• Alaska's First Wolf Controversy: Predator And Prey In Mount McKinley National Park, 1930-1953.

      Rawson, Timothy Mark; Cole, Terrence; Read, Colin; Erickson, Karen (1994)
      The decision in the 1930s by the National Park Service to quit eliminating predatory animals in parks arose from evolving attitudes among scientists toward predation, but had little public support. Of the various parks, only Mount McKinley National Park still held wolves, and the National Park Service received considerable opposition to wolf protection from the eastern Camp Fire Club of America and from Alaskans. The former desired permanent protection from wolves for the park's Dall sheep, while the latter could not understand protecting wolves when, throughout Alaska, efforts were made to minimize wolves. Using material from the National Archives and Alaskan sources, this historical study examines the role of public opinion as the Park Service attempted to respond to its critics and still adhere to its protective faunal management philosophy, in what was the nation's first argument over offering sanctuary to our most charismatic predator. <p>
    • Dynamics of the fur trade on the middle Yukon River, Alaska, 1839 to 1868

      Arndt, Katherine Louise; Black, Lydia T. (1996)
      This study examines the Russian-era fur trade of the middle course of the Yukon River, that section of the river which extends from Fort Yukon down to Nulato, Alaska. For a period of just over twenty years, 1847 to 1868, the Russian-American and Hudson's Bay companies maintained rival establishments at opposite ends of this stretch of river and vied for the trade of the Native populations living in the region between. After reviewing the events leading up to the establishment of the first European posts in the region, the study focuses on the dynamics of the competition between the rival posts and the changing nature of Native, Russian, and British participation in the middle Yukon trade. Most historical summaries of the early (pre-1867) fur trade of the Middle Yukon rely upon a small number of published sources, resulting in a truncated and rather inaccurate version of the region's fur trade history. This study seeks to overcome that problem through utilization of two major archival collections, the records of the Russian-American and Hudson's Bay companies. Together, these sources make possible an account that is more even in temporal coverage and more balanced in its treatment of Russian, British, and Native trade activities. One of the striking features of the early Yukon drainage fur trade is the pivotal role of the Native traders in determining its spatial patterning. Though regional patterns were characterized by a certain overall stability in the period 1830 through 1868, they also underwent marked change. This study examines those changes with regard to the middle Yukon drainage and discusses the influence of material and social factors upon them.
    • Federal policy and Alaska Native languages since 1867

      Alton, Thomas L.; Krauss, Michael (1998)
      Researchers and the general public have often contended that punishment of children for speaking their native languages in schools is the cause of the decline of those languages. But native language loss in Alaska is rooted also in the choices Natives made themselves to accept English for its social, economic, and political opportunities. Since the United States purchased Alaska in 1867, English has replaced native languages as the first language learned by children in nearly all homes. Although none of Alaska's twenty native languages is yet extinct, most are at a point of peril as English has replaced a pattern of linguistic diversity that existed from time immemorial. This study documents the history of language decline and the role of federal government policy in that process. Congress extended federal policies to Alaska in 1884 when it established civil government in the territory. In 1885 the Bureau of Education assumed responsibility for running rural schools. Federal policy during that era grew out of America's desire for uniformity of culture, religion, and language, and as a result schools often forcibly suppressed Native American languages and punished students for speaking them. Yet Alaska Natives have been active participants in change, not passive victims of an overwhelming bureaucracy. The switch to English occurred as Natives responded to the influx of American population with its systems of economy, society, politics, and justice. Natives abandoned their old languages when they became convinced through pressures from the outside world that English held more prestige and advantage than their native languages. Government policies defined the choices that were available, and Natives adopted English for the opportunities it afforded them in a modern system that was not of their own making. Once families began using English as the language of the home and thus interrupted the continuity of native language use from one generation to the next, the decline of native languages was assured. Punishment of school children for speaking their native languages, along with American social, economic, and political systems, created an environment in which Alaska Natives made the constrained choice to adopt English as the language of the home and community.
    • Historical archaeology of Alaskan placer gold mining settlements: Evaluating process-pattern relationships

      Mills, Robin Owen (1998)
      The objective of this research is to explicate appropriate methods for investigating relationships between past historical processes and variables, and resulting contemporary patterns in archaeological and historical data sets. Turn-of-the-twentieth century placer gold mining in interior Alaska is used as a case study to evaluate these relationships. By linking observable patterns in historical data sets with the variables and processes that in part create and shape them, a more-complete, context-specific explanation of past events and actions emerges when the data are evaluated in specific historical settings. The methodological approach used here is to just formulate explicit "expectations," and then to evaluate them against independent Alaskan historical and archaeological data sets. The expectations derive from independent comparative historical geographical, and archaeological research. One series of nine expectations evaluates attributes of artifacts relating to site and feature abandonment processes relating to curation and scavenging, including specific traits of artifacts in curated and scavenged deposits; the changing effects of continued curation and scavenging on an artifactual assemblage through time; and spatial characteristics of artifacts within curated and scavenged foundations. Four types of data are used evaluate the expectations, including the size of artifacts, whether they are still functional or usable, their spatial provenience within excavated structures, and a feature's data range. Seven of these expectations are corroborated, one is falsified, and one requires further data for a full evaluation. A second series of seven expectations examines aspects of placer gold mining settlement and transportation systems, including the core-peripheral relationship between Alaska and the United States; the nature of expansion of gold mining settlements into new areas; locational, demographic, and physical layout characteristics of settlement systems; the mining settlement hierarchy and its changing components through time; and characteristics of the supporting transportation supply system. These expectations, while also corroborated by the Alaskan data, lend themselves more to historical context-specific understanding and interpretation, as opposed to the strict corroboration-falsification dichotomy of the abandonment analyses.
    • Home Schooling In Alaska: Extreme Experiments In Home Education

      Hanson, Terje Ann (2000)
      This study explores the history of home schooling in Alaska. The 49<super> th</super> state offers an unusual degree of freedom from regulation that allows diverse and innovative experiments in home education to flourish. Currently, Alaskan home schoolers enjoy more freedom to practice their craft than in any other state of the United States. <p> Alaska has never had enough money to deliver quality education to its children. Trying to establish an education system, to serve a small population scattered over more than half-a-million square miles, required the development of innovative methods: one of these was home schooling. Home schooling provides a low cost answer to educate Alaska's children, and became an accepted institution in Alaskan education. Today home schooling continues to deliver lower cost education to both the remote and urban student, in the North, but also offers myriad options for parents who demand more and greater flexibility in educating their children. <p>
    • Keeper Of The Seal: The Art Of Henry Wood Elliott And The Salvation Of The Alaska Fur Seals

      Morris, Lisa Marie; Lee, Molly; Woodward, Kesler (2001)
      This thesis examines the art of Henry Wood Elliott (1846--1930) and its role in Elliott's successful crusade to save the Pribilof Island fur seals from probable extinction, its importance as a visual record of the nineteenth-century Pribilof Aleut people during a time of societal transition, and how the art reveals the guiding aspirations of the artist. Elliott was one of the first American artists to work in Alaska. An experienced field artist who had served on two prior government expeditions before his assignment to the Pribilof Islands, Elliott used his watercolors of the fur seals in a successful nationwide campaign to reverse the depletion of the herds. Less well known are Elliott's ethnographic watercolors of the Pribilof Aleut people. Created only a few short years after the 1867 Alaska Purchase, these works show the Native people accommodating their Aleut-Russian culture to American societal expectations. These images, then, are a significant visual record for safeguarding the Aleut people's past. Nettled by scientific opponents, Elliott also turned his artistic talents to retaliation. Just as William Hogarth (1697--1764) and Honore Daumier (1808--1879) used caricature to comment on society, Elliott created hundreds of cartoons (ca. 1910--1926) to ridicule his opponents and promote his own point of view. It is in these previously unexamined works that Henry Elliott achieved a synthesis of art and documentation. Elliott's art also reveals his own thwarted aspirations to achieve recognition as a serious artist. His experiences as an expedition artist encouraged both his enthusiasm for science and talent for documentation. Elliott's desire to pair his watercolors with descriptive written details and snippets of government documents, however, transformed them into visual record. Elliott may not have realized his dream of winning respect as an artist, but his documentary images aroused more interest in the declining fur seal herds than the thousands of pages of dry testimony documenting the controversy. The attention generated by his artwork was a major contributor to the successful resolution of the Pribilof Island fur seal debate.
    • The Campaign To Establish A Last Great Wilderness: The Arctic National Wildlife Range

      Kaye, Roger W.; Gladden, James (2005)
      In 1960, after nearly a decade of controversy and failed legislative attempts, the Arctic National Wildlife Range was established by an executive order "for the purpose of preserving unique wildlife, wilderness, and recreational values." This is the story of the transformation of this little-known expanse of mountains, forest, and tundra into a place internationally recognized as one of the finest examples of wilderness. This dissertation is a political history of the conflict, examining the roles of key proponents and opponents and the sequence of actions that finally brought the Secretary of Interior to issue the order. More important, it is an exploration of the historic, cultural, philosophical, and scientific underpinnings of the campaign. It focuses upon the beliefs and values, the ideas and idealism, and the hopes and concerns for the future that inspired leaders of the effort, captured the public imagination, and galvanized the political support necessary to overcome powerful opposition. The immediate context of the campaign was the post-World War II transformation of American society. More than in any previous period, postwar America was receptive to the idea of setting an area aside for a unique combination of tangible and intangible values---cultural, symbolic, and spiritual values as well as wildlife, ecological, and recreational values. The controversy reflected growing concerns about the era's unprecedented rate of population growth; economic, industrial, and technological expansion; and consequent environmental alteration. For proponents, it came to symbolize the conflict between seemingly unbridled progress and the need to more carefully consider the environmental consequences of these trends. For opponents, the nine-million acre reservation represented a threat to the new state's economic prosperity, resented federal control of natural resources, and a restriction of the opportunity and freedom they came to Alaska seeking. Rooted in the progressive era split between utilitarian conservation and nature preservation, the campaign was, to a large degree, a contest between competing views of the appropriate relationship between postwar American society and its changing landscape. The view that prevailed reflects the successful integration of the emerging ecologically-based "environmental" perspective into the wilderness movement.
    • The History Of The Social And Economic Importance Of Second Avenue And The Core Area Of Fairbanks, Alaska

      Scholle, Marie M. (1996)
      The City of Fairbanks changed and evolved over the years. The fifty years of the core-area's roller coaster economy was a mirror reflection of the city, as a whole. The infamous Second Avenue, also known as "Two Street," held a key to social reform and economic growth. This thesis explored the issues surrounding the social infrastructure of the "core-area" and how that infrastructure affected the economy of downtown Fairbanks.<p> In addition to the social and cultural phenomena, the political influences and their effect on the core-area's economic and social development was discussed. The government played a pivotal role in the economic direction of the downtown business district.<p> The conclusion of this thesis showed that the core-area of Fairbanks no longer enjoyed the status of the economic mainstay of the Fairbanks economy. However, this area was held as a historical business district and social gathering place for many Fairbanks events. <p>
    • The Rampart, Manley Hot Springs, And Fort Gibbon Mining Districts Of Alaska.

      L'Ecuyer, Rosalie E.; Schuldiner, Michael (1995)
      This thesis on the Rampart, Manley Hot Springs, and Fort Gibbon mining districts of Alaska provides the first comprehensive public history of prospecting and mining activity in these three districts within the gold belt of Interior Alaska. Spanning almost one hundred years, the history begins in 1894 and extracts material from early recorders' books, old newspapers, correspondence of miners whose dreams drew them to the gold fields, and U.S. Geological Survey reports which analyzed Alaska's natural resources and mining economy. It surveys mining development from stampedes during the boom years of the turn-into-the-twentieth-century through periods of decline and on into the modern, mechanized, open-pit operations near the beginning of the twenty-first century. It concludes with an extensive annotated bibliography designed to assist other researchers in finding specialized, in-depth information about the three districts. <p>
    • The Role Of Women In The Founding And Development Of Fairbanks, Alaska, 1903-1923

      Movius, Phyllis Demuth; Mangusso, Mary (1996)
      Women of varying backgrounds participated in the founding and development of Fairbanks. This thesis will present portraits of four women who are representative of these variances, arrived in Fairbanks prior to the opening of the Alaska Railroad and the arrival of big mining, and who left written records of their lives.<p> Separated from her husband when she came to Alaska from Dawson, Ellen Gibson struggled to gain elusive financial security. Jessie Bloom immigrated from Ireland as a new bride intent on establishing a home based on European Jewish tradition. Margaret Keenan thrived in an environment that allowed professional advancement. Mary Lee Davis accompanied her husband to Fairbanks and enjoyed social advantage and a successful writing career.<p> Women's experiences in early Fairbanks parallel those of women on the American western frontier in the 1800s. However, river transportation into the Interior and technological advances nationwide gave the twentieth-century Alaska pioneers an advantage. <p>