Raven's Witness

The Alaska Life of Richard K. Nelson

  • 256 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-1-68051-307-3
  • Jul 7, 2020

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2020 Banff Mountain Book Award Winner - Grand Prize
2020 Banff Mountain Book Award Winner - Mountain Literature
  • Richard K. Nelson was the host of the national public radio series, "Encounters"
  • Nelson was an anthropologist who lived with Alaska Native tribes and spoke both Inupiag and Koyukon
  • Based on Nelson’s journals and interviews with Gary Snyder, Barry Lopez, Rick Bass, and others
"He listened to his [Native Alaskan] teachers, immersed himself in their landscapes as a naturalist, and became, without intending to, a great teacher himself." --Barry Lopez, from the foreword

Before his death in 2019, cultural anthropologist, author, and radio producer Richard K. Nelson’s work focused primarily on the indigenous cultures of Alaska and, more generally, on the relationships between people and nature. Nelson lived for extended periods in Athabaskan and Alaskan Eskimo villages, experiences which inspired his earliest written works, including Hunters of the Northern Ice In Raven’s Witness, Lentfer tells Nelson’s story--from his midwestern childhood to his first experiences with Native culture in Alaska through his own lifelong passion for the land where he so belonged. Nelson was the author of the bestselling The Island Within and Heart and Blood. The recipient of multiple honorary degrees and numerous literary awards, he regularly packed auditoriums when he spoke. His depth of experience allowed him to become an intermediary between worlds. This is his story.

Find out more at www.ravenswitness.com, and learn how you can help bring this story to life here.


Foreword by Barry Lopez
  • 256 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-1-68051-307-3
  • Jul 7, 2020

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