National Geographic

Jon Waterhouse’s destiny was foretold the moment he pushed his canoe off the bank of the Yukon River and started to paddle. That incredible 2007 canoe trip, which he christened “the Healing Journey,” began with a simple request by the native elders and tribal leaders living in the Yukon River watershed to "go out, take the pulse of the river."

Waterhouse’s journey raised awareness of the importance of environmental stewardship, combined traditional native knowledge with modern science, and helped rebuild intimate connections between Yukon communities and the natural world. The journey soon stretched far beyond the Yukon and led the Native American down rivers and through cultures in distant parts of South America, Russia, Greenland, Africa, and New Zealand.

Inside the Amazonian Basin: Learning, Led Zeppelin, and Life in the Jungle

Jon Waterhouse runs into unexpected encounters with people, animals, and insects in the Peruvian jungle during his journey to connect indigenous people from cultures around the world.

No Break for South Sudan: Clinic Goes Up, Violence Rains Down

As South Sudan struggles with recent violence and a tense ceasefire, Alaskans of the Alaska Sudan Medical Project reach out to their long-time friends in Africa, and continue to support the clinic that makes Old Fangak a haven for the sick, displaced, and injured.

Road Trip Along the Network of Indigenous Knowledge

Jon Waterhouse heads to Peru to connect indigenous people from cultures around the world, but first, he and his team must make a harrowing journey into the jungle.

Indigenous Groups Rally to Rescue North America’s Freshwater

As the U.N. marks the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, discover one way indigenous people are working on major issues like conservation around the world.

Connecting Indigenous People All Around the World

All around the world, indigenous cultures hold knowledge of inestimable value for understanding how to relate to the natural world. Jon Waterhouse has a plan for linking them all together.

Ancient Traditions and Modern Tech at Work in Russian Mission, Alaska

Side-splitting laughter with the Elders and enthusiastic sessions with the school kids make the team’s trip to Russian Mission, Alaska unforgettable.

Healing Journey 2013: Tribes and Schools Cleaning Up Alaska

On each “Healing Journey” Expedition, Jon Waterhouse uses travel along rivers, recording traditional knowledge from local people, and detailed scientific readings of water conditions and quality using cutting-edge technology. In March and April Jon and team are traveling from St. Mary’s, Alaska along the Yukon River by aircraft and snowmachine. Meanwhile his long-time collaborator John…

Healing Journey 2013: Science and Culture Along the Yukon

Follow along as Jon Waterhouse leads a “Healing Journey” from St. Mary’s, Alaska along the Yukon River by plane and snowmachine to study the river, snow, and ice, and celebrate indigenous cultures and traditions along the way.

From Alaska With Love: Aid Helps African Clinic Recover From Fire

A fire devastates a nearly completed medical clinic in Africa, but an outpouring of support from Alaska and elsewhere aid a quick recovery and have a more-than-material impact on the community.

How the Maya of Today Are Marking December 21

The internet is abuzz with theories and perspective on the ancient Maya calendar, but what are the living Maya doing to mark the momentous date?

Native American Explorer on Leadership

Originally thinking just of leadership in indigenous communities, Jon Waterhouse soon realized this is a topic on the top of many people’s minds today.

Paddling 600 Miles Through Alaska

Paddling 600 miles through Alaska from Northway to the village of Tanana, explorer Jon Waterhouse and his team have been on a mission to study the river and learn from its native inhabitants.

Canoeing Alaska’s Tanana River

Jon Waterhouse’s latest Healing Journey takes him to eastern Alaska to record traditional knowledge and scientific data along the Tanana River, a main tributary of the Yukon.