• Japanese winter tourism in rural Alaska: Bettles Lodge

      Kojima, Mie (2000-12)
      Japanese tourists increasingly visit the Arctic in wintertime because of their interest in northern lights. Some rural communities in Alaska see this as an opportunity to enter winter tourism by targeting the Japanese market. The purpose of this study is to gain better understanding of the interests of these Japanese visitors and to explore potentials for tourism development in rural Alaska. A Japanese visitor survey was conducted in the spring of 2000 at Bettles Lodge in Interior Alaska. The data reveal that the average visitor to Bettles Lodge was female, over 61 years of age, an urban dweller, employed full-time, and college educated. Results show that Bettles Lodge receives a mixture of younger individual travelers and older group travelers, who have very different needs and expectations. The study suggests that sustainable tourism development may be best achieved through cooperation involving all local interests and stakeholders.
    • Canenermiut lifeways and worldview and western fish and wildlife management

      Jack, Carl T. (2002-12)
      The Canenermiut inter-generational worldview embodies the proper use and conservation of the resources necessary to sustain life from time immemorial. The classical Yupiaq conservation ethics in the utilization of subsistence resources are well established and practiced to this day by Canenermiut that is geared to the survival of their culture and community. When western fish and wildlife managers promulgate regulations from urban areas of Alaska on the taking of subsistence resources in rural Alaska they often find out that rural residents such as the Canenermiut ... are unwilling to follow the regulations. Caneneq is a coastal area between Kusquqvak (Kuskokwim) Bay up to Qaluyaaq (Nelson Island). Canenermiut is made up of two Yupiaq words, Caneneq as defined earlier and the suffix miut is a Yup'ik word defined as occupant of that geographic area or a place. The people from these villages see the imposition of the western precepts of fish and wildlife management systems as efforts by outsiders to control their way of life. They see this effort as inconsistent with their worldview of how a human should fit within the creation of a higher being. These people do not participate in the formulation of public policies or the promulgation of the regulations that affect their lives and as a consequence do not have a sense of ownership of them. The Canenermiut worldviews are fundamentally different from the worldview of the people of European origin who brought with them concepts of lifeways foreign to Alaska's indigenous people. The author of this thesis is one of Canenermiut from the Native Village of Kipnuk, who was raised by his parents the traditional Yupiaq way of life and taught by his uncle the art of hunting and fishing. He is also one who was also educated in schools of the dominant western society. As one of many other Alaska Native children who were subjected to the assimilation effort of the United States government in the image of the Other, the author is very cognizant of both the Other's lifeways and the classical Yupiaq lifeways ... The author having lived in both worlds, the world of Canenermiut in the Native Village of Kipnuk and in Anchorage will attempt to articulate the major components of Canenermiut worldview. This is a worldview that western fish and wildlife managers do not understand but ones that may help in enhancing the conservation and utilization of these subsistence resources. Secondly, the author will attempt to articulate the degree of the paradigm shift in the Canenermiut indigenous value system that has occurred among this generation. The desire of the Canenermiut to retain their cultural value system and to control their destiny is affirmed by the author. In addition, as the precepts of fish and wildlife management systems are accepted over time by Alaska Native people outside of the geographic area of Caneneq, the Canenermiut do not want to be left behind and have a strong desire to- participate in these management systems.
    • More than a shelter: a study of indigenous dwellings and contemporary, affordable housing in rural Alaska

      Combs, Esther Marcell (2003-05)
      The purpose of this study was to pursue an innovative idea to address the need for safe, affordable housing in the rural, subarctic area of the State of Alaska. A three pronged approach for data gathering included an extensive historical review of early indigenous cultures and dwelling design; a review of the roles of federal and state governments and their impact on the political economy and lifestyles of rural indigenous people; and interviews of homeowners to obtain their comments, preferences, and suggestions for design features in a home. The conclusions drawn from the findings indicated that the most important feature for a modern house in rural, subarctic Alaska is an enlarged Arctic entry way which was a feature of nearly all of the early indigenous dwellings albeit the simplistic, tunneled entry. Secondly, installation of a standby heat source or a backup, wood stove in homes; and, finally that planning, design and construction of a smaller, simplified house be pursued.
    • Indigenized self: a healing journey

      Dayo, Masak Dixie (2003-08)
      'Indigenized Self: A Healing Journey' is a major segment of my personal life story. I have not revealed every detail of my life story as I have not dealt with all aspects of my healing and some remain too painful to write about or discuss in such public detail. However, this is a detailed account of many traumatic and wonderful events in my life that have lead up to my embarking on a healing journey. I explore the history of education in Alaska as it was introduced to Alaska Natives. I try to comprehend why my Inupiaq mother never taught me her first language and why she gave up so much of her fine heritage. Being a part of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act as an enrolled Alaska Native and member of a board of directors for a village corporation has been an educational experience. While it has been rewarding and full of political decisions, it has not always been compatible with traditional Alaska Native values. It is said that people must share their healing experiences with others to maintain their gift of healing. 'Indigenized Self: A Healing Journey' is a way of sharing my gift of healing.
    • The Pelagia story

      Nielsen, Mary Jane (2005-05)
      The Pelagia Melgenak story is a qualitative case study and history of Pelagia Melgenak, a Sugpiaq Alaska Native culture bearer who was the matriarch of the family of the author. Ms. Melgenak was born July 21, 1879 in Old Savonoski, Alaska. She left her home after the 1912 eruption of Mt. Novarupta, in what is now Katmai National Park, and lived most of her life in a new site on the Naknek River near South Naknek, named New Savonoski. Until her death in 1974, she passed on stories, songs, customs and traditions that link contemporary Sugpiat to their pasts. This story documents her life and is a significant part of Sugpiat history and culture of the Alaska Peninsula. It is written largely for the younger brothers and sisters, children, grandchildren, and other relatives of the author as well as descendants of Katmai. It is also for those who wish to understand the bonds of kinships, shared tradition, and spiritual connection to the land that existed during the lifetime of Pelagia Melgenak and the continuation of the tribal community that adheres to the values she believed in.
    • Alaska Native leadership succession planning: a study of leadership planning for Alaska Native organizations

      Pass, Gail; Dayo, Dixie Masak; John, Theresa Arevgaq; Charles, Kanaqluk George (2005-05)
      This study is based on qualitative interviews of four Alaska Native leaders, and one case study of an Alaska Native leadership program. Alaska Native organizations can expect to change quite dramatically over time if Alaska Native leadership succession is not strategically planned out. This study reveals the insights on leadership and the progression of leaders. Current Alaska Native leaders share their experiences of their leadership journeys and those they are familiar with. There is a case for the strategic planning and implementation of leadership succession and there is a case against formulating plans and letting the natural courses take over. A decision making model extracts the initiatives that will drive leadership succession into motion if that is what an Alaska Native organization is willing to do to shape the future leaders of their respective organizations. Recommendations include all respective business entities examine their current leaders and proactively shape their future leadership; current leaders support future leaders and value higher education.
    • Guidance for Sustainable Tourism in Kotzebue, Alaska

      Alvite, Annabelle C.; Ducharme, JoAnne; Pullar, Gordon; Knecht, Richard A. (2008-12)
      Tourism once thrived in Kotzebue, a rural largely Iñupiat Eskimo community in Northwest Alaska. Today there is very little evidence of the summer tourism that once characterized this remote Arctic town. Trends suggest a revival of tourism in Kotzebue, though little is being done to prepare for an almost inevitable rebirth. This research is intended to identify local concerns about tourism, the current state of tourism and offer guidance for sustainable tourism. Qualitative and inductive research was conducted to understand local feelings about tourism and possible reasons past tourism levels could not be sustained. Suggestions are given for a new direction for tourism. Secondary research examined the concept of sustainable tourism, profiles of current and potential visitors to the region, and tools and strategies to manage tourism and its impacts. The study concludes past tourism did not have major detrimental effects on the community, and there are both lingering resentment and caution about future tourism, as well as definite local interest in its development.
    • Taking Back the Knife: The Ulu as an Expression of Inuit Women's Strength

      Gillam, Patricia Hansen (2009-12)
      The ulu is an enduring object in the lives of Inuit women which has multiple meanings as both a tool and symbol of traditional subsistence activity. While it continues to be recognized as a symbol of identity for Inuit women across the Arctic, it has received little attention by Western scientists and academics. Following the twists and turns of both de-colonizing and engendering the ulu encourages a comprehension of the profoundly symbolic meaning of the ulu with respect to Inuit women's identity. The collecting phase of the Smithsonian in Alaska and the classifying impulse of archaeological reports are examined for their underlying rules of practice, conventions of representation and dynamics of scientific authority. Then in reaction to this 'objectification' of the ulu, the knife is taken back in a multitude of actions and expressions which seek to reclaim the ulu and restore its significance as a cultural item
    • Cultural Significance Of The 14(H) (1) Historic Sites Of Southeast Alaska

      Debaluz, Gail Marie; Wright, Miranda; Pullar, Gordon; Dayo, Dixie (2010)
      The study provides a literary review of first person accounts regarding section 14 (h) (1) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). This subsection is the legal mechanism for Alaska Native Corporations (ANC's) to obtain title to historic sites. Historic sites include villages, seasonal camps and cemeteries. The 14 (h) (1) collection is a nationally unique library and invaluable resource for tribal members to enhance the understanding of indigenous knowledge. It offers a profound appreciation of our ancestor's fortitude in challenging circumstances, instilling strength toward maintaining our identity as a dynamic, living, culture. The dissertation imparts the conceptual framework for tribal members to utilize the repository at their regional corporate office. The study seeks to understand Tlingit philosophy, inter-generational concepts, indigenous land stewardship, resource management, customary food practices, and cultural mores. It is complimented with an examination of local, state and national policy resulting from implementing ANCSA.
    • Changing Winds: National Politics And Its Role In Funding For Rural Development In Alaska

      Langenberg-Miller, Edwina C.; Pullar, Gordon; Knecht, Rick (2010)
      The combination of the election of Senator Mark Begich in 2008, an increased emphasis on transparency, and a growing movement away from congressionally-directed spending (earmarks) and toward competitively-awarded and formula-based funding has the potential to drastically reduce federal funding for rural development in Alaska. Alaska's basic needs for infrastructure remain equivalent to those of some of the least developed nations of the world. Rural development projects in Alaska, however, fight an uphill battle for federal funding because rural populations are low in numbers and remote, costs of rural development in Alaska far exceed similar projects in the "lower 48," and changes in the U.S. Congress have drastically reduced Alaskans' ability to circumvent formula-based and competitively-awarded funding avenues. This thesis is an analysis of recent changes that affect rural development funding in Alaska, and it hypothesizes how rural development funding for Alaska may continue to change.
    • A comparative analysis of legislative and policy support of indigenous cultural transmission in Alaska, Canada, and Azerbaijan

      Tobin, Löki Gale (2011-05)
      Does federal recognition of indigenous self-determination lead to federal support of indigenous cultural transmission? This thesis used a multiple-case analysis to answer this question. Research assessed the impact federal and non-federal legislation has had on indigenous cultural transmission in Alaska, Canada, and Azerbaijan respectively. Findings demonstrated that after federal recognition of indigenous self-determination, cultural transmission programs increased in Alaska and Canada. In Azerbaijan, where no such recognition exists, indigenous groups continue to face discrimination and national policies that negatively impact cultural transmission activities. Without federal recognition of indigenous self-determination, indigenous groups worldwide face situations hostile to their cultural survival.
    • Positive solutions for rural solid waste management

      Meyer, Jessica L. (2011-12)
      Rural solid waste management is and will continue to be one of the leading environmental problems facing the twenty-first century. As the global south, under developed, and developing countries progress, proper solid waste management must be a priority to keep humans and ecosystems healthy and safe. This study provides an overview of the Republic of Macedonia's solid waste management and the discoveries of public and environmental health risks as a result of unsanitary landfills and illegal dumping. These problems are caused by low enforcement of environmental laws, minimal governmental and public support, as well as lack of funding and infrastructure. This study concludes by offering positive solutions for improvement of these solid waste management (SWM) problems, such as community organizing, proper technology, enforcing environmental laws, collecting taxes to fund proper solid waste management, and creating inter-town cleanliness competitions.
    • Online social media as a social-ecological systems research tool: Facebook and two rural Alaskan communities

      Hum, Richard E.; Koskey, Michael; Taylor, Karen; Brinkman, Todd (2013-12)
      The earth has transitioned into the anthropocene, which is defined by complex environmental change linked to human behavior and requires new tools of analysis in order to understand shifting social-ecological system (SES) dynamics. In this work, I explore taking advantage of widespread online social media participation to develop the tools for doing so. Spatially grounded public exchanges on Facebook are examined with three goals in mind: 1) examine the types of SES content being passed through this communication medium, 2) compare community observations to relevant scientific observations, and 3) define a flexible and reproducible research method for integrating these communications signals into a wide range of SES studies. Facebook activity from two communities in northwest Alaska was studied. Communication patterns were assessed combining content and network analysis methodology. My results indicate that signals are passed through this mode of communication directly addressing the SES topics of subsistence, food security, and human-weather interactions. Data from instrumentally based weather observations are qualitatively aligned with posting frequency and content. A context and community-based research method is defined that uses staged deductive/inductive content analysis, in conjunction with network analysis, to identify emergent local SES relationships.
    • Methodology paper transmitting Yup'ik knowledge through the art of skin sewing

      Fritze, Annie; Davis, Michael E.; Ducharme, JoAnn; Koskey, Michael (2014-04)
    • Moose (Alces alces) browse enhancement and sustainable forestry as a rural development tool in the sub-Arctic boreal forest region of Alaska

      Cain, Bruce David (2014-05)
      This project studies indigenous and western moose browse management issues in the sub-arctic boreal forest and how this topic relates to rural development. Chapter one explains the methodology of the project. Chapter two describes how moose browse and biomass management support rural development and investigates productivity potential of combining moose browse management with sustainable forestry and biomass production. Chapter three investigates landscape and habitat management principles from a customary and traditional practice versus a scientific approach. It looks at management models in the following territories: Alaska, Canada, Continental US, Mongolia/Russia and Scandinavia. Chapter four investigates indigenous wildlife management systems and other indigenous wildlife policy issues. Chapter five is a selected annotated bibliography. The project has a focus on the Ahtna region of central Alaska and recognizes the implications of these issues for this region.
    • Paluwiigum beksdid Sugt'stun aggaggtatuguut Port Graham's Sugt'stun workers plan

      LaBelle, Marleah Makpiaq; Ramos, Judy; Stern, Charlene; Mitchell, Roy; Jones, Jenny Bell (2015-12)
      This Sustainability Plan was written for the Native Village of Port Graham for their language program, Tamamta Litnaurluta. The Native Village of Port Graham, a federally recognized tribe that serves the Sugpiaq people of Port Graham, Alaska, received a three-year language immersion grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to provide language instruction for students ranging from Head Start through the 12th grade. The ANA grant will expire at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. This Sustainability Plan provides programmatic recommendations for the Native Village of Port Graham to consider for continuing Tamamta Litnaurluta beyond the life of the grant. The Sustainability Plan includes a funding plan, which contains grants the Tribe can pursue, and a sustainable income plan that address possible scenarios for the operating costs of the language program.
    • Effective and meaningful collaboration to improve community health

      Hammerschlag, Esther; Koskey, Micheal; Jones, Jenny Bell; Stern, Charlene; Hopkins, Scarlett; Chess, Mary Kay (2015-12)
      This research project set out to identify those factors that are likely to lead to effective and meaningful collaboration among a broad range of stakeholders wishing to collaborate to improve health in rural communities. By studying two different collaborative efforts in rural Alaska that have succeeded in collaboration but have also faced many challenges, benefits of collaboration, challenges to collaboration, factors that contribute to benefits and challenges of collaboration, and important areas for development in collaboration were identified. Through the research study and a literature review conducted within the context of the researcher's professional experience, frameworks and tools were identified that can be used to help facilitate and support collaboration that is effective and meaningful in a community.
    • Protecting a Situk River fish camp way of life through visitor education: a community-based approach

      Bowen, Nevette; Koskey, Michael; Carroll, Jennifer; Jones, Jenny Bell; Ramos, Judith; Davis, Michael E. (2016-05)
      Many sport fishermen who visit Yakutat understand little about the Situk-Ahrnklin Inlet set net fisheries. In Yakutat, these fisheries integrate commercial fishing with a subsistence fish camp way of life. This community participatory evaluation seeks to determine the usefulness of an interpretive sign and handout project aimed at alleviating a persistent visitor misconception that set net fishing is harming their ability to catch Situk River fish. It also explores what additional effort people in Yakutat think is needed to educate visitors about the set net fisheries. A combination of methods was used, including resident interviews, a community records search and a review of published research on the efficacy of visitor education tools. Interviews found widespread support for continuing visitor education efforts, including leaving the existing signs in place and reproducing additional copies of the handout. It was generally agreed that future materials should integrate information about the subsistence fishery. The importance of set netting for food, culture and income was emphasized. More interaction is needed to shift visitor outlooks closer to the community's shared connection to the river according to the participants. Interviews began the process of re-engaging people in a community effort to dispel visitor misconceptions. A multimedia approach, based on agreed messages using local strengths and assets, was preferred. It is hoped that this volunteer, community-based process will serve as another reason for reconvening Situk River partner agencies. A revived cooperative management framework is needed to implement a more sustained education effort, minimize user conflicts, ensure stewardship and rebuild trust between community members and government agencies.