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49 Voices: Andrew Jasper of Bethel

Andrew Jasper of Bethel. (KYUK photo)

This week we’re hearing from Andrew Jasper from Bethel. Jasper is originally from Aniak and works as a behavioral health aide for the Yukon-Kuskowkwim Health Consortium.

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JASPER: I think my background is mainly social work… helping people. I like helping people. When there’s accident happened in the village, when I’m called to go out I go out and do that.

I want to help my people because a lot of them are using substance abuse — maybe drugs and alcohol — and I wanna help those people get better. Growing up here, I learned a lot from my elders and that’s what I’m doing now. It’s passing down the knowledge I learned from my elders.

My passion is playing music. I play a variety of instruments. I play guitar. I play mandolin. I play keyboards. I play violin. Little bit of harmonica, little bit of bass. When my brother came home from high school, he bought a guitar and that’s when I learned how to play the guitar.

Country music… mixed country music and maybe country rock. And I have a band of my own, Jasper Band from Akiak. We do fiddle dances in villages. When we’re called to go to villages, that’s what we do.

I’d rather have our own… not too many people. ‘Cause when I went out of state, there were too many, too many… too many people out there. I’d rather have not too many people from outside. But they can come and visit if they want to, but not to stay here (laughs).

I never considered to move out of state, but I’m thinking of moving out of Bethel to Anchorage maybe (laughs).

KYUK intern Jared James gathered this interview in Bethel.