Connections with the Gwich'ins don't always happen in Alaska. Bill attended an informational program at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan which featured Luci Beach, executive director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee and Subhankar Banerjee, author of "Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land." They shared about environmental concerns in Alaksa due to the unwanted influences of industry. The subject of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was cause for a very heated debate and dominated the Q & A portion of the program.
At a reception following the program, Mr. Banerjee held a book signing for his photographic journey, the book mentioned above, as Ms. Beach was asked more Gwich'in specific questions. She allowed Bill to field the questions knowing about his caring relationships with the Gwich'ins and his concern for their land. Bill's answers appeared to have an impact speaking on behalf of the Gwich'ins from the perspective of a white man from Grand Rapids.