Makena O'Toole, Cordova, Alaska, born 1985

I think my first very   conscious memories –  oh I guess I was about three and a half – phone ringing in the middle of the night and peeking over the edge of the ladder and just seeing my parents both in tears, hugging each other.  And that was the night that we got the news.

My dad tells a story about when I was a little kid, up at our cabin, waking up in the middle of the night, in the middle of a dream, just kind of like sleep talking, saying, “My daddy’s a wisherman and I’m gonna be a wisherman too” and it was never a doubt in my mind . . . At the time that I bought into fishing it was not exactly what parents wanted their kids to be doing, and was the first kid in high school in a long time to buy into fishing and to take that jump.

I mean the biggest thing I think that we can take from we learned here is move on.  Get over it.  If it's not something that you can continue to make a life out of there, then you need to leave.  If you can, then you need to get over it and don't let yourself be put on hold for twenty years listening to false promises or false hopes because that doesn't help anybody ... it's just not worth it.  I don't think any amount of money is worth putting your life on hold for that long, and so I would just say "move on," and, you know, hopefully justice will be served, but if it's not, don't let it ruin your life. 

Makena's Full Interview