Spirit of the Wind – Movie about George Attla to be Re-released

George Attla II was recently at an Alaska Sports Hall of Fame event where he signed autographs for new and old fans. Marlene Watson (Navajo) is a new fan. Photo by Angela Gonzalez
George Attla, Jr. was recently at an Alaska Sports Hall of Fame event where he signed autographs for new and old fans. Marlene Watson (Navajo) is a new fan. Photo by Angela Gonzalez

The Spirit of the Wind movie is being re-released this year and will be available for purchase on DVD! The movie is based on the life story of Athabascan dog musher, George Attla, Jr. of Huslia. Attla was able to overcome tuberculosis and win many dog mushing races, including the Fur Rondy sprint races. Attla has left his mark as a dog mushing champion through hard work, dedication, staying focused, staying competitive and overcoming obstacles and challenges. He is my dad’s uncle, so I’ve heard a lot of dog talk over the years. Attla is revered and respected by people all over Alaska, US, Canada and even beyond.

Three decades later, Alaskans will finally get a chance to see ‘Spirit of the Wind’ by Suzanna Caldwell via Alaska Dispatch:
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140122/three-decades-later-alaskans-will-finally-get-chance-see-spirit-wind

The Alaska Native Heritage Center will hosted a re-release event for the movie in conjunction with the 2014 Fur Rondy.  A reception with refreshments, a special screening of the film, and for the first time a limited number of DVDs will be on sale to the public at this event!

While you won’t be able to buy it in Anchorage, you can buy it from Jade Resale Boutique in Fairbanks (729 1st Avenue, phone 907-479-5233). Jade Resale Boutique is owned by George Attla’s granddaughters.

I enjoyed hearing Martin Buser's story about George Attla, Jr.
I enjoyed hearing Martin Buser’s story about George Attla, Jr.

I met Iditarod musher Martin Buser a couple of years. It seems like whenever I say I’m from Huslia, people have stories to share about George Attla. Martin said he has learned some of the most important dog mushing lessons from George in the fewest amount of words. Martin visited George once and complained about the dogs not listening to him and running off the trail, etc. George said, “Who’s driving?” Martin said that was an important lesson for him. Yep, that’s a great lesson!

It will be great to show this classic movie to my children so they can see what it was like to grow up in interior Alaska in Athabascan country. Attla continues to race occasionally. He helps to run a Frank Attla Youth & Sled Dog Care program in memory of his late son. Through the program, he is able to pass on his knowledge and lifelong experience to the younger generation. It is great to see how the youth are discovering dog mushing. There are many valuable lessons to be learned from taking care of dogs, training them and taking on life’s challenges. They are catching the dog mushing fever!

George Attla II raced in the Cue Bifelt Memorial Dog Race in Huslia in 2013. Photo by Al Yatlin, Sr.
George Attla II raced in the Cue Bifelt Memorial Dog Race in Huslia in 2013. Photo by Al Yatlin, Sr.

About George Attla, Jr.
George Attla, Jr. is Athabascan and is from the northwest community of Huslia, Alaska. The legendary open-class sprint dog racer has won more Fur Rendezvous World Championships (10 wins) than any other musher to date. He won eight North American World Championships and nine International Sled Dog Racing Association unlimited class metals. His book, Everything I know about Training and Racing Sled Dogs, is still considered the musher’s bible. His life story became the subject of a film, Spirit of the Wind and a book of the same title has been published. In 2000 he was awarded the Best Musher of the 20th Century. In 2007, he was inducted into the first Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. 2008 marked his 50th year of competitive sled dog racing. In April 2011, he won the Bergman Sam Memorial Koyukuk River Championship in Huslia.

Find more information about George Attla, Jr., please visit: http://attlamakingofachampion.com/.

8 thoughts on “Spirit of the Wind – Movie about George Attla to be Re-released”

  1. Being born and raised in Alaska, George Attla II has been an important part of my life, yet we have not met. George was Captain for my family (Russell Weaver formerly Weaver Brothers Trucking) on a barge that ran up and down the interior rivers. My father drove him and his team to many races. I have a beaded cigarette case that was made for my Grandmother by his brother’s wife and has been handed down to me. I would like to know if George is coming to Anchorage, as I would like to meet him and show him what I have. I would like some history. And a picture of me with the infamous Huslia Hustler would be a life dream. Anyone with information to make contact with him would be great. You can reach me at dew@acsalaska.net. Thank you for helping me connect with George.

  2. Spirit of the Wind is a wonderful movie of the infamous George Attla. As a young girl growing up in Anchorage, I always followed the mushing scene with races. George instilled in me the passion to go out and also become a dog musher. Although not a racer, I enjoy the peace of being out and becoming a working team with my dogs. I wish George well. George Attla is an exceptional mentor in the dog mushing circle. Memories will last with me a lifetime. I named one of my dogs “Spirit”. Dogs are running!

  3. Pingback: Frank Attla Youth and Sled Dog Care-Mushing Program | Athabascan Woman

  4. Wow!!!!! So glad I looked this up. I was about to throw away the copy I had on an old VHS from when I was in 5th grade and had a family kennel of sled dogs. Before I parted with this treasure I wanted to know I could see it again and show my now college age kids. ( I now do dog jouring with my labs and shibas) They just don’t make biographical films like this one. George Attla will always be one of my lifelong heroes

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