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tv   United Shades of America  CNN  February 18, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST

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so on this episode i went to alaska. sort of outside my political black guy wheelhouse. not an issue i get fired up about. what's going on in alaska? that's not really my -- and here's the thing for me. it's like i don't even know how to go into this. is eskimo the right word? i've googled this and you get a lot of different responses. i really feel weird about not knowing if it's racist or not because i'm the black guy who's supposed to know what is racist or not. so i found out i had a lot to learn about alaska. so i packed up the bag, got my all-weather jacket, and i went to alaska and bought some new clothes. my name is w. kamau bell. as a comedian i've made a living finding humor in the parts of
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america i don't understand. and now i'm challenging myself to dig deeper. i'm on a mission to reach out and experience all the cultures and beliefs that add color to this crazy country. this is "the united shades of america." alaska. natives have survived this brutal environment for thousands of years. today its unique wildlife, remote location, natural beauty, and severe winters all contribute to its reputation as america's last frontier. and as a californian and avid indoorsman the last frontier is the last place i want to be. but here i am in anchorage, alaska, the state's biggest city, to find out more about the culture and to get an experience more authentic than watching an
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alaskan reality show. maybe the locals can tell me if i'm getting the real alaskan experience. >> what's your name, ma'am? >> casey. >> casey, nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you, kamau. >> this is my first trip to alaska. am i getting a typical alaskan experience right now? >> no. >> because to me this seems like any town usa right here. >> well, yeah. this is tourist area. >> yeah. >> this is my first time in alaska. >> okay. >> i did not expect to see -- what's the word i'm looking for? black people. what's it like to be black in alaska? >> interesting, i guess. >> let's just say walking around the streets on a typical day how many black people do you see? >> three. >> oh, okay. that's more if you pass mirrors? >> yeah. >> so what does it mean to be an alaskan native? >> that you can handle the cold. >> clearly. >> obviously. >> if somebody asks where i'm from, i always lead with alaska because people just lose their minds. of course the inevitable you know sarah palin question comes up. >> do you know sarah palin? >> i've t her on a few
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hecati occasions and i've spoke with her. i know her sister. they ask a dumb question, but you actually do know sarah palin. >> there's only so many people in the state. >> so you're a native of alaska. >> yes. my mom's inupiaq and my dad's aleut. >> alaska native means different than someone who is born in the state of alaska? >> yeah, we're unique. >> natives are actually broken into 11 regionally and language-defined tribes though most americans seem to think you can call them all eskimos. which they're not. so you can't. >> are you guys thinking of taking the power back? is there a revolution on the way? if there is, i want in. that's all i'm saying. because we turn on the tv and it's like the alaska show. it's not this. >> in the lower 48 we talk about alaska. we think about like frozen tundra and polar bears. where do i need to go to get tundra and polar bears and -- >> far north.
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>> really far north? >> yeah. >> like where? >> barrow. >> you can hit barrow if you want some polar bears. >> so if i go to barrow i will get that alaskan experience i see on television? >> yes. you'll see people shooting random things for the fun of it. >> we get that in the states. i don't know if i need that. >> i guess i'm leaving anchorage and heading to barrow. which means it's time for our recurring segment. "kamau wonders why the hell he's doing this." and if you're wondering why i'm so skeptical, here are some barrow facts. one, there are no roads in and out of town. two, it goes completely dark for two whole months of the year. and three, it's 320 miles into the arctic circle. which means it's 320 miles past where i'm supposed to be. landing in barrow, it certainly looks more like i'm on the path to the real alaska. and also the path to frostbite. often jokabout being in the middle of nowhere. but this is actually the middle of nowhere.
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>> it's so cold i'm actually afraid my afro's going to break. i'm headed to the appropriately named top of the world hotel. and thankfully this airport taxi line isn't like the one at l.a.x. >> hello. >> hi. >> can you take me to the top of the world? >> okay. top of the world hotel. okay. welcome to barrow. >> thank you. what's your name, sir? >> c.j. >> c.j. >> my name's kamau. >> nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you. thanks for giving me a ride. >> okay. >> now i'll never be able to say that a black man can't get a cab in alaska. and where are you from? >> from thailand. >> thailand. what brought you here? >> to work. >> this is very different than thailand. >> yeah. completely. >> would it be bad if i decided to walk from the airport to downtown? >> too cold. >> what would happen to me if i decided to walk? >> in five minute, ten minute you -- >> uh-oh.
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does that mean dead? is that thai for dead? what is this? is this downtown? >> yeah, this is downtown. >> this is downtown. >> okay. >> this is the top of the world hotel? >> yes, sir. >> thanks for the drive. thanks for the tour. >> have fun in barrow. >> thank you. >> standing outside my hotel, looking at the frozen tundra, thousands of miles away from home. there's darkness as far as the eye can see. my thoughts on barrow are crystallizing, and all i keep thinking is -- >> holy shit. (mic thuds) uh, sorry. it's unlimited without compromising reliability, on the largest, most advanced 4g lte network in america.
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(thud) uh... sorry, last thing. it's just $45 per line. forty... five. (cheering and applause) and that is all the microphones that i have. (vo) not just unlimited. verizon unlimited.
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♪ now the forecast for the northern arctic coast including barrow. today through friday mostly cloudy skies. highs today around 5 above. highs on thursday and friday around 10 below. lows through the rest of the week around 15 below. >> i'm from the bay area. so when i hear 15 below, i assume we're talking about 15 below 60 degrees. oh, god. just right up ahead a little bit. that'll be a great place to lay down and die. this will be great for ratings. dying.
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oh, god. my first stop is the local weather station. if this is the real alaska, i want to find out how cold it actually gets here. even though i'm sure the answer is you don't even want to know. >> dave anderson. welcome to the weather service in barrow. >> it's cold outside, sir. >> yes, it is. but are you enjoying the weather, though? >> no. not at all, actually. like most people when they don't enjoy the weather, they blame the weatherman. >> that's right. that's what we're here for. >> all right. well, what else do you do here besides get blamed by random people who walk into your office? >> well, our primary function is augmenting aviation weather observations. and one of our more important and fond things we do is launch a weather balloon. >> can i launch a weather balloon? >> we can launch a weather balloon. we're all set up. let's go do it. >> let's do it. >> so what we're going to do is actually inflate the balloon and get it set up. we're using helium gas to do this. the balloon will get about 21 miles high. it will be about 40 feet aoss.
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>> 40 feet across? and what is the balloon made of? >> a material called totex. it's a latex rubber. >> i'm not mature enough to not laugh at you calling this a latex rubber. >> so here we go. >> once it's up there, what is it doing? >> it's sending back information on temperature, humidity, pressure. this is the very beginning of all your weather forecasts right here with this balloon. >> i live in northern california. it's not really the kind of weather that you're dealing with up here. >> no. quite a bit different. the coldest we've had up here has been 55 below with about a 90 to 100 below windchill. >> wait a minute. so people when it's that cold they still go outside? >> still go outside. activity doesn't stop up here. >> all right, dave, let's launch this bad boy. >> let's get her set up. >> yay. >> with the left hand? >> left hand. and here we go. >> while this isn't exactly nasa
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launching apollo 11, a countdown feels appropriate. t minus three, two, one! >> whoa. >> there she goes. >> it's like that, huh? >> that's it. >> and that's a good time in this town, huh? >> yes. this is our exciting time of day. >> still cold. don't die. don't die. don't die. >> finding out that locals remain active when it's 90 degrees below zero brought several questions to my mind. though most of them i can't say because they have too many curse words. still, i need to know what drives people to live in barrow instead of not barrow. you know what? let me talk to some locals and find out what they've got to say about all this.
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this is ridiculous. it's so cold. >> how long have you lived in barrow? >> this is my home. i was raised there. and i choose to live here. >> i like you say i choose to live here. ignorant people like this guy come into this town and go, how do people do it? >> my mother and my father did it. and my grandparents did it. and so i'm doing it. >> so does the cold bother you? >> no. this is balmy weather. i'm wearing my shorts. >> you're wearing shorts. >> it's life in the arctic. you've got to be tough. or you've got to be crazy. okay? >> so your name's mike schultz. >> absolutely. >> and how long have you lived here in barrow? >> 42 years. i came up when i was 19. i'm 61. >> why should i move to barrow? what's good? >> how long have you two lived in barrow? >> i moved up october 2009. >> so you're a newbie. >> yeah. we're originally from american samoa. >> so this is completely different. >> yeah. >> do you like this, the cold? >> yeah. we actually moved up for ministry. >> it's interesting you say you work for the ministry because
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i've been so cold i feel like i've seen jesus a couple times. how long have you lived in barrow? >> two years. >> what brought you here in? there's better work opportunities here. >> than where? >> in california. >> i live in california. i can get you a job. >> no, but it's different. it's like a culture shock. it's different, but we like it. >> maybe we should all think about moving to barrow. their median household income is $25,000 higher than the national average. but that disparity is partially to compensate for the high price of goods due to barrow's costly reliance on air and sea shipping. the high salaries are also meant to entice workers to the numerous openings in barrow's leading industries including oil field production, passenger air transportation, civil services, and selling overpriced winter coats to travel show hosts. the wage opportunities have people from around the globe willing to brave the cold. >> we're very much a melting pot at transportation. i have tongans, samoans,
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vietnamese, filipinos, white, mexican. a little bit of everything. >> i didn't hear black. you have black? >> yes. >> who? >> dwayne. my dwayne is good. >> 75% of the time dwayne is a black guy. >> when i came to barrow there was about a half as dozen non-nightive. now it's 6262% native and 38% everybody else. >> so multi cultural that in the last five decades, the population has more than tripled. >> ethnic diversity has expanded beyond the inupiaq natives to over 20 races that call barrow home today. >> it's only 62% native. how do you feel about that? >> well, i know the mighty dollar brings everybody in. they come and they go. but for us, we're here to stay. this is our home. >> thank you for talking to me. >> you're welcome. >> now go put some pants on. >> after learning that people are moving to barrow for its surprisingly robust economy, i set up a meeting with longtime
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resident and my new best friend, mike schultz, to find out how barrow has changed over the years. he told me to meet him at the local pool hall behind the photo shop. maybe this sign post will point me in the right direction. >> haiti, new york, peru. i just want to know which way is the hell up out of here. >> i finally found it. conveniently located between snow and more snow. >> oh, just like it happens every time. >> well, you've got to start someplace. you've left me lots of shots. >> so is this the closest thing barrow has to like a sports bar? >> pretty much. and there's no alcohol in here. so it's like sports bar light. >> so it's just the sports. >> yeah. you can own and possess alcohol within the city limits. you just can't buy it or sell it. >> when you moved here, how many non-natives were here in barrow? >> six of us. everybody else was native. when i first came up here if they dropped me off a mile out of town, i'd be dead. >> i feel like if you leave me three blocks from here i'd be dead.
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>> what i did is learned from them. they've been living on the tundra for probably 10,000 years >> so a lot of reasons that people move here is to get jobs in the oil industry, right? >> oil industry or just the infrastructure jobs that make barrow what it is. >> so when you think about the future of barrow, like what does the future hold for this place? >> when i got up here kids would go out and hunt ptarmigan. now they've lost the ability to go out and fend for themselves. have you shot a caribou? i don't need to. i can go to the store and get a hamburger. have you learned how to survive if you fall through the ice? well, i heard about it but i've never been out camping for three years because i just don't want to. i want to play video games. a lot of the younger kids now, they don't speak the language. they don't learn what they used to learn from their elders. so they're missing a big part of growing up. it makes it really difficult to watch a culture kind of disappear. it's just not right. i hope it works out because it's an unbelievable culture. >> listening to mike, i can't help but wonder, in a land so deadly and remote, can the
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natives of barrow afford to lose the ways of their culture that's kept civizatn here going for thousands of years? it also made me realize, uh-oh, my camera crew is going to be pissed that they can't buy alcohol up here.
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♪ alcohol up here. barrow, alaska, is way out there. it is far. like literally to get to barrow you can't get there unless you go on a plane.
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it's so remote that it feels like anything can happen there. like walking around barrow, the streets of barrow, it feels like you could run into jim morrison, tupac, amelia earhart, and elvis. sharing a four-bedroom house. just like what up? what? we've been here the whole time. nobody comes up here. and it feels like in barrow that's kind of the culture. nobody would tell you they're there. it feels like alaska's america's no snitching state. nobody's talking. ♪ >> it's another beautiful but brutally cold morning in barrow. and instead of walking around town risking hypothermia i decided to reunite with an old friend. >> c.j., am i ever glad to see you. >> okay. >> i don't know if you know. but it's cold outside this car. >> 7 below today, huh? >> 7 below. >> yeah. >> with the wind chill factor i think it's a million below. c.j., you know what i'm doing today? i'm going dog sledding. have you ever been dog sledding?
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>> no, no, no. >> no, no, no. wait a minute, the way you keep laughing, c.j., i feel like it might be a bad idea. >> i'll wait for you to come back. >> you're going to wait for me. i appreciate that. >> in my conversation with mike schultz, he spoke of how the native people of barrow are losing their traditions. i discovered no better example of this than dog sledding. >> hello. >> and i'm here at the home of geoff carroll, the last musher in town, which sounds like a great title for a disney movie. >> you are the last dog sledder in barrow. >> yes. sad but true. kind of slowly whittled down over the years. only running team in barrow at this point. >> how long have you lived in barrow? >> since 1986. >> so when you got here in '86, were there other dog sledders? >> yeah, other teams. lots of guys who spent half their lives rung dogs but they kind of switched over to snow machines. >> i hope you don't take this
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the wrong way but you're the last dog sledder,nd you seem to be -- how do i say this -- not a native. >> well, yeah, it's kind of ironic. the natives were the ones that invented dog sledding. dogs were absolutely vital to the culture. >> geoff's right. the four-legged companions were used for nomadic traveling, carrying supplies for hunts, tracking prey, and keeping their owners alert for dangerous animals. >> so geoff, any tips for me while i get out there for my first dog sled. >> just hold on tight, and i'll kind of teach you the commands. when you take off, you yell kita. that means go. >> g is right. ha is left? kita is go. and whoa is please, please stop, please. >> there you go. then if they don't stop, stop god damn it. >> let's get out there. >> i'll show you how to put on a
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harness. >> me or the dogs? >> i think the dogs. >> okay. >> this guy's name is midnight. he's got some wild blue eyes. >> do dogs like this? >> oh, they love it. this is what they live for. and that noise they're saying right now is "this is going to be awesome." >> yeah, let's go, let's go. >> are you sure that's not the sounds of the dog revolution? >> they're all excited. >> a dog just peed on my cameraman. >> hold on. i'm the only one that gets to pee on my cameraman. >> we've got everybody all harnessed up. now we start hooking them to the line. got him? >> yeah. whoa. let's go this way. this way. whoa. there you go. whoa. >> better give him a hand, ross. >> there you go. next week we'll be coming to you from the beaches of aruba, talking about which tequila tastes better. >> okay. they're ready to take off. >> okay. now this part i like. >> okay.
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when i say now you yell kita real loud. >> kita! whoa! ho! ♪ >> ahhh. >> gee! >> i think i just lost my virginity on that last bump. >> gee! gee! >> oh, yeah. this is the life. >> as much as i love my canine chauffeurs, it's clear they aren't as practical as snow machines in terms of effort and speed. but hopefully the ingenuity of preindustrial man doesn't get left behind in a cloud of frozen dust. speaking of frozen, i still am from yesterday. so i'm sticking with the comfy confines of my man c.j.'s taxi. >> you know, when you're inside
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a heated car where it's warm, this is actually a much nicer city. >> yeah. >> when you're walking everywhere, you start to get a little angry at the city. but now it's kind of pretty. >> like geoff carroll there are other locals speaking out to keep traditions alive. and maybe the biggest voice belongs to native fanny acpick. her program teaches inupiaq customs as part of the school curriculum. and i'm meeting with fanny at the inupiaq heritage center to find out more about her and her work. >> i'd like you to look at this. different hunting tools. mainly for butchering the whale. >> in my neighborhood, we'd call that, i wish somebody would knife. >> that is a raincoat made out of seal intestines. >> black people, we just eat the intestines, we don't turn it into raincoats. you're literally using every part of the animal. >> oh, yes. everything that is given to us from the land, the ocean and the
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air is treasured. everybody thinks that it's so flat and cold and fren. but to us, it's a living world that we live in. >> that is a perspective i didn't have before i came here. so tell me, what part of your culture are you working hardest to keep? >> our language. yeah. my age group and some older than me, we were sent away to go to boarding school. i came home not myself anymore. and i almost lost the proper usage of our language. >> fanny is speaking of christian boarding schools that were opened in the early 1900s by missionaries trying to bring modern education to the north. and get ready for a shocker. missionaries working with natives, not that cool. in fact, in 2015 an official report by the canadian government described its role in
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this former practice as cultural genocide. >> we were literally punished if i accidentally said something in inupiaq. we got slapped in the hand. >> oh, wow. >> our fourth grade teacher, i accidentally blurted out inupiaq. he put me in a tall trash can and make me stand there. i mean that's when i cried. >> yeah. he was telling you you were trash. >> mm-hmm. >> and so what are you doing today to keep the language alive? what have you worked on? >> i work with our school district. it's really important to teach our children who they are so that they will always feel safe and be strong knowing that they are with the real people of the north. >> so can you teach me some words?
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>> alapa. >> alapa. >> now you're telling me oh, i'm cold. >> alaba. alaba like a mo-fo.
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after talking with fanny, i've learned that barrow's native culture is defined by a harmonious connection between nature and man. so to help me see the beauty in this stark setting i've enlisted local photographer john tidwell, who suggested taking me to point barrow, the northernmost point in town. he says it's a popular hangout for polar bears. so let's hope there's no white on black crime today. >> are you john? >> i'm john. >> should i be scared? >> i'm not but you should be. >> okay. thanks. come on in. >> i'll be scared. good thing i have a head start on fear. all right. thanks, john. >> welcome aboard. >> this is an environmentalist's nightmare. chasing after polar bears in a humvee. >> we're going to hit some real rough terrain, so hang on. >> whoa.
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okay. oh. >> we're going to go over this drift. >> what are the odds we survive? >> it's not survive. it's don't tip over. >> oh, okay. we both have different goals. good thing i got my life insurance renewed for active stupid. >> we're good. >> you're good. i on the other hand am going to have to get my long underwear dry cleaned. >> we're going to keep our eye out for any paw prints going across the road. >> we haven't seen a bear yet but this could be a spot where a bear could be. >> yeah, he could be sleeping behind there. >> oh, good. >> i've explained to my children, don't shoot the bear that gets me. he's just doing what comes natural. >> that's how i feel about the police. >> see how there's a bear paw print on top? see that? >> yeah. oh, wow. so, john, tell me exactly where we are. >> we're almost to the end of the peninsula that is point barrow.
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little-kno fact. the point 500 years ago used to go two milesurther out than we're now going. >> is that climate change? >> it has to be. what else would cause the ice to melt and raise the oceans? >> homosexuality? i'm just -- what i heard on the 700 club. >> come on, i'll show you something i think is interesting. >> okay. >> this is the furthest place north in america. all land is south of here. >> i can see the beauty. >> and actually, if you look, there's the water right there. >> wow. >> all these bergs along here are just waves that have frozen and been pushed up. >> this is the northernmost tip of the united states of america. >> you got it. that's it. 20 years ago up here, we couldn't be standing here. there would be 20 bears walking along the coast. nowadays, lucky to see two or three bears together. you can't deny it. i'm not an environmentalist by
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any stretch of the imagination. but it's warming up. there's a big difference. and they are threatened. alaa has its fair share of endangered animals, but at the top of the list are six species of whales. starting in the early 1900s commercial whaling, which is the hunting of whales for profit, nearly depleted alaska's whale population before it was internationally banned in 1986. but long before commercial whaling existed, bare error -- barrow's native tribes hunted whales in a tradition called subsistence whaling, which is the harvesting of whales for the survival of the community. this way of hunting is still popular today. in fact, crews are allowed to harvest 25 whales per year because not one ounce is sold. and tonight i'm going to the home of herman ashic, a local whaleboat captain, to learn about why whaling is still important in the increasingly modern barrow, and to sample a local delicacy. mmm. whale blubber. the other other other white meat.
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>> so this is the skin and the blubber of the bowhead whale. we eat it raw and frozen. the bowhead whale is our primary source of nutrition and keeps us warm in the cold winter months. >> okay. >> so if you want to try the skin and the blubber, there's your chance. you'll see what it tastes like. >> tell me what i'm about to eat. >> the black part of it is the skin, and then the pink part is the blubber. >> okay. when i was a little kid, i said one day i want to be a comedian. i never imagined i'd end up eating whale blubber. >> and it's filled with omega threes. >> so it's good for me. it tastes healthy. >> and so this is the meat part. we cut them into slabs about this big. >> okay. let me try a little salt. as an african-american we kind of put salt on everything. >> so here's the salt right there. >> put a little bit -- oops. that's a lot of salt. that's how my grandmother would ah, i've never tasted anything
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like this before. you can really taste the meat. >> yeah. >> now is this a whale that you caught? >> the whale that we were blessed with last fall. the way we look at whaling is we don't go out and catch the whale, we're blessed with it by god. a whale will offer itself to a captain or a crew that knows will take care of it by sharing it with everybody in the community. especially the ones that aren't able to hunt for themselves. and so it's a really spiritual -- spiritual thing. >> in the lower 48 a lot of people have no idea about any of this and when they hear the word whaling they have negative connotations around it. >> mm-hmm. >> what do you think about people's other connotations of whaling? >> i have no ill feelings towards people like that. come all the way to barrow, alaska, and experience it yourself. you can't plant any gardens. and most of the meat you can buy from the store it's quite expensive. i'm just a person trying to survive.
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>> i wouldn't have thought about it from the side of like your people were doing it for 10,000 years and it was only when commercial fishermen came in it sounds like it got messed up. >> yeah. >> but that shouldn't stop you from being able to live your traditions. >> yes. this is what i learned from my father. he learned it from his father. and through generation and generation it just was handed down. >> mm-hmm. >> and i'm going to be doing the same thing with my twin boys that are 10. >> i don't think there's a tradition i have in my family that i've been doing with my dad since i was 10. i know that must mean a lot to you to be able to take your sons out there. >> to my last dying breath i'm going to instill whaling in them. >> all right. yeah. it's a lot going on. but i think i would have to fry it up. (mic thuds) uh, sorry. it's unlimited without mpromising reliality,
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on the largest, most advanced 4g lte network in amera. (thud) uh... sorry, last thing. it's just $45 per line. forty... five. (cheering and applause) and that is all the microphones that i have. (vo) not just unlimited. verizon unlimited.
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i ate whale. yeah, exactly. it was like, mmm, whoa, yes. they offered me whale. i'm not really an adventurous eater. i like all of my sushi fried. you know what i'm saying? i'm like can you tempura this? i'm the guy. i'm that asshole at the sushi
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restaurant like, can we tempura everything? and what they do with the whales is they go harvest the whales and bring them in and they don't sell it. they pass it out to the community. everybody gets some of the whale. they keep it together. you know, we don't even do that shit with pizza sometimes. nah, i bought it. that slice is mine. i bought it. that slice is mine. >> after a long night of texting my berkeley hippie friends to apologize for eating whale, it's time to catch up with c.j. >> hey, c.j., you'll never guess what i had to eat last night. >> last night? >> i had whale last night. >> really? >> yeah. i ate some whale. >> you like it? >> uh. >> okay. >> last night's meeting with whale boat captain herman has me finally feeling like i'm seeing the real alaska. to stay on the trail i've been invited by nok, a young whaler, to observe the sewing of seal skin that will cover the whale
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boat, or the umiak. my presence here is no small feat. our cameras are the first to gain access to this sacred tradition. >> tell me a little about where we're at. this is the actual boat, right? >> this is the frame of the umiak. >> and tell me what is this i'm smelling? >> you are smelling the seal skin. >> the seal skin. now, to me it smells pretty thick. >> it's pretty strong. >> it's not just because i'm from the outside. this is strong to you too. >> it's supposed to smell like that. >> i feel like my clothes going back to california are probably going to smell a little bit like this. >> a little bit. every other year we have to re-skin the boat, and we use bearded seal to skin the boat. >> now, my guess is that the skin is waterproof. >> the skin is waterproof. yes, it is. it's tough. it's pliable. it stretches. >> how long does it take for this process? do you know? >> a couple of days to thaw, scrape it, and then maybe a day or two to sew it. >> is it always women who do the sewing? >> yes. the men can't go get the whale
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without the women preparing the boat. it takes everybody. >> wouldn't it be easier to just buy a boat? >> the way they're doing it is the way the inupiaq people have done it for thousands of years, and they want to adhere to their traditions as much as possible. >> you're a native alaskan, correct? >> yes, sir. i grew up in the interior of alaska. so i grew up in the alaskan culture. winipaqs are on the coast. they're the eskimos. we're the indians. the athabascan. i'm half athabascan. >> oh. so even though you're from a different culture, you're from the interior. they've accepted you up here and take you whaling? >> yes. the way we live is not that much different from the way they live here. togetherness. we live as a community, and we want to adhere to the old ways. >> that's a big thing about this community, i'm learning is that certainly you see people with cars and on snow machines and cell phones and ipads. but clearly there's an effort to keep a foot in the past with traditions.
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>> and it's a proven method and it works. >> how can 10,000 years be wrong? >> how can 10,000 years be wrong? >> while this boat won't be ready for a few days, nok took me outside to show me what the finished product looks like. >> this is our boat we finished last week. >> this is your crew's boat. >> yes, sir. >> wow. >> brand new skin. >> it's got that new skin look. >> it's got that new skin smell. >> yeah, new skin smell. it seems to me nothing symbolizes the town of barrow more than whaling because it wraps up all the traditions and the language and wanting to teach the youth and the next generation about what the ancestors did. whaling's a thing that sums all that up. >> barrow's built around whaling. barrow's a whaling community. >> and it will always be a whaling community. >> hopefully. >> nok's enthusiasm for whaling shows he's embracing his barrow culture. but like many others in barrow he's also half non-native. so i want to know more about the defining choice these people face.
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embrace the past or fall in line with theuture. >> so talk a ltle bit about why holding on to those traditions is so important for you. you're saying i'm going to learn the tradition for the rest of america. >> i'm an american. but i'm native american. i'm proud of that. >> what does it mean to go whaling? what is that process? >> it's a family thing that we do as a community. you know, it brings us all together. it's not like we're stockpiling it, trying to make money off it or anything. everything is distributed evenly. >> in the lower 48 if somebody hunts and kills like a deer they just take that deer home. we're selfish. that's what i'm trying to say. why is it it automatically goes back to the community? >> i'm not going to sit there and eat and watch my neighbor starve. it doesn't feel right, man. >> you're right. >> even if i don't know the person, you know? >> see, that's the big thing that we in a lot of the lower 48, if i know you, if you're my friend -- >> then you might get something. >> and i'm not busy. i'll help you.
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you have the good fortune despite everything that you still can hold on to your traditions. >> and that's why it makes it so important. barrow's a melting pot. there are people who'd rather watch tv shows. >> hey, now what's so wrong with tv shows? >> and emulate what they see on tv. if you were in the city you could live like that, you could do that. but to do that here and succeed is going to be difficult. you know? but there are a lot of people who think like i do, who want to see this culture succeed, want to see the kids out there whaling and doing what the elders want us to do. we're all going to be teachers. because we have an opportunity right now. we have an opportunity to see this to the next generation. once it's gone, it's gone. if i allow my kids to let it go, it's going to be gone. >> and to not have that would be -- >> it would be tragic. yeah. it would suck. >> that's a good word. i think that just about says it.
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it would suck. it seems like to myou guys are doing an incredible job. i don't know. the future.i'm in thpast and but i'm at the right place. you owhat i mean? >> amen. there you go.
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♪ it's my last night in barrow. and since i've spent most of my trip learning about traditions
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past, nok offered me the opportunity to try the new welcome to viewers mere in the united states and around the world. watching the vice president of the united states, mike pence, at a security conference in germany. let's listen in. >> in the global war against radical islamic terrorists, we've been bound by shared sacrifice. for the past decade and a half, the nations of nato and many other allies have answered the call to rid the world of this great evil. from afghanistan to iraq to many other conflicts across the globe, our sons and daughters have served together, fought together on the field of battle. thousands of our citizens coming from every corner of this alliance and beyond have given their lives in this struggle. fighting alongside u.s. service members under nato's mandate, more than 1,100 brave men and women from allied nations have fallen in afghanistan since 2001. the afghanis have lost many more in order to free their homeland
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and keep it free today. no matter which country they hailed from, these heroes gave the last full measure of their devotion in the cause of our peace and our security. and i hope eh one of youl assure their families, the families of their fallen, that the american people will never forget their service and sacrifice on our behalf. [ applause ] those sacrifices, which continue to this day, are the surest sign of our enduring commitment to each other and our future together. on president trump's behalf, that future is exactly what i came here to address. if the past century has taught us anything, it's that peace and prosperity in europe and the north atlantic can never be regarded as achieved. it must be continually maintained through shared sacrifice and shared commitment. peace only comes through
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strength. president trump believes we must be strong in our military might, able to confront any and all who would threaten our freedom and our way of life. we must be strong in our conviction that our cause is just and that our way of life is worth defending. if we lose the will to do our part to defend ourselves, we jeopardize our shared heritage of freedom. under president trump's leadership, i can assure you the united states will be strong, stronger than ever before. we will strengthen our military, restore the arsenal of democracy, and working with many of the members of the congress who are gathered here today, we're going to provide our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coast guard with renewed resources to defend our nation and our treaty allies from the known threats of today and the unknown threats of tomorrow. as we speak, the united states is developing plans for significant increases in military spending. to ensure that the strongest
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military in the world is stronger still. we will meet our obligations to our people to provide for the common defense, and we'll continue to do our part to support our allies in europe and in nato. but europe's defense requires your commitment as much as ours. our transatlantic alliance has at its core two principles that are central to its mission. in article 5 we pledge to come to each other's aid in the event of attack. be ready if and when that day comes. in article 3, we vowed in that treaty to contribute our fair share to our common defense. the promise to share the burden of our defense has gone unfulfilled for too many, for too long, and it erodes the very foundation of our alliance. when even one ally fails to do their part, it undermines our ability to come to each other's
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aid. at that summit in 2014. >> all 28 members of nato declared their intention to move towards a minimum security commitment of 2% of their gross domestic product on defense within the decade. in the words of the summit's declaration, such investments were necessary in as of this moment, the united states and only four others meet this standard. while we commend the nation on track to achieve that goal, many others including some of our largest allies lack a path to meeting the goal. the president of the united states expects our allies to keep their word and fulfill their commitment for most the time has come to do


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