Two Cultures on One Road -Integrating Indigenous Environmental Values with Modem Land Management Above the Arctic Circle.

TitleTwo Cultures on One Road -Integrating Indigenous Environmental Values with Modem Land Management Above the Arctic Circle.
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsWolk, Brett
Academic DepartmentEnvironmental Science
Thesis AdvisorMuir, Patricia S.
DegreeBachelors of Arts in International Studies in Environmental Science
Number of Pages71
Date Published06/2002
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
KeywordsAlaska Native Claims Settlement, environmental policies, Inuit, Northwestern Alaska, policies

The Inuit have inhabited the Arctic regions in Russia, Alaska (USA), Canada and Greenland for thousands of years by living a subsistence lifestyle and relying on the resources available in their local environment. During the mid eighteenth century, people from foreign cultures began to explore the areas inhabited by Inuit for the first time and the cultural values of the Inuit became increasingly influenced by new ideas and technologies. However, the Inuit have been able to preserve some of their environmental values and implement them in modem land management throughout the Arctic.
Using the corporate structure established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement
Act (ANCSA) of 1971, the Inupiat in Northwestern Alaska have managed to integrate many of their environmental values with the operating procedures and management attitudes at Red Dog Mine and other land management agencies in Northwestern Alaska. Additionally, Inuit peoples have pursued protecting the environment and their culture on the international level through non-governmental organizations, self-governing states, and working within existing governments in the Arctic. After analyzing several instances where the Inuit have attempted to integrate their values with modem land management practices, both at Red Dog Mine and on the international level, two factors seem to be most important in influencing the ability of the Inuit to successfully achieve more control in land use issues. These factors are: 1) the diversity of means available to enforce environmental policies and 2) ownership of the land.