A Year After His Death, John Active Remains NPR's Only Indigenous Commentator

Jun 7, 2019

A vital voice of KYUK's programming, John Active died on June 4, 2018.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

This week marks one year since the death of public radio pioneer John Active. He helped create and define the bicultural and bilingual style of KYUK, and introduced the Yup’ik language and culture to the nation through his writing and storytelling. To this day, John remains the only Indigenous commentator to air on National Public Radio. 

In this interview, NPR Senior Producer Art Silverman and Geoff Kennedy, a long-time friend and former KYUK colleague of John’s, tell the story of how John landed on the national airwaves.

Hear John Active's National Public Radio commentaries:

If I Were A Rich Man, I'd Pay Someone To Pick Berries For Me

Gathering Mouse Food

Returning From Summer Fish Camp

The Craft Of Translating English To Yup'ik

Remembering Spring Camp

Being Half Yup'ik