• Achieving Alaska Native Self-Governance: Toward Implementation of the Alaska Natives Commission Report

      Fischer, Victor; Morehouse, Thomas; Cornell, Stephen; Taylor, Jonathon; Grant, Kenneth (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1999)
      Renewed attention recently has been focused on Alaska’s Native communities. News accounts, government reports, and academic studies make it clear that Native communities continue to struggle with serious socioeconomic problems despite extensive federal and state programs designed to address them. The public debates arising out of the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Venetie case, the formation of the governor’s Rural Governance Commission (not to mention previous commissions), and continuing subsistence conflicts highlight unresolved questions about what Native, state, and federal institutions should do to address the problems of village Alaska. Finally, the recent Alaska Inter-Tribal Council (AITC)-Rural Alaska Community Action Program (RurAL CAP) Conference of Tribes and the subsequent march, rally, and declaration illustrate continuing Native resolve to address the problems them- selves. Clearly there is consensus that Native problems need urgent attention, but there is less agreement on what is to be done. A central issue in this debate concerns Native self-governance. Can Native self-governance do a better job of dealing with Native problems than non- Native efforts have done? What should be the extent of such governance? What forms should it take? This report considers these and related questions. Please note that this version of the report differs from previous version in that it removes the authors recommendations, as this task is being taken on at the organizational level by the AFN.
    • Alaska's North Slope Borough Revisited

      Knapp, Gunnar; Morehouse, Thomas (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      Alaska's North Slope Borough, established in 1972, is in many ways a unique institution of Native-controlled local government in the north. The borough represents a significant case study of Native self-determination under unusually favorable conditions: indigenous, local control of both resource wealth and political power. The North Slope Borough has been the instrument by which the Inupiat of the North Slope have successfully captured and used the oil wealth in their region, with clear economic and political benefits. They have gained high levels of local public services, jobs, and incomes; and effective representation in negotiations with external corporate and government authorities. The borough has also helped to preserve and adapt critical elements of traditional Inupiat culture. Costs of development and change under North Slope Borough leadership have included waste and inefficiency as well as crime and corruption. Centralized power in borough headquarters has reduced the independence of the borough villages and encouraged borough · citizens to act like clients and consumers. The Borough economy remains dependent upon uncertain tax revenues from the oil industry, with uncertain future employment opportunities for a rapidly growing Native population. North Slope Borough government has provided the Alaska arctic Inupiat with means to greater political self-sufficiency. Overall, the North Slope Borough has responded effectively, under great pressure, to the opportunities and the problems that petroleum development has brought to the region.
    • Development in Remote Regions: What Do We Know?

      Morehouse, Thomas; Huskey, Lee (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1991)
      This article assesses a recent body of research on economic development and socio-political change in northern and other remote regions of developed, western nations. The regions include northern Canada, Alaska, northern Scandinavia, Australia's Northern Territory, and Micronesia. Research topics covered are theoretical perspectives, resource development, Native claims, and village economies. "Remote regions" are physically, economically, and politically distant from centers of wealth and power; they are culturally or ethnically diverse and sparsely settled; and they exhibit extreme limits on their autonomy, self-sufficiency, and welfare. "Development" of these regions is defined as the overcoming of internal and external obstacles to change in conditions associated with their remoteness. The authors ask whether the research has increased our understanding of the nature of these regions and of their development problems. Their answer is generally affirmative, but they also identify specific research gaps, problems, and needs. The latter include needs for more explicit theorizing, comparative and historical approaches, and research on resource ownership, Native claims outcomes, village subsistence, and population migration.
    • When Values Conflict: Political Accommodation of Alaska Native Subsistence

      Holleman, Marybeth; Morehouse, Thomas (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska., 1994)
      Management of subsistence hunting and fishing in Alaska today is caught between federal law and the Alaska constitution. The federal Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 (ANILCA) requires giving Natives and other rural residents subsistence preference-that is, first call on fish and game when they are scarce. But the Alaska Supreme Court~ McDowell decision in 1989 held that a similar state law was unconstitutional, because the state's constitution prohibits granting such preferences based solely on place of residence. As a result, the federal government now manages subsistence on federal lands, the state on state lands, and it appears to some that the two management systems are headed toward an inevitable "horrific collision." This paper argues that although the fundamental value conflict between equal rights and cultural survival cannot be resolved, it can be circumvented and at least partially neutralized. Legislators, judges, and administrators can focus on material or economic problems of resource conservation and allocation, which, unlike value conflicts, are more susceptible to compromise.