• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 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.