To explore the issues surrounding Alaska Native men's health and wellness, we interview Haida/Tłingit basketball star turned community health advocate Damen Nanggaahlaangstangs Bell-Holter (Part 1) and health worker and local musician Tyler "2essentialz" Young (Part 2).
"I truly believe that the only thing that we own in this life is the choice we have in front of us, right now. And you can either go on an unhealthy path or you can put your best foot forward."
"There's hope to feel better. Hang in there. Reach out for help. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. Theres nothing wrong with being tender.
"I really believe a lot of this has a lot to do with, starting with colonization. I know that word gets tossed around a lot, but I think it gets tossed around a lot because it's something that needs to be talked about. Going all the way back to Russian contact." -Tyler Young
Tyler Young (also known as Apaquutaq) is Sugpiaq, Tsimshian (of the Laxsgiik Clan), Lakota, and Cherokee. He was born in Anchorage, but also grew up in Washington state and Colorado before moving back to Alaska in 2007. Tyler believes in and encourages the wellness of all people, and has the privilege of serving his Anchorage community in both his personal life and professional role. Identifying a healthy support system, being in recovery from substances, healing from past traumas, and helping his fellow community members are what contributes to his own personal wellness. Tyler enjoys fishing, playing basketball, making music, helping people in recovery, and spending time with his fiancée & puppy when he's not working.
Check out Tyler "2essentialz" Young's music here: https://soundcloud.com/search?q=2essentialz