For us, it was time out to remind us where we’ve been, and where we want to go. That’s really what birthdays are for.

This week we brought back a couple of stories that ran in the early days of Frontiers. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Inupiat Cultural Crossroads: A profile of Heidi Ahsoak, a New Yorker who married into a North Slope family and embraced the Inupiat language and culture. 
  • 50 Years of AFN: One of those quirks of history -- the story of how Willie Hensley’s UAF graduate research paper played an important role in the Alaska Native land claims fight, which led to the formation of the Alaska Federation of Natives.
  • Conversation with Mark Trahant: We hear from a prominent Native American Journalist about his new job as editor of the online national publication, Indian Country Today and his new television show on the First Nations Experience Network.

Mark Trahant was our very first guest on Frontiers on the inaugural show, which aired in May of 2015. He reminded me this week -- that he caused a bit of a panic when he spilled a glass of water on our brand new set, just as we were about to start the show.  

Maybe that was a kind of baptism because Mark was the perfect guest for our first show and signaled our desire to bring all kinds of insightful voices to a statewide audience – to give Alaskans a broader appreciation of our state’s diversity of culture and ways of life.

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that Gina Romero, the show’s first producer, picked out the gold-brown color scheme for the show and that hardwood table, where many guests have joined us for some of the amazing conversations we hoped we would bring to you. Gina, who has since become KTVA’s assistant news director, helped to birth Frontiers with her vision of bringing the state together around stories and meaningful conversations – that watching Frontiers would be like having a seat around the kitchen table.

The show has become a hybrid of many things – interviews, profiles, and feature stories, explorations of Alaska history. Most of all, we have tried to stay true to our motto: the faces, places, and spirit of Alaska.

From the work of photojournalists Will Mader and John Thain, to the excellent reporting of Emily Carlson and others, Frontiers has showcased the rich pool of talent assembled to bring you KTVA News, where our mission is to bring you the “The Voices of Alaska” every day on our morning and evening newscasts.

We’re very grateful to KTVA management for its support of Frontiers – as well as to those who have worked behind the scenes to bring you this only-in-Alaska show every week.

The production crew for Frontiers is the same that’s the wind behind the wings of Daybreak, KTVA’s morning news. They start their jobs in the wee hours of the morning and somehow find the extra energy and TLC to give Frontiers its polished, professional look.

Of course, we wouldn’t be where we are today without you – our viewers and those of you who have welcomed us into your community offered us wonderful hospitality -- and most important of all, trusted us to tell your stories.

As they say, it takes a village to raise a child – and at three years of age, Frontiers is now safely past its terrible twos and off and running. I am very grateful and honored to have been a part of parenting this rather adventurous child.

The icing on the cake was to have Peter Twitchell, my old friend and colleague from KYUK, sing “Happy Birthday Frontiers” in Yup’ik.

As they say in Yup’ik country, “Quyana caknek!” 

Thank you very much, Peter.