See Stories was founded as a nonprofit in 2019 by a dedicated and diverse Board on the premise that representation matters, that Alaskan youth are uniquely equipped to share authentic local histories through film making and podcasting, and that empowering youth with media literacy is a vital skill in today’s world.
See Stories leads documentary film and podcast workshops with diverse teens throughout the state to craft new stories via podcasting and filmmaking that better represent the Alaska they know at no cost to the students. In media workshops, youth choose topics they are passionate about, interview peers, family, and community members, then edit their footage into a film or podcast that they share at a celebratory community showcase. We work at Title I Schools throughout the state, and also work with adjudicated youth.
See Stories engages educators in free, virtual and in person workshops where they learn to lead multimedia projects in their classrooms. We offer 3 – 5 teacher workshops annually in which teachers not only learn vital media skills, but also earn credit through the University of Anchorage, Alaska PACE (Professional & Continuing Education) Program. We have worked with hundreds of educators from dozens of communities across the state.
2022 Outstanding Public History Projects Award
See Stories won an Honorable Mention for the 2022 Outstanding Public History Project Award for our project The Forgotten Slavery of Our Ancestors. This documentary film that See Stories produced with the Southern Poverty Law Center on the history of enslavement of Indigenous People on what is now known as the United States was Directed by Howdice Brown III (Iñupiaq) and co-produced Alice Qannik Glenn (Iñupiaq).
2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Programs Awards
See Stories led an annual film workshop at the Kodiak History Museum (then known as the Baranov Museum) over the course of five years that was awarded the NAHYP Award, known as the Nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people. See Stories Founder / Director and then student Rafael Bitanga received the award at the White House from Former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Workshops with Adjudicated Youth
See Stories has an ongoing partnership with McLaughlin Youth Center, an Anchorage based school and facility for adjudicated youth. The students at McLaughlin have inspired us to apply our mission to build inclusive communities with film and story in new ways beyond film and podcasting, so that in addition to documentary film workshops we lead hip-hop and Shakespeare workshops. Students study Shakespeare and create original hip-hop songs inspired by Shakespearean themes that intersect with their own lives, ranging from betrayal to jealousy, and from racism to redemption. While films and songs cannot be shared to protect student privacy, students challenged See Stories’ director to create her own hip-hop song which you can listen to here.
Production of Award-Winning Documentary “The Forgotten Slavery of Our Ancestors”
See Stories occasionally produces a professional film when in service of our mission to build inclusive communities with film and story. We are proud of producing The Forgotten Slavery of Our Ancestors in 2020 on behalf of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s education wing Teaching for Justice (formerly known as Teaching Tolerance), which you can watch here. This film provides an introduction to the history of enslavement of Indigenous Peoples in what is now known as the United States, and is geared to an audience of educators so they can better teach this subject to their students. Award-winning Iñupiaq filmmaker Howdice Brown III Directed this film, and Coffee and Quaq Podcast founder Alice Qannik Glenn (Iñupiaq) co-Produced the film.
See Stories is based in Anchorage, Alaska. Anchorage is located within Dena'ina Ełnena, the traditional homelands of the Dena'ina Athabascan people. Learn more about land acknowledgements at native-land.ca.
Founder & Director
Marie (she/her) is a mama, educator and dreamer who is obsessed with blueberry picking, impromptu living-room dance parties, and the light in a young person’s eyes when they feel seen and heard. With a desire to become an educator outside of traditional settings, she applied the skills she had gained delving into her Alaskan, Midwestern and Scandinavian story to support youth in exploring their own stories through film. That initiative has now grown into See Stories. Marie lives on Dena’ina Land.
Alicia (she/her) is an educator and creative who is passionate about her faith, family, nature, education, and dark chocolate. She is curious, compassionate, and creative, and has worked in Alaska and internationally sharing stories through photography and writing. As Communications Coordinator, Alicia manages See Stories' social media, website, and newsletter and finds ways to ground See Stories programs in nature. Alicia lives on Sugpiaq Land.
Education Programs Manager
Seth (he/him) lives on Lingít Aaní (Tlingit) Land and has taught science in classrooms between Washington and Alaska for the past 10 years. You can find him spending most of his time exploring the waters and mountains of South East Alaska with his wife and their dog, Trout. He is also the founder and Education Director for Fathoms Alaska, a wilderness program for adolescents and young adults. Seth will manage our multi-week digital storytelling workshops in villages and communities around Alaska, and expand programming into the greater Southeast Alaska region.
Rafael is a See Stories alum and a proud FGLI graduate of Cornell University. He is actively spearheading See Stories' initiatives. With a track record, he has overseen LGBTQ+ film workshops and peer youth podcasting workshops, resulting in the Alaska Teen Query Podcast. Rafael is a talented documentary filmmaker and entrepreneur, owning his production company, Bitanga Productions. As someone with both lived experience and professional skills, Rafael's vision and leadership are vital assets to See Stories as the organization works to uplift youth voices.
Tayy Tarantino is an American hip hop recording artist and songwriter from Anchorage. He started his music career singing in the children and youth choir at his local church, rapping at the age of 10, and forming a rap group while attending Robert Service High School. His musical influences are J-Cole, Jay-Z, Kanye, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Timberland. He currently performs between the East and West Coasts & Alaska, and collaborates consistently with See Stories on our Shakespeare & Hip-Hop program at the McLaughlin Youth Center.
Keith McGill is an actor, comedian & educator from Louisville, KY. As one of the instructors for See Stories' Shakespeare and Hip Hop program for adjudicated youth, he brings a unique blend of teaching artistry, comedy, and a love of Shakespeare to the classroom. Keith's passion for storytelling shines through his dynamic and engaging instruction.
Elizabeth Ellis, the driving force behind Be Wild Honey Workspace, is a Virtual Assistance virtuoso. With a knack for support small businesses and Non-profits with an array of skills, she excels at managing admin tasks, ensuring seamless operations, and supporting the See Stories team. Elizabeth is your go-to pro for making things run like a well-oiled machine.
Hanna Agasuuq Sholl
Hanna Agasuuq Sholl is a Sugpiaq artist & educator and lives in Kodiak. She collaborates with See Stories on developing a Kodiak-specific Indigenous enslavement curriculum for teachers to implement in their classrooms. She also leads a dedicated team of Indigenous creators to create a curriculum on Indigenous enslavement in regions throughout Alaska. Her commitment to preserving and sharing these unique stories is invaluable to See Stories' mission.
Sarah Asper Smith of ExhibitAK is an integral collaborator at See Stories, bringing a creative touch to the organization through her design expertise. Her expertise in design extends to crafting curriculum for Professional Development Workshops, Student Workshops, and the newly developed Indigenous Enslavement curriculum. Her artistic vision adds depth and richness to See Stories' educational programs.
Sperry Ash, a Sugpiaq educator from Nanwalek, was originally a student of a See Stories' professional development workshop and has evolved into a valuable collaborator. He currently serves on steering committees and is pivotal in advising programs for professional development and student workshops, contributing significantly to See Stories' growth and success.
Roben Itchoak, an Iñupiaq educator in Shishmaref, was a former participant in a See Stories professional development workshop and has transformed into a dedicated collaborator. Serving on steering committees and offering valuable insights, Roben plays a key advisory role in shaping both professional development and student workshop programs for See Stories.
Board of Directors
Andrés Javier Camacho
Andrés Javier is a documentary filmmaker and enthusiastic fisherman with a Colombian-Mexican-American heritage. He is widely recognized for his hands-on approach to documenting stories, immersing himself in the lives of his subjects for extensive periods. Andrés has an undeniable passion for all activities related to water. He enjoys meeting new people and has an immense respect for the wisdom of elders. He relishes challenges and finds enjoyment in physically demanding activities. Andrés finds joy in bonding with individuals over food, music, and animated conversations.
Ian (he/him) grew up in Hawaii immersed in his Mom's stories, and now loves to connect the power of storytelling to social justice and advocacy. He is passionate, eager, and curious, and recently finished his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, and currently serves as Social Justice Coordinator at the YWCA where he hosts conversations on the intersection of race, land and culture.
Marilyn Sigman (she/her) is an educator specializing in marine education and wildlife management. She has over a decade of experience in teaching and working as a naturalist guide in the captivating Kachemak Bay. Marilyn's achievements in science communication, outreach, and education include designing K-12 curriculum materials and facilitating professional development for educators. Her book "Entangled" won the prestigious 2020 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Natural History Writing. In her free time, Marilyn indulges in her passion for exploring tide pools and hiking.
Michaela Stith is a climate justice advocate who enjoys spending time in nature. She excels in listening, storytelling, and public speaking. Michaela has traveled to all eight Arctic countries, inspiring her to create 12 scrapbooks documenting her adventures, as well as her childhood and her grandmother's life. She is the author of the #1 New Release on Amazon in Polar Regions Travel, Welp: Climate Change and Arctic Identities, which explores environmental justice in the circumpolar North. She has given talks across the United States, including at UAA, Columbia University, and Dartmouth University.
Jacob (he/him) is a former legislative aide, a current teacher, a future lawyer, and renaissance man who is "steadfastly forward thinking." He overcame many challenges, or as he puts it, "took the scenic route," to complete his undergraduate degree, and is now working with his Alma Mater UAA to establish a scholarship program for non-traditional students and promote intergenerational equity. He is also dabbling in the world of stand-up comedy.
Emily Anna Lucy
Humanities Forum and has over a decade of experience in the non-profit and education sectors, working intentionally with indigenous communities and minorities. She draws inspiration from people who are authentic and passionate about their work, and enjoys spending time outdoors and connecting with loved ones. Emily strives to bring positivity and empathy to all situations while focusing on personal growth and building strong relationships. She is excited to be a part of the See Stories board.