• Alaska Native civics & government high school curriculum

      Wassillie, Katya (2017-05)
      This curriculum document provides an outline for teaching important subject matter related to Alaska Native civics and government to high school students in Alaska. The development of this document was inspired by the current deficit of these subjects in Alaskan high school curricula statewide. This subject matter is highly relevant to Alaskan students, particularly Alaska Native students, in that it covers historical events, themes, and other topics that have direct application to their lives and/or adds to their understanding of social, political, and legal structures that surround them. Learning about the topics included in this curriculum will prepare Alaska Native high school students for leadership and involvement in institutions and organizations within their communities and statewide, such as Alaska Native corporations and tribal governments. Non-Alaska Native high school students will also benefit from a greater understanding of this history and these institutions that are major components of Alaskan society. The subject matter is organized into six broad content areas, labeled "units." Each unit includes several specific content areas, labeled "lessons," that fall under the broader unit topic. The main component of each lesson is the learning objectives for students. This document does not provide materials or instructions for teaching the subject matter, but is meant to serve as a guide for educators to use in building lesson plans. However, ideas and suggestions for developing lesson plans have been included within each lesson as resources for educators. Six educational videos based on each of the unit topics in the curriculum have also been developed as resources for educators, along with a list of books, videos, articles, and websites that cover information related to the curriculum subject matter. Unfortunately, textbooks and other teaching materials for this curriculum do not yet exist, but much of the information and resources needed to implement this curriculum are available on the Internet, many of which have been listed in the database provided with this document. Lastly, because the subject matter included in this curriculum document is both extensive and complex, it is suggested that this curriculum be taught throughout the course of an academic year.
    • The changing vista of the northern Northwest Coast Indian Deer Ritual

      Austin, Kenneth Frank (1999-08)
      From time immemorial until the start of the 20th century, when disputing Tlingits decided to end a conflict, Tlingit clan leaders and elders met in council and negotiated an equitable peace settlement. After reaching a satisfactory negotiation, a peace dance took place to validate the settlement. Besides the Tlingits, the neighboring Indian groups in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia practiced this custom. When the European and Western powers assumed governance, the deer ritual--a judicial function of the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians--was modified, and new forms appeared. Presently, while elders know their regional history, many do not remember the protocol and formalities of the rite that was performed. This thesis undertakes a step into the past when the rite had an active and viable purpose in settling disputes and validating agreements
    • Contemporary Inuit political identity and transnational processes

      Bender, Cori D. (2012-08)
      Understanding how local political identities are shaped by transnational networks can produce insight into the relationships among global processes, local identities, and the state. This ethnographic exploration of circumpolar transnational processes provides an understanding of the social and cultural factors influencing political identity among the Inuit of the United States. I ask how the local Alaska branch of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC-AK) connects to a broader transnational Indigenous network, and how those networks influence Inuit political identity locally and globally. The following thesis suggests that, despite an increase in cultural influences across national borders due to globalization, political identities remain tied to local and national influences. Moreover, the transnational movements of local political identities may be impeded by national borders and State regulations, revealing the continued importance of the nation-state, rather than its demise in an increasingly globalized world.
    • From camps to communities: Neets'ąįį Gwich'in planning and development in a pre- and post-settlement context

      Stern, Charlene Barbara; Koskey, Michael; Leonard, Beth; Chapin, F. Stuart, III; Aruskevich, Kas (2018-05)
      This study focuses on the Neets'aii Gwich'in, whose traditional territory is located in the northeastern interior of Alaska, and their experiences with planning and development. Prior to settling into permanent villages, the Neets'ąįį lived in widely scattered camps moving in relation to seasonal subsistence resources. Equipped with extensive knowledge of their country, Neets'ąįį people knew at any given time where the best places for certain animals and resources were and thus would camp closer to those areas. According to Neets'ąįį oral history, life in the "those days" was preoccupied with basic survival. Planning ahead, being prepared, and adapting to changing conditions were some of the key strategies that enabled the Neets'ąįį to survive from one generation to the next in one of the harshest climates in the world. The past 170 years has brought unprecedented change to the Neets'ąįį. The socio-economic and political context which historically defined the experience of the Neets'ąįį shifted dramatically as a result of colonization, the establishment of permanent settlements and the ensuing need for community infrastructure. Today, the Neets'ąįį are centralized in two villages, Vashrąįį K'ǫǫ (Arctic Village) and Vįįhtąįį (Venetie), located within the boundaries of the 1.8 million-acre Venetie Indian Reserve. The transition from Neets'ąįį camps to permanent communities has introduced many new needs including landfills, roads, power generation, etc. Whereas Neets'ąįį ancestors traditionally used planning as a survival strategy, their descendants today use planning to attract external investment for much needed infrastructure. This dissertation explores the ways in which the Neets'ąįį Gwich'in have engaged in planning and development in a pre- and post-settlement context.
    • Toward Arctic transitions and sustainability: modeling risks and resilience across scales of governance

      Blair, Berill; Lovecraft, Amy Lauren; Kofinas, Gary P.; Eicken, Hajo; Haley, Sharman; Meek, Chanda (2017-08)
      The Arctic region has been the subject of international attention in recent years. The magnitude of impacts from global climate change, land-use change, and speculations about economic development and accessible polar shipping lanes have intensified this focus. As a result, the potential to manage complex ecological, social and political relationships in the context of changes, risks and opportunities is the focus of a large and growing body of research. This dissertation contributes to the expanding scholarship on managing Arctic social-ecological systems for resilience by answering the question: What conditions improve cross-scale learning and resilience in nested social-ecological systems experiencing rapid changes? Using the framework of social-ecological systems and the drivers of change that can transform fundamental relationships within, three studies profile the spatial and temporal dimensions of learning and risk perceptions that impact nested social systems. The first study presents a spatial and temporal analysis of scale- and level-specific processes that impact learning from risks. It draws on four cases to underscore the need for a plurality of risk assumptions in learning for resilience, and sums up essential resources needed to support key decision points for increasing resilience. Two additional studies present research conducted with northern Alaska communities and resource managers. In these studies, I analyzed the extent to which perceptions of risks scale horizontally (between same-level jurisdictions), and vertically (between levels in a dominant jurisdictional structure). These examples illustrate the need for innovative institutions to enhance cross-scale learning, and to balance global drivers of change with local socioeconomic, cultural, and ecological interests. Based on findings of the dissertation research I propose recommendations to optimize the tools and processes of complex decision making under uncertainty.