickup lurches through the tundra in the pre-dawn dark, three of us packed into the cab in a swirl of gas fumes, bullets rattling on the dashboard. We're on one of Alaska's most isolated islands, and we're looking for caribou.