Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Indigenous Peoples of the Circumpolar North (Arctic)

This semester I am taking a course on culture and environment in local and global prespectives, focusing on the Arctic region and the indigenous peoples of those areas, in particular Russia. I am enjoying learning about these different but wonderful cultures, though I am very concerned about the social, economical, and environmental problems these groups face. These troubles are not unlike what other indigenous groups throughout the world have suffered, abeit maybe in a colder and harsher environment. In my research I've found several awesome resources on the environmental, economic, and social problems of indigenous peoples of the Arctic region, and thought I'd share them.

Here is an awesome link to the Arctic Network for the Support of the Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Arctic. This site discusses a wide range of topics that the indigenous peoples of the Russian Federation face: environmental, social, cultural, and economic issues. I love this site since it contains vast amounts of in depth, but easily comprehensive information!
For a great short summary of ecological, legislative, and economical issues and viewpoints, download the poster under the environmental and health articles (under the society and land section) titled:
Poster: Oil development and indigenous peoples in the Russian Arctic: Environmental changes, mistrust and dialogue, by W.K. Dallmann and V.V. Peskov. Note: I did not have trouble downloading this (I used Safari as my browser and opened it Photoshop) but some other browsers may have problems accessing this file.

One of the best resources I've found on environmental, social, cultural, and economic issues in the Arctic, focusing mainly on the Yukon region, is by a professor of Yukon College. Dr. Graham's course website has five modules online, which contain numerous articles on the circumpolar north. A good place to get a sense of the issues, including northern myths (stereotypes).

The University of Connecticut hosts a marvelous page on the Arctic called Arctic Circle. This website by Norman Chance (a well known Arctic anthropologist) and others contains in depth, but easy to understand research on natural resources, history, culture, environmental justice, and more! Not only does this site discuss these issues, but there are also examples of art and a virtual classroom.

The Alaska Native Knowledge Network has a lot of great information on the Alaska's indigenous people and their traditional knowledge systems, including publications (books and CDs). Definitely a great educational resource!

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a good resource to learn about Alaska's different indigenous peoples. They also provide numerous programs (in Alaska) to educate people about and preserve indigenous culture. If you are planning on visiting Alaska some time soon, be sure to check out their native art and culture programs out! They look awesome!

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