Whether you are a critic or fan of the Brown family and their Alaskan Bush People reality TV show, this handy A to Z guide exposes the fake, the real, and sometimes shocking insights about the Browns.
No matter what topic our students study, and that includes reality television shows like Discovery Channel’s Alaskan Bush People, we encourage everyone (students and staff members) to stay objective, open-minded, and nonjudgmental.
As for the Brown family and their life in the Alaskan wilderness, we have some students and staff members who think the whole show is fake — while others absolutely love the Browns.
Our A to Z guide reveals the fake and real aspects of ‘Alaskan Bush People’
Alaska was allegedly home sweet home for the Brown family for 30 years (if one is to believe Discovery Channel). However, Alaska’s court case against the Browns revealed that the family members were not always full-time residents and actually lived in other states when not filming their reality television show.
Allison Kagan was the Supervising Field Producer of Alaskan Bush People for the 2015 and 2016 episodes. Allison has numerous credits in the camera and the electronics department for other shows like 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom, and Teen Mom 2. “Alli,” as Joshua calls her, had to leave ABP after her relationship with Joshua Brown became public. After leaving the show, Allison went to South Carolina and Joshua followed her. Allison, 45, and Joshua, 33, reportedly got married in Maui, Hawaii, in 2016, but Joshua calls her on social media “his girlfriend.” Instead of any grandchildren for Ami, Allison and Joshua are now busy with Fathom This.
Ami Brown, the 54-year-old Brown family matriarch, turned some Alaskan Bush People critics into fans after Discovery Channel revealed last season that Ami had stage 3B lung cancer. Ami’s diagnosis propelled the show’s ratings to a number one spot. With millions of fans and critics tuning in and many sending letters to Ami (encouraged by Discovery Channel), Ami’s illness appears to be “a blessing in disguise.” Ami Brown is completing her second round of chemotherapy for stage 4 lung cancer (which has spread beyond the lungs) in Los Angeles.
Amora Lee Branson Brown is Ami’s full name. She was born on August 28, 1963. Ami’s marriage to Billy in Texas at the age of 15 was legal. Despite Billy’s promises to her mother, Ami never finished high school. Ami’s mother and brother have not seen her for 30 years.
Bam Bam is Joshua Brown’s real middle name. The Brown family’s second-oldest son was born on September 18, 1984. He received the unusual middle name in honor of his grandfather who loved The Flintstones character.
Bear Brown, whose real name is Solomon Isaiah Freedom Brown, was born on June 10, 1987. Bear is the Brown family’s third son after Matt and Joshua.
Billy Brown met his (second) wife Ami while working as a plumber in her Texas home when she was 15 and he was 26. Billy Bryan Brown was born on December 3, 1952, and just turned 65. The ABP patriarch became an orphan at the age of 16. In 2007, Billy self-published his book One Wave at a Time and in May 2014, his family’s reality television show first aired on Discovery Channel. Locals who have experienced the real Billy Brown describe him as an utmost con artist.
Birdie Brown is Billy Brown’s oldest daughter. Like Ami, Bird’s first name is Amora. Photos of mom and daughter show how similar the two look. Bird’s full name is Amora Jean Snowbird “Birdy” Brown and she was born on November 18, 1994. Birdie has, like her brothers, a love of the outdoors, the ocean, animals, and drawing. In most recent photos, Birdie is keeping her mouth tightly closed and her teeth hidden.
Birdy or Birdie Brown? Discovery Channel is showing Amora Jean Snowbird’s name as both. Season 2 Episode 5 of Alaskan Bush People is titled “Birdy Get Your Gun,” and DC describes the episode with the words “With supplies running low, Birdy steps up and goes hunting on the bears’ turf to provide for the clan.” In its bio page of Snowbird, however, DC writes, “From an early age, Birdie’s independence, drive and love for the outdoors was clear.”
Browntown is the stage set where Alaskan Bush People was filmed. After the Brown family left, there was nothing left but “junk” for local residents to remove. Read more about Browntown in our article You won’t believe what happened to Browntown.
Christmas Special a la Brown family is scheduled to air on Discovery Channel on Friday, December 15, 2017, at 10/9c. The return of a new Alaskan Bush People season 8 has not been confirmed by the network, but the production company, Park Slope, is stating that the production is a go. The new subtitle used by Discovery Channel is now Colorado Bush People.
Darkcloud is Noah Brown’s middle name. Noah Darkcloud Brown was born on July 18, 1992. He is the Brown family’s youngest son after Matt, Joshua, Bear, and Gabe.
Earlene Branson (also seen under the name Eugene Branson) is Ami Brown’s mom. Earlene “Memaw” Branson has not seen her daughter for nearly four decades. Earlene found out about Ami’s illness while watching the reality television show. In July 2016, the then 83-year-old (who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease) traveled from Texas to Hoonah, Alaska, to finally see her daughter again after 37 years. Unfortunately, Ami was 3,000 miles away in Hawaii and the long-awaited reunion never took place. In response to not wanting to see anyone from her family, Ami stated the following: “I come from a family of alcoholism, ” she reveals. “My father was an alcoholic and it tore our family apart. Watching these things as a child, you learn from it. That is the reason why I don’t let them know where, physically, I am.”
Explosion injury resulted in Matt getting nine staples in his head. The incident was shown in Alaskan Bush People Season 7 episode 3. Some of the footage proved that the Brown family did not live isolated in the Alaskan wilderness but that there was always a Park Slope film crew nearby.
Fake cancer? Ami Brown certainly has cancer. However, our students are wondering whether Ami’s illness has been dramatized by Billy Brown or Discovery Channel. Would someone with stage 4 lung cancer symptoms really take a road trip in an RV to Oregon to start a new life?
Fathom This is Joshua Brown’s ferry boat. Allison Kagan reportedly bought the old $55,000 ferry and the two have been busy fixing it up.
Gabe Brown is the Brown family’s fourth-born son after Matt, Joshua, and Solomon (Bear). Noah, Bird, and Rain are younger than him, making Gabe the middle child. Gabe’s full name is Gabriel Starbuck Brown. He was born on December 15, 1989. Besides doing the family’s chores, Gabe enjoys drawing and hopes to become a portrait painter. On the show, Gabe usually has a smile or a joke for viewers.
Hoonah, Alaska, residents have shared numerous accounts of the Brown family filming on the set of Browntown and living in nearby motels. The locals were also the first ones to share that Billy, Ami, and Matt were heavy smokers. Joshua and Allison used to smoke but have kicked the habit.
Instagram is Rain Brown’s main social media platform. Rain’s Twitter and YouTube pages usually just reflect what she already posted on her “heroofkirrkwell” (Hero of Kirrkwell) Instagram account. Rain might be referring to Hawke, the hero and champion of Kirkwall in Dragon Age. Based on Rainy’s posts, critics and fans are wondering whether the 15-year-old is emotionally unstable.
Integrity is (or better was) the Brown family’s boat in Alaska. According to locals, Billy Brown never owned the boat and certainly did not have a license to operate it. The Integrity has been sold. It is noteworthy that Joshua is continuing his love for boats and the water, and he and Allison are presently renovating the doomed ferry Fathom This.
Joshua Bam Bam Brown is the Brown family’s second-oldest son after Matt. Joshua appears to try to follow his own path in life. After Allison Kagan left the family show, Joshua followed her to South Carolina. In contrast to Matt, who keeps a very low profile, Joshua has posed in photos with numerous fans and has a Twitter account.
Ketchikan, Alaska, is southeast of Hoonah. On July 24, 2015, Alaska State Troopers gave Billy, Matt, Joshua, Solomon (Bear), Gabe, Noah, and Birdie citations “for participating in a personal use fishery without a current ADF&G sport fishing license” and “for making a False Statement on a ADF&G Sport Fishing license.” The bail was set at $210 and $310, respectively. The Brown family bought many of their supplies in Ketchikan, and Joshua apparently still uses Ketchikan as a home address.
Les Branson is Ami’s brother. In an interview this summer, Les shared that Ami’s mom is devastated about her daughter’s lung cancer. Les Branson also shared that before marrying 15-year-old Ami, Billy had promised his mom that Ami would be able to finish high school and go to college. Les and Ami’s mom Earlene admit that Billy Brown absolutely fooled them with his charm and stories of riches, and that he is one of the best con artists out there.
Los Angeles is the Brown family’s home while Ami is being treated for her lung cancer. The Brown family is renting a house just minutes away from UCLA where Ami is receiving chemotherapy. Rain Brown,15, does not attend any school in LA (or anywhere else) but shares on social media photos of their pool, stores, and beautiful ocean sunsets.
Matt Brown, aka Matthew Jeremiah Brown, is like Joshua a Virgo and was born on September 7, 1982. As the Brown family’s first-born son, Matt appears to be carrying the brunt of having to live a dual life. Matt has been outspoken about his problems with alcohol.
Mr. Cupcake is the Brown family dog. He is a Belgian Tervuren, known as intelligent and protective sheepdogs. Mr. Cupcake is with the family in Los Angeles.
Noah Darkcloud Brown, like Joshua, also enjoys posing in photos with fans. Noah reportedly enjoys Tae Chi and is considered to be the dreamer and inventor of the Brown family. His hopes to travel the world and finding his dream girl ended with an Oregon girl “catching” him. Family insiders share that Noah married his girlfriend Rhain Alicia in Delores, Colorado, on June 24, 2017. Like Joshua, Noah continues to call Rhain his girlfriend, but the two are always seen together. On and off the show, Noah Darkcloud can be seen wearing black clothes and a cross.
Oregon Bush People is the new subtitle provided by Discovery Channel for the Alaskan Bush People Brown family.
Park Slope Productions is the company that is producing the “docu-series” Alaskan Bush People for Discovery Channel. According to the Park Slope company, there will be an 8th season of ABP.
Permanent Fund Dividend scandal: The Alaskan Bush People Brown family members were indicted on October 3, 2014, by a Juneau, Alaska, grand jury for lying about their residency. Alaskans can receive a dividend from oil revenues if they have resided in the state for at least one year. The Browns had received collectively $20,938 from Alaska after lying on their PFD applications. In his plea deal on November 18, 2015, Billy Brown signed a written statement admitting that he had left Alaska in October 2009, and that he did not return to Alaska with his family until August 2012. Court documents showed that the Browns had been residents of Texas and Colorado. During the court proceedings in 2014 and 2015, the family was not present in Alaska but called in from Seattle, Washington, or California. After Billy and second-oldest son Joshua plead guilty, the charges against Ami, Solomon (Bear), Gabe, and Noah were dropped. In April 2016, Billy and Joshua served their 30-day sentences at home with ankle monitors.
Questions about Ami Brown’s health status remain unanswered by ABP cast members. Rain Brown and Joshua Brown are most active on social media. Even though followers continuously ask about Ami and her health status, Rain and Joshua avoid the question and provide no answers. The Brown family members are under contract with Discovery Channel, meaning they cannot disclose any information that would be a spoiler to season 8 of Alaskan Bush People.
Rain Brown is the Brown family’s youngest child. She was born on November 23, 2002. Her full name is Merry Christmas Katherine Raindrop “Rainy” Brown. Of all the Brown children, Rain is most active on social media. Rain’s confession to loving a married man and cutting her hair shorter and shorter is drawing criticism and worries even by fans. Discovery Channel mentions in Rain’s biography page that Rain is considered to be “the princess” of the Brown family, but that she is not “spoiled, she is generous and kind with her siblings.” Unfortunately, Rain’s Instagram posts are reflecting a young girl who is mainly preoccupied with herself and who loves to get attention, no matter whether it is positive or negative. Rain congratulated her dad on his birthday (December 3) and wishes her mom Ami Brown “a late birthday.” Ami’s birthday was in August!
Rhain Alicia is Noah’s wife, according to family insiders. Rhain’s real name is Ruth Alisha Merrill. She is 27 years old and is originally from Oregon. Like Noah, she enjoys fishing and hunting. Unlike Allison, Rhain appears to be extremely eager to be part of the Alaskan Bush People cast members. Unfortunately for Ruth, the other Brown family members (except Noah) are not too crazy about her.
Solomon Isaiah Freedom Brown is Bear Brown. On the show, Solomon “Bear” Brown is apparently in charge of hunting for meat to provide for the Brown family. Besides hunting and fishing, he enjoys being with animals and being onboard the family’s fishing boat. DC describes Bear as “fearless and full of confidence and likes to do everything to the extreme.”
Twila Byars is Billy Brown’s daughter from his first marriage in Texas. Twila was featured on Alaskan Bush People in 2016. According to Billy’s account, the two had been estranged for decades, but in reality, Billy and Twila had been in contact on and off again over the years. On her Facebook page, Twila shares a photo with Billy and Ami.
UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) is the hospital where Ami is receiving chemotherapy for her lung cancer. UCLA is only about 3 miles away from Beverly Hills where the Brown family is renting a house.
Vehicles other than boats favored by the Brown family include sports cars (Noah) and the Brown family’s RV. Despite Ami’s illness and her frail health status, the cast members traveled to Colorado in their RV.
Wilderness (forest) in Colorado is replacing the Alaskan bush for the Brown family. According to Bear’s account, his parents fell in love with the forest in Colorado. “It was just something about the freedom, something about the magic in the woods itself,” he says.
Wheelchair photos of Ami have surfaced online. Ami looks frail and weak and reportedly only weighs 85 pounds. Ami was reportedly too weak to begin her second round of chemotherapy but she traveled with the family to Colorado?
X out? Will Alaskan Bush People be cancelled? According to Park Slope, season 8 is in production. Viewers can expect a lot of old footage along with some Ami Brown lung cancer teasers.
You want to decide for yourself how much of Alaskan Bush People is fake or real? The best resource as to what the Brown family is really like is provided by Alaskan locals. Their most revealing (and shocking) voices can be heard on imdb.com’s review pages of the show.
Zooming-in when photos of the Brown family are shared online is worthwhile. Rain’s most recent Instagram post shows an old photo of her with long hair. In the background, one can discover some guns and a beer bottle. The most recent photo of Ami and Billy shows Ami in a wheelchair while Billy is standing next to her. Even though his wife is fighting stage 4 lung cancer, Billy continues to smoke and is keeping Marlboro Reds in his shirt pocket.