‘Acknowledging these things is the only way to heal’


(Video by Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News)

Born and raised in Hoonah, Kyle Wark remembers sitting in the family car as his mother drove him home, drunk and swerving.

When they arrived at the house she passed out on the steering wheel, horn blaring, he said. Wark was 29 when she died.

Today, he studies alcohol use among Alaska Natives as a graduate student at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In this “Alcohol & Me” interview, Wark talks about why keeping silent about alcohol misuse is hurting Alaskans.

One of my lowest points in my own perspective was, I think in 8th grade, walking down the hallway in Hoonah high school and thinking how proud I was that my face was a mask, and that nobody could possibly know what I was feeling.” — Kyle Wark, Anchorage

Originally published November 27, 2013 in Anchorage Daily News.