One of Mother Tongue’s shortest pieces now available for viewing is entitled Ada Blackjack Rising, and despite its run-time being only about six minutes, it packs a punch.
Ada Blackjack Rising, an experimental dramatic short directed by Brice Habeger, brings together the current inhabitants of Northern Alaska with a legendary woman from the same land.By Caroline Morris
“Especially for young, Alaska Native women, this is a perfect role model — somebody who is resilient in the face of absolute horror and disaster,” Rearden said. “She overcame it. Her resilience is something that we can all learn from, whether you’re a little kid or an adult.”
The crew sees the six-minute film as an opportunity to tell a longer, more in-depth story of Blackjack. Eason says he could see her story being a feature film or miniseries. Rearden says he has even loftier goals.
“(Blackjack is) an absolute powerhouse hero that little kids should grow up knowing her name,” Rearden said. “There should be schools named after her and streets named after her and there should be a statue of Ada. That’s just how I feel.”By Samantha Davenport, November 28, 2020
Ada Blackjack Johnson, nee Deletuk, was from a region of Alaska known as, modern day, the Bering Straits; the Seward Peninsula and surrounding area.
BSNC shareholder Ada Blackjack Johnson, nee Deletuk, was born in 1898 in Solomon, Alaska. She moved to Nome, Alaska where at the age of 16 she married Jack Blackjack and gave birth to three children. Only one, a son named Bennett, survived past infancy. Jack deserted Ada 40 miles outside of Nome and the young mother and child walked back to town together. When five-year-old Bennett, who was of poor health, was too tired to walk, Ada carried him. Destitute, with no resources to care for herself and Bennett, Ada joined the Wrangel Island Expedition of 1921 as a cook and seamstress, vowing to return to care for her son.