• Growing Rhodiola rosea in Unalakleet, Alaska

      Reza, Mosaddeque; Koskey, Michael; Jones, Jenny Bell; Nakazawa, Anthony (2016-05)
      Rhodiola rosea is a medicinal herbal plant that grows naturally in higher altitudes and colder regions in the world including mountainous regions of southwest China and the Himalayas, and the circumpolar North, including Siberia, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, some parts of Canada, and Alaska. People use its dry roots as tea, put its extract in capsules, and eat it as a vegetable. It helps reduce mild to moderate depression and general anxiety disorder, and it enhances work performance in adverse conditions. It is an adaptogen, that is, it works in the body without affecting any biological function. Because of this, it does not have any side effects like many industrial medicines. Since it reduces depression, it could be helpful to suicidal patients, but more research and studies are needed. Demand for Rhodiola rosea around the world has been increasing steadily. It is relatively inexpensive. It used to be collected from the wild. To meet increasing demands, some countries are growing Rhodiola rosea as an agricultural crop. Alaska has preferred weather and ecosystems to grow Rhodiola rosea commercially. Growing Rhodiola rosea in rural Alaska could bring new sources of income and economic independence. Since the rural Alaskan lands in Unalakleet under consideration have never been used for agriculture, rural Alaskan grown Rhodiola rosea could be certified as organic. This might create a special market. This paper looks at the possibility of growing Rhodiola rosea at Unalakleet, a rural Alaskan village in western Alaska.
    • 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.
    • Colonization experiences of Alaskan Iñupiat and model for decolonization

      Okleasik, Ukallaysaaq Thomas R. (2016-12)
      This project explores a potential method for examining American, Alaskan and Iñupiaq colonization with a process for decolonization to help restore authentic community self governance that addresses modern socioeconomic challenges and opportunities on terms that will best work in indigenous villages sustainably and effectively. The focus is on Iñupiaq peoples; however, it can be adapted for use by other indigenous peoples. The six-step decolonization process begins with building awareness and understanding the many layers of colonization - both from the colonizer’s perspective and perspective of those subjected to colonization. The decolonization process continues by encompassing healing, revitalization, vision, strategy and action, and leads to sustainability and growth. Decolonization is an individual and group choice that involves questioning, examining and analyzing political and economic relationships. Overall it can offer a contemporary paradigm shift that empowers cultural revitalization and restoring modern Iñupiatun self-determination. The social-cultural-economic costs of colonization to Iñupiat are significant historically, today and in the future. Examining the impacts of colonization puts an honest discussion on the table to identify and assess the damages, realize the ongoing costs to society, and build awareness of the systems for effective change. It could also help to create new decolonized political-economic responses that could aid in achieving equitable lives today to authentically achieve democracy, liberty and justice. Keywords: decolonization, colonization, self-governance.
    • The application of local and traditional knowledge for disaster mitigation in flood-prone areas of rural Thailand

      Shoemaker, Lacey L. (2016-12)
      This project focuses around the development of a workshop on disaster preparedness and response for a village in rural Thailand. The workshop goals were concentrated around the investigation of solutions to alleviate or lessen the vulnerability of the village toward reoccurring flood events. The objectives were completed through inclusion of stakeholders and outside experts and focused on bringing a conversation to community leaders in regard to their implementation of pre- and post-disaster strategies. The primary audience for this research project is those working within rural communities that are prone to annual or frequent natural disasters. The tools and knowledge gained herein will be able to provide individual and community response and preparedness strategies to improve resiliency and decrease vulnerability.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The effects transportation planning, infrastructure, and outcomes on the Kenai Peninsula

      Williams, Darrel; Stern, Charlene; Bluehorse, Byron; Brooks, Catherine (2020-05)
      In this research, I explored qualitative and quantitative authentic data that documented evidence of transportation and community expressions to explain the relationships identified and to help understand common traits that present a connection with the human aspects of transportation. The primary intent of the research was to determine if comments provided by rural and urban communities about transportation conditions shared common traits such as safety, property value, and personal interests. This study explored the long-term value of transportation infrastructure, where the value was determined by the people who used the infrastructure from their expressions presented in public meetings. Rural and urban communities have different preferences, yet the findings of this study suggested that identifiable attributes are shared. The data identified a set of common attributes that are associated with measurable qualitative data, including safety, development, personal interests, basic needs, property issues, economic changes, and requests for information as coded values. These values come from the roads driven on, vehicles driving on them, and the people who use them. The study focused on one development entity, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, which did document public input and decisions made as an advisory opinion about transportation recommendations in meeting minutes. A review of 15 years of records from the Kenai Peninsula Borough demonstrated that the relationship between transportation infrastructure and community 1) has common identifiable attributes, 2) is measurable, and 3) provides information about transportation value as well as the rates of change that a community experiences. The data analysis demonstrated that the comments were 45% were urban, and 55% rural, suggesting that the relationship is balanced between the populations on the Kenai Peninsula. The analysis utilized an emergent method that found common traits as well as temporal and spatial variations iv between common themes expressed by community members, the amounts of transportation work performed, and measurable comparisons of the data. The results demonstrated that there are common measurable traits that exist in transportation information that can be evaluated using mixed methods. There are also limiting factors associated with the research.
    • 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.
    • The Igiugig Community Cultural Center: an indigenous plan in process

      Salmon, AlexAnna; Black, Jessica C.; Sekaquaptewa, Patricia S.; Stern, Charlene B.; Carothers, Courteny L. (2020-05)
      Indigenous planning practices of the Village of Igiugig have long identified the need for a community cultural center. This research project used a community-based participatory approach to explore the type of cultural center that will best serve residents and visitors alike. Through various community meetings, semi-structured interviews of key informants, and surveys of area businesses, Igiugig was able to articulate the main functionality of the center, as well as inform a design process for and by an Indigenous community in rural Alaska. One outcome of this process is a resource guide for the Igiugig Village Council, for the remainder of the planning and implementation of the community cultural center.
    • When Uŋalaqłiq danced: stories of strength, suppression & hope

      Qassataq, Ayyu; Stern, Charlene B.; Black, Jessica C.; John-Shields, Agatha (2020-05)
      In the late 1800’s, Uŋalaqłiq (Unalakleet), a predominantly Iñupiaq community along the Norton Sound in Western Alaska, was missionized by the Evangelical Covenant Church. Missionaries were integral in establishing a localized education system under the direction of General Agent of Education, Sheldon Jackson, in the early 1900’s. By 1915, the community was no longer engaging in ancestral practices such as deliberating, teaching and hosting ceremonies within the qargi. Nor were they uplifting shared history and relationships between villages or expressing gratitude for the bounty of the lands through traditional songs, dances, or celebrations such as the Kivgiq Messenger Feast. This research outlines events that occurred in Uŋalaqłiq around the turn of the 20th century and analyzes how those events influenced the formation of the education system and its ongoing impacts to Native peoples and communities today. The intent of this research is to help grow a shared understanding of how this history continues to shape our lived experience as modern day Native peoples and to lay a foundation to promote healing and strength through the potential revival of ancestral traditions that have kept us healthy and strong for thousands of years.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Alaska sea energy: a guide for hydroponic development

      Blair-Madrid, Daniel; Stern, Charlene; Black, Jessica; Hutto, Will (2020-12)
      This guide has been created to help those unfamiliar with the benefits of growing food with hydroponics to gain a deeper understanding of how such techniques can help rural communities with issues of food sovereignty and provide healthy fresh food through every season. It also includes input from communities participating in the project. Rural coastal communities in particular have a unique opportunity of combining both hydroponic techniques and ocean-based fertilization to maximize sustainable food production, thereby reducing reliance on imported food. The instructions contained within this guide will describe various types of hydroponic systems, recommendations for equipment, and how to address challenges that can arise from each system. Each system may have certain advantages and disadvantages depending upon the needs of the grower.
    • 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.