Dorica and Nathan Jackson (left) and Andy Ryan canning sockeye salmon in the Jacksons’ kitchen (Marla Williams)

MARLA AND I WERE HONORED TO HAVE DINNER, twice this week, with renowned Alaska Native artist Nathan Jackson and his wife, master weaver and textile artist Dorica Jackson. After our second dinner with the Jacksons, at their home near Ketchikan, we helped them put up a mess of sockeye salmon Nathan caught earlier in the week, purse seining.

If you’re not familiar with Nathan’s spectacular work, you can see examples of it, here.


Raven Stealing the Sun, by Nathan Jackson and Ernest Smeltzer. Displayed at the Totem Heritage Center, Ketchikan



Nathan is the subject of a documentary by Marla, which begins airing this September on Alaska Public Media. The film is one in a six-part series, Magnetic North: The Alaskan Character.

Nathan Jackson airs Sept. 9, at 9:30, on Alaska Public Media. The series also includes films about:

—Clem Tillion
—Arliss Sturgulewski
—Roy Madsen
—Jacob Adams
—Bill Sheffield

The series is directed by Marla and edited by Kyle Seago. Funding provided by Rasmuson Foundation in association with the Alaska Humanities Forum.

For more information email


Here are a few more photos from our visits with the Jacksons:


In Nathan’s workshop (Marla Williams)



Nathan, preparing sockeye for canning (Marla Williams)


Jars of salmon, ready for the pressure cooker (Marla Williams)


Dorica Jackson (Marla Williams)


Chilkat robe by Dorica, recently purchased by the Ketchikan Museums Department, with help from a Rasmuson Foundation grant. (Photo courtesy Ketchikan Museums)