• 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.
    • Kitkut ukua Siļaliñiġmiut? Grassroots land, air, and water coalition-building on Alaska's Arctic Slope

      Thomas, Sara K. Siqiñiq; Brooks, Catherine; Stern, Charlene; Brower, Pearl (2020-05)
      Arctic communities are experiencing dramatic effects of climate change and bioaccumulation of contamination and are also on the front line of expansion via the fossil fuel extraction industry. The Inupiaq culture provides a strong and clear example of harmonious living with one’s surroundings on Alaska’s Arctic Slope (hereafter referred to as Arctic Slope), yet recent community efforts to reduce waste or pollution or come together to address our role in this time of climate change have been short-lived. This applied community development project addresses the need for grassroots organizing within the Arctic Slope to address and react to issues of land, air, and water on a community level. The title of this research is: Kitkut ukua Siļaliñiġmiut? Who are the people of the land, air, and sea (of the Arctic Slope)? This is a self-reflective inquiry from within the community that aims to uplift Inupiat history and cultural perspectives and develop more effective strategies to collaborate to be better stewards of the environment. This project was guided by the Indigenous consciousness-raising theory and an Iñupiaqatigiigñiq framework, inspired by Topkok’s Inupiat Ilitqusiat (2015). The literature/narrative review comprises an overview of Iñupiaqatigiigñiq, or the Iñupiaq value system, as it relates to Indigenous knowledge. It also includes current and historical perceptions of ecological stewardship and environmentalism on the Arctic Slope, and barriers to social change in contemporary institutional representation. Community-based participatory research and strength-based methodology were utilized to inform data collection, which included a survey as well as a series of community dialogues with a variety of Arctic Slope stakeholders. Community perspectives regarding ecological sustainability were elicited using talking circles and group visioning around these questions: Sumik iļisimavisa Iñupiaqatigiigñiq suli nunalu, siļalu, taġiuglu? What do we know about Iñupiaqatigiigñiq and land, air, and water? Suniaqsimaavisa atusiullaaluta nakka qatilluta? What more can we do (to be better stewards) today as individuals and as communities? Data was analyzed using triangulation and thematic analysis techniques. The themes that emerged from the data were shared and then reshared to the larger community via social media, one-on-one outreach to smaller groups, and a community presentation. This project has resulted in both a data set and a framework for continued community-building and information-sharing around land, air, and water stewardship initiatives. The foundation for a regional grassroots coalition has been established via the collaborative development of a website and social media presence. It is my hope that this project will also inform the development of an after-school youth engagement program that could propel a grassroots network of people working together to foster greater stewardship of the land, air, and water.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Nome Eskimo Community Tribal Council Resource Guide

      Nichols-Takak, Kendra Kookruk; Brooks, Cathy; Stern, Charlene; Topkok, Megan (2020-12)
      The Nome Eskimo Community Tribal Council Resource is a digital manual composed of information for newly elected tribal leaders so they can provide the best guidance to the Tribe, develop leadership skills, and serve the community. The purpose of this project is to ensure that current and future tribal council members and presidents have access to information necessary to make decisions on important issues using best practices for governance and leadership. The resource guide includes roles and responsibilities as well as local and statewide resources in various areas of governance including child welfare, land, natural resources, and education. It is intended to provide a starting point for newly elected tribal members. Additionally, Nome Eskimo Community (NEC) bylaws, program information, photos and recorded interviews of current and former tribal leaders will provide newly elected officials with important NEC history. The different subjects contained within the guide are specific to the programs the Council is governing. Leaders have access to the digital resource guide via downloadable files which can be viewed on a tablet. The resource guide will include the roles and responsibilities of the tribal council and the president and will cover governance, leadership practices, and program resources. The resource guide can be further developed to include advanced information for experienced leaders in the following areas: child welfare, land, natural resources, and education.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Paving the way: an evaluation of small business support programs in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut

      Morrill, Gabrielle E.; Sekaquaptewa, Patricia; Baker, Ron; Bell-Jones, Jenny; Brooks, Cathy (2018-12)
      Small businesses in Nunavut face many opportunities and challenges. The Government of Nunavut and Government of Canada have expressed a commitment to support small business development in Nunavut to promote economic development and improve socioeconomic conditions for Nunavummiut. The question is: how can they best do that? Nunavut has developed a complex business service network to support small business development. The network provides many products and services, particularly funding opportunities and advisory services. This research analyzes the history of economic and business development in the Kivalliq (southwest) region of Nunavut. This includes precolonial Inuit economic institutions, which are vastly different from western models, and the utilized strategies in the Nunavut business service network. Twenty-four open ended interviews were conducted with entrepreneurs and business service network employees to evaluate the realities of small businesses in Nunavut. Interviews were designed and studied from a social constructionist and phenomenological perspective. The primary issues that were identified in the Nunavut business service network were: low accountability; burdensome bureaucracy; poor effectiveness; lack of trust in business service employees; poor transparency; unreliable maintenance of confidentiality; and oversaturation of funders; and a need for greater communication between organizations. Most of these issues related more to non-repayable contributions programs than other forms of business service organizations. Contribution programs will be explored in greater detail. Recommendations were guided by ideas to increase the amount of support, both from a business counselling and funding perspective, for established businesses as opposed to start-ups; a need for greater accountability and transparency; methods to increase trust in business service employees; ways to improve communications between service organizations; and a need to reduce bureaucracy and streamline application processes. The final recommendations include restructuring financing programs, particularly contribution financing programs; establishing a mentorship program; creating a single-portal streamlined application for funding and site for information; adding additional metrics of evaluation, particularly for contribution financing programs; creating a pool of board members for business funding reviews; starting a business incubator or business advisory-only program; and establishing a stronger partnership with the Nunavut Arctic College in delivering training programs for business owners.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Qikertarmiut nunat apertaarait anirturluki: preserving the indigenous place names of the Kodiak Archipelago

      Schmidt-Chya, Dehrich A.; Ramos, Judith; Black, Jessica C.; Kaplan, Lawrence D. (2020-05)
      This project explores Indigenous place names from the Kodiak Archipelago toward the goals of exhibiting Indigenous identity, increasing pride in Indigineity, and to document Indigenous knowledge. Sugpiaq/Alutiiq people have lived on Kodiak Island for at least 7500 years, while the first foreign contact didn’t come until about 260 years ago, in either 1761 or 1763. Within the past 257 years, Qikertarmiut (Kodiak Alutiiq) place names have been in a continuous state of jeopardy due to the linguistic and cultural assimilation of Indigenous people into Western cultures. In order to preserve the place names of the Kodiak Archipelago, I compiled and documented place names from prior researchers, historic maps, and Elders to create an interactive place names resource that is accessible to community members available on ArcGIS. Using Indigenous names instead of the English alternatives helps to reclaim Indigenous land stewardship, document Indigenous knowledge, and exhibits local Indigenous identity. I compiled and documented 289 place names from around the Kodiak Archipelago from various sources.
    • Research methodology: community input regarding air-quality curriculum for rural Alaska

      Hnilicka, Julia Autumn; Black, Jessica; Meckel, Kathleen; Mao, Jingqiu (2020-05)
      During the summer months in rural Alaska, poor air-quality due to wildfire smoke and gravel road dust can have negative impacts on respiratory health, disproportionately affecting Elders and youth who have weakened respiratory systems. After conducting initial research during the summer of 2019, after visiting twenty-nine communities in the Interior and Southcentral regions of Alaska, the research found that more community involvement is needed to bolster engagement in understanding the impacts of air-quality and implementing steps to mitigate those impacts. This research was in response to those findings, targeting schools and the educational system to drive community engagement and interest in air-quality. Qualitative research was conducted in five communities, employing face-to-face interviews and thematic analysis. The results illustrate the complex and unique relationships that communities, schools, and educators have in rural Alaska. The conclusion of this research finds that integrating air-quality as an important curriculum component will take long-term dedication from educators and the communities alike.
    • Resilient spirits

      Apok, Charlene Renee; Brooks, Cathy; Carroll, Jennifer L. L.; Jones, Jenny Bell; Carothers, Courtney; Ramos, Judith (2016-05)
      The following is a report of a project, "Resilient Spirits", which took place in Nome, Alaska. This project aimed to highlight stories of healing through survivorship. This work focuses on the assets within Alaska Native culture, community, and people. Development of strategies to address violence need to include healing. The project selected a mixed methodology of talking circles and photovoice to highlight the themes of healing, strength, and resilience. These methods served to engage participants in a culturally appropriate manner, in a safe space, and could be utilized at their comfort level. The first phase of the project was the introductory talking circle. It was used to discuss the themes and set up the photo activity. The second phase, photovoice, was chosen as a project activity to assist in sharing stories. Participants used digital cameras in their everyday lives to represent what healing and strength looked like from their perspective. The final third phase was another talking circle. It was a time to reflect on the first talking circle and the process of photovoice. From the unique combination of talking circles and photovoice, stories emerged on healing where there is often silence. Photographs provided a rich illustration of a sense of holistic healing and strength. Knowledge on healing and strength can be found within our Alaska Native communities. Healing is a renewable resource and experienced inter-generationally.
    • Scoping study of culturally relevant alcohol misuse treatment options in Alaska

      Davenport, Christine; Black, Jessica; Sekaquaptewa, Patricia; Ramos, Judith; Lewis, Jordan (2020-05)
      This project is intended to centralize information on alcohol and substance misuse treatment available in the State of Alaska. This document will be publicly available online for use by interested parties, including court referral agencies, counselors, and people seeking help. The data was collected from multiple websites and is in the process of being sent to the programs listed for verification of contact details, with a request for more details on treatment modalities offered. This resource guide includes a brief description of wellness strategies that are considered culturally relevant to Alaska Native and rural communities. These were findings from interviews conducted with participants in the field of alcohol treatment and individuals with personal experience overcoming alcohol misuse in Alaska. This resource guide includes a brief description of wellness strategies that are considered culturally relevant to Alaska Native and rural communities, based on the population sample for this Master's Research Study.
    • Strengthening cultural identity through Iļisaġvik College's Iñupiaq studies program: reconstruction and the Iñupiaq studies framework

      Aamodt, Jerica S.; Ramos, Judith D.; Stern, Charlene B.; Kaplan, Lawrence D. (2019-05)
      This program proposal is for the Iñupiaq Studies Program at Iḷisaġvik College. Iḷisaġvik College is located in Utqiaġvik, the northernmost village on the North Slope of Alaska. This proposal is intended to guide the future restructuring of the Iñupiaq Studies Program. The project was informed by interviews conducted with seventeen key individuals as well as the Iñupiaq Learning Framework created by the North Slope Borough School District. The proposal includes a mission, words of wisdom for the Iñupiaq Studies Framework, revised Iñupiaq Studies program outcomes, course descriptions, certificate and degree proposals, study plans, a sample course syllabus, and a sample course origination form.
    • 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