Joel Jacko From 'Life Below Zero: First Alaskans' Prefers Life in Rural Alaska

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Jan. 24 2024, Published 10:51 a.m. ET

Joel Jacko on Life Below Zero: First Alaskans
Source: National Geographic

The National Geographic docuseries Life Below Zero: First Alaskans follows a group of indigenous Alaskans who live in some of the most remote environments in Alaska. Among them is Joel Jacko, who grew up in Chignik, Alaska. It's clear from the start that he knows nearly everything when it comes to survival in brutal Alaskan winters, but there's more to the Alaskan native than that.

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First Alaskans is a direct spinoff of the flagship series Life Below Zero. And although it features a new cast that longtime fans might not have known about before now, it also gives viewers a close look at a culture they also may not have been familiar with until now.

Joel Jacko and his family on Life Below Zero: First Alaskans
Source: National Geographic
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Who is Joel Jacko from 'Life Below Zero: First Alaskans’?

The description of Life Below Zero: First Alaskans explains that Joel “combines traditional and modern methods” in life, and viewers get to see that as he showcases survival skills on the show. Although he is a hunter and he’s skilled as a fisherman too, Joel also owns and runs KMZ LLC Construction.

According to Joel’s LinkedIn, his company specializes in remodeling homes and commercial properties, as well as some handyman and electrical work outside of that. Joel is open about the difficulties of living in the Alaskan wilderness, but for him and his family, it's not about surviving. It's more about bridging the gap between the modern world and other ways of living and building that he has grown up around.

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Joel and his daughter in the woods on Life Below Zero: First Alaskans
Source: National Geographic

Joel Jacko’s wife and daughter are part of the show too.

Joel’s wife, Jacqueline Jacko, isn't originally from Alaska, but she moved there after she met and fell in love with Joel. Together, they have a daughter, Anzlie, who they fostered to adopt. Jacqueline explains on Life Below Zero: First Alaskans, that Anzlie is also indigenous and she is eager to learn what Joel has to teach her.

Although the family allows cameras to film them for the series, both Joel and Jacqueline appear to want to keep the rest of their life fairly private. Joel’s Instagram is private, and it's unclear if Jacqueline is on social media at all right now. Still, Joel is plenty open about his life on the show and how growing up as an Athabascan Indian.

Watch Life Below Zero: First Alaskans on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EST on National Geographic.

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