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Episode 51: Discussing Byron Mallott’s journey

By KTVA Alaska 10:39 AM April 18, 2016

This week’s program is a Frontier’s follow-up to a show we did last year profiling Alaska’s lieutenant governor, Byron Mallott.

Some of the highlights:

  • A look at Mallott’s Tlingit roots and some of the early influences in his life, including his mother’s struggles with racism and alcoholism.
  • The evolving relationship between the governor and lieutenant governor – why there may be nothing like it in the United States.
  • Analysis from two veteran Alaska Native journalists, Nellie Moore and Joaqlin Estus.

It’s always a pleasure to sit down with Nellie Moore and Joaqlin Estus. Both have covered Alaska Native issues for decades and have had a front row seat on Mallott’s rise in Native politics and as a business leader.

Despite their long history of covering Mallott as a public figure, they say they never expected him to hold statewide office – mainly because Mallott has personality traits that do not lend themselves to today’s bumper sticker style of politics. He’s more a thinker and an orator, more comfortable in the role of  “philosopher in chief,” than as a politician.

Although the governor and the legislature have been in the spotlight, Mallott has been working under the radar. Moore and Estus share their insights about his influence on state policy – especially for Alaska Natives.

They are not only knowledgeable but down-to-earth. It’s what I love about these two women.

If you want to know more about them, check out this Frontiers web extra in which we talk about their careers in broadcasting and efforts to recruit more Alaska Native journalists.

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