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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide


The Collected Essays of Patrick J. Dubbs

Sustainable Development and Indigenous People:
Authors and Actors in Rural Alaska

© Patrick J. Dubbs

Throughout the years, almost every conversation I’ve had, seminar I’ve attended, or paper I’ve heard related to "development" in the North invariably touches upon the question of the viability or future existence of small northern villages–villages which are primarily indigenous in their cultural orientation, land-based in their economic pursuits, and "managed" by a mosaic of external, non-indigenous institutions. However, as you might expect, these common concerns do not have common meanings. For some, the small villages are the embodiment of traditional indigenous cultures, and their loss would constitute a form of genocide. For others, the northern village way of life represents a segment of Ruth Benedict’s (1960) "great arc of human potential" that should be maintained to provide positive adaptation models for contemporary and future societies (e.g. Griffiths and Young 1989). For still others, the pace of the small village is simply preferred to that of a regional or urban center, and they feel it should be retained as an optional life style. I too am interested in the long term viability of Alaska’s small, rural communities and, in two earlier WRSA presentations (Dubbs 1988 and 1991), I have pursued this interest. This brief paper continues this pursuit, with its major difference being its explicit use of the sustainable development concept to examine trends articulated in the previous papers.

However, the more I pondered the title of this paper–"Sustainable Development and Indigenous People"–the more bemused I became at its inherent, yet unintended irony. Over the millennia, indigenous people practiced and generally succeeded at some form of sustainable development. Clearly, indigenous people intuitively knew what sustainable development meant and no doubt had a good understanding of many of the difficulties involved in its accomplishment. Whether sustainable development is something contemporary indigenous people wish or are able to pursue, however, is not quite so clear. In this brief paper, I will address two interrelated areas of inquiry: first, is sustainable development an appropriate strategy that can be embraced by village-based indigenous people in Alaska today; and, second and more importantly, is it an achievable strategy?

Though I suspect that these comments are more or less applicable to most small indigenous community contexts throughout the circumpolar region, I will illustrate them by occasionally making reference to the village context of the Doyon or Athabascan region of Interior Alaska as most of the "vitality issues" can be readily found there.

The Village Demographic Context in Interior Alaska

The boundaries of the Doyon geo-cultural region are coterminous with the boundaries of the Doyon Corporation–one of the original twelve land-and-capital-holding regional corporations formed with the passage of ANCSA in 1971. In recognition of its overall population being dispersed across a large number of subsistence-centered communities and the vast size of the ‘claimed but not awarded’ land base, the Doyon region was the largest ANCSA land recipient, and its 12 million-plus acres represent about 30% of all the lands conveyed in the settlement process. With the additional 2.5 million acres that were assigned to communities wishing to continue as reservations, the Doyon area has the most lands in the state under Alaska Native control.

There are currently 37 recognized and inhabited Alaska Native communities distributed over the vast Doyon region, an area a little less than the size of France with a total population of only 92,111 (see Figure One). Of these communities, 34 are ANCSA land recipient villages while 3 elected to remain reservation communities. For most of the 6,448 people residing in these communities in 1990, Fairbanks serves as their transportation and/or administrative hub.

Within this large region–about one-third of all Alaska–Native American individuals are a distinct minority, constituting only 11.8% of the overall regional population while at the statewide level, Native Americans account for 15.6% of Alaska’s population (see Table One). Only in the Yukon-Koyukuk subregion of the Interior do Native Americans constitute a significant percentage of the total population (55.7%).

TABLE ONE: 1990 Native American Population in Alaska
State of Alaska
Doyon Region
Fairbanks C.D
SE Fbks. C.D.
Source: Alaska Population Overview-1990 Census, Alaska Depart. of Labor, State of Alaska, July 1991.

In the last decade, the overall Interior Native population grew at the approximately same rate as the overall population (34-36%) (Alaska Department of Labor 1982:7) and the average size of the Native villages actually increased from 169 to 174. At first glance, these data might suggest an increasingly viable rural area; however, when we factor in the that fact that the rural Native population only increased by 8%, while the urban population increased by 78%, and when we break the population changes down by size of village, it is easier to see that there are several communities whose long-term viability can be questioned. (see Table Two).

While one would anticipate an increase in community population size from ‘70 to ‘80, if for no other reason that the formulation of ANCSA stockholder rolls in the mid-’70s, one would also anticipate an increase or stabilization of the population in the ‘80s if the communities were perceived to provide individuals with viable options. This was not the case–49% of the communities experienced a population decline in the ‘80s compared to only a 36% decline in the ‘70s. The most threatened communities, the predominately subsistence-centered communities of less than 100 individuals, experienced a much higher rate of population decline in the ‘80s–69%. These smaller communities have very few full-time employment opportunities and those that are available, e.g., school teacher, often are filled by non-local residents. For the most part, individuals survive in these communities by a combined cash generation-subsistence utilization strategy that is dependent on transfer payments and/or seasonal employment as well as adequate renewable resources.

Sustainable Development

The concept of sustainable development is so ubiquitous and ill-defined as to make its parentage and, much more importantly, its actual applicability questionable. For some, it has become the panacea for the twenty-first century; for others, it is nothing more than ‘envirobabble’. While one could conceivably trace its parentage at least to Malthus, it seems fairly clear that its many and varied contemporary manifestations are linked to a conceptual chain that has evolved over the past quarter of a century involving the Club of Rome’s pronouncements on the limits to growth in the early ‘70s, the "Another Development" strand of the United Nations Environment Programme in the mid-‘70s, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Strategy of the early ‘80s and, most recently, the World Commission on Environment and Development’s "Our Common Future" of the late ‘80s. What sustainable development means, however, is not quite so easily determined. Rather than try to reiterate the extensive and quite complex debate on the meaning of sustainable development, it seems useful for the purposes of this paper to simply approach it as Barbier (Barbier and McCracken 1988:14) does and view it as a general, overall orientation involving some sense of continuity related to economic, ecological and social development that utilizes "strategies which . . . are environmentally sustainable over the long-term, are consistent with social values and institutions, and encourage ‘grassroots’ participation in the development process" (Barbier 1987:102). At the village or micro-level, Barbier’s general orientation becomes centered on the idea of "sustainable economic development" which, in addition to avoiding the contradictions inherent in sustained economic growth formulations, provides a formulation in which ". . . the quantitative and qualitative dimensions are mutually reinforcing and inseparable." This approach is

directly concerned with increasing the material standard of living of the poor at the ‘grassroots’ level, which can be quantitatively measured in terms of increased food, real income, educational services, health-care, sanitation and water supply, emergency stocks of food and cash, etc., and only indirectly concerned with economic growth at the aggregate, commonly national level. In general terms, the primary objective is reducing absolute poverty of the world’s poor through providing lasting and secure livelihoods that minimize resource depletion, environmental degradation, cultural disruption and social instability (1987:103).

In this view, the original questions raised are now more specific, i.e., is it possible for small Alaskan villages to provide individuals with opportunities for "lasting and secure livelihoods that minimize resource depletion, environmental degradation, cultural disruption, and social instability." And, is this a desirable strategy?

Desirability of Sustainable Development in the North

Consistent with the global pattern, "sustainable development" is a concept that is increasingly being positively connected to programs related to northern development. These efforts range from an Alaska Federation of Native financing workshop on "Building a Sustainable Economic Future" (1989) to the Canadian Winter Cities Forum ‘91 focus on "Is Sustainable Development Feasible." The activities of the Arctic Institute of North America are particularly noteworthy as it has carried out both theoretical and applied endeavors related to sustainable development, for example, a Bibliography of Sustainable Economic Development (1988), an on-going Sustainable Economic Development Business Project (1989) and even short courses like "Rethinking Rural, Native and Small Town Economies: Fostering Sustainable Economic Development"(1991).

Similarly, the literature on northern development is beginning to consistently reflect a concern with sustainable development [ e.g., Keith and Simon (1987), , Griffiths and Young (1989), Pretes and Robinson (1989), Lyck (1989), Science Council of Canada (1991), and Hansen (1991)]. And, after reviewing this type of literature to compile the Arctic Institute’s bibliography on sustainable economic development, Connatty (1988), besides offering a useful graphic array of various components associated with SED, provides an omnibus definition which closely parallel’s the previously mentioned Barbier definition:

A beneficial progression in economic conditions for the people in a specific area when current and future environment, social and cultural needs are being met (iii).

In a subsequent and even more specific bibliography on sustainable development and the entrepreneur, Michael Pretes (1989:vi), a staff member at the Arctic Institute, sketches some common objectives of sustainable development that are helpful in providing a northern anchor for the more general Barbier and Connatty definitions:

  • recognition that economic and environmental problems [are] global in nature
  • acknowledgment of the relationship between economy and environment
  • advocacy of local control of resources
  • avoiding reliance on non-renewable resources
  • recognition of the importance of social and cultural traditions
  • the need to eradicate poverty, hunger and disease
  • recognition that these factors must be viewed with future generations in mind.

The Northern Workshop portion of the 1986 Conference on Conservation and Development that was concerned with implementing the previously mentioned World Conservation Strategy goes even farther in recommending specific directions sustainable development must take in the North:

Community-based land use planning, integrated resource management, community education programmes, community participation on resource management boards, the decentralization of management responsibilities to local governments, legislative change, international cooperation and recognition, and settlement of outstanding aboriginal land claims were seen to be the essential mechanism through which sustainable development is achievable in the circumpolar North. (Jacobs and Munro 1987:433)

At this level, it seems quite obvious that sustainable development, as a strategy which results in ". . . lasting and secure livelihoods that minimize resource depletion, environmental degradation, cultural disruption, and social instability" (Barbier 1987:103), is a highly desirable strategy for small Northern communities that wish to continue their long standing, land-based cultural life style while being able to actively " . . . meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development:43). As Keith and Simon note, "For the northern peoples of the circumpolar world, the key to survival and social and economic well-being is sustainable development (1987:221)." However desirable this strategy may be, the larger question, of course, is whether it is an achievable strategy in the North.

Attaining Sustainable Development in Village Alaska

Since Alaska villagers are increasingly tied into complex external relationships which they are unable to control, one has to question whether sustainable development really provides more long-term stability than was offered by other externally oriented "export boom" development efforts. In order to pursue this further, it seems useful to view village Alaska’s relationships with external actors from the perspective of a nested dependency hierarchy (see Figure Two). While each level of this hierarchy, by definition, has import for local level sustainability, in the interest of brevity I will only focus on two of the components: the inner or village level, where the ability to pursue less-dependent alternatives is high, and the outer or global limits to sustainability, the ultimate level of dependence. The intermediate levels might be viewed as policy, legislative, and judicial levels that ultimately affect the global and village action-levels, (e.g., the recent policy decision of the Alaska State Board of Fisheries to increase the Aleutian Island salmon catchment limits probably will have negative consequences for subsistence and commercial fishing at the village level in the Doyon region).


Village Level

At the village level, there is a set of considerations this is ‘necessary but not sufficient" to achieve local level sustainable development. To use Barbier’s (1987) framework: economically, these considerations involve opportunities for individuals to obtain cash and to increase its local circulation so as to create "lasting and secure livelihoods"; environmentally, they dictate that individuals engage in subsistence and/or commercial natural resource pursuits that "minimize resource depletion [and] environmental degradation"; culturally, sustainable development suggests that activities be carried out in ways consistent with on-going cultural values so that "cultural disruption" is minimized; and, finally, these considerations must be met without an increase in "social instability." As Weeden suggests, this necessitates " . . practices that are economically gainful, socially acceptable, and ecologically supportable" (1989:47). In the small villages of the Doyon region, as I have suggested elsewhere (Dubbs 1988), the only appropriate way to begin to accomplish these ends is to essentially redefine "development" away from a traditional economic growth orientation and towards a bottom-up, "Another Development" orientation that is ". . . geared to the satisfaction of needs, . . . [built] on the strength of societies which undertake it [and which is carried out] in harmony with the environment" (Dag Hammarskjold Foundation 1975:28). For me,

An "Another Development" strategy for rural Alaska, like elsewhere, must start with the satisfaction of basic physical and psychocultural needs of the rural population. In Alaska, this demands that subsistence be given strategic primacy. The totality of the subsistence system has sustained generations of Alaska Natives in the rural homelands for thousands of years . . . This sustenance is inextricably both physical and psychocultural, and it provides, in my opinion, the single most important anchor in the lives of rural residents (Dubbs 1988:17).

Along with a subsistence-centered system’s obvious concern about the quality and quantity of the natural resource base, the other key variable in the "development" of a sustainable community along the lines suggested by Barbier seems to be, What is the optimum population size? Essentially, the population size has to be small enough so that the on-going subsistence lifestyle can continue to be the cultural and economic base for the community and yet, it ideally should be large enough to support some local economic activities so that immediate income leakages are minimized. This may be an impossible balance, as it is quite probable that the size of population required for an economically meaningful local circulation strategy would be too large to be supported by the local natural resource base. Thus, if villages are to remain viable, they will need to depend on extra-local sources of income as cash is a contemporary survival tool. The degree of dependence will vary in response to the range of economic opportunities locally available in each village, but there will be a degree of dependence.

Also, as state funds dwindle, one can anticipate increasing attention being paid to the "optimum service-population size" needed to receive and/or support government provided services such as schools, health centers, potable water facilities, and airport runways. If these types of services are reduced or eliminated in the Doyon region, one can easily foresee entire small villages being virtually abandoned. Already, the state has floated a trial balloon about relocating small rural villages and forming new places around development projects that ". . . make more economic sense [as] the state is pouring millions of dollars into villages that have no revenue-generating economy" (Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, May 16, 1991:5). While this might provide for the short-term cash needs of villagers, one obviously has to ask, At what cost? The answer seems obvious.

  • What villagers can do at their level to meet the "necessary conditions" for sustainable development is to follow precepts such as those set forth by Weeden (1989:43-45), precepts which almost seem intuitive for an indigenous subsistence-centered system that desires to pursue an appropriate and sustainable course of action, and principles that seem to conform to the sound-bite sustainable development slogan "Think Globally, Act Locally." Specifically, villagers should
  • ". . . direct [subsistence] stresses toward the most resilient aspects of nature and away from the least reversible and most destructible (43)";
  • ". . . [avoid] human behaviors [which go] against grain of nature [as these] usually mean higher costs (43);
  • "submaximize" yields from renewable resources so that continuity of supply is not threatened by unpredictable events (44)";
  • . . . retain "systems of human behavior and technology . . . [which are] highly responsive to local conditions (44)";
  • employ "Simplified technology . . . systems [which] cost less, . . . are more easily maintained by local people, . . . [and] are more mobile and cost less to repair or replace (44)"; and,
  • adjust to the fact that ". . . resource extraction systems need to be able to weather hard times either from falling prices and rising costs, or from temporary resource shortages (44)." This can be accomplished by becoming generalists as opposed to specialists, both in terms of resources pursued and the technology used.

Global System

While quite remote from day-to-day Doyon village-level concerns and activities, the global situation clearly has been the focus of sustainable development advocates over the past twenty years and it has a significant long-term bearing on whether Alaska village renewable subsistence strategies will be sustainable. One could plausibly argue that the future of village Alaska depends on "Our Common Future" – global situation which Alaskan villagers share with the rest of humanity but, because of the fragile nature of northern ecosystems, Alaskan villagers may even be more at risk than many others. As Griffiths and Young observe " . . . the roots of the most serious threats to sustainable development in the Arctic are of southern rather than northern origin (1989:10)." Already,

Global problems found in the North include arctic atmospheric pollution and acid precipitation, climate warming, depleted animal populations, with some on the endangered lists, and altered fish habitats, with effects on some species (Duffy 1988:3).

These trends will be exacerbated and become more destructive for northern lifestyles if industrial and emerging economies continue to pursue unlimited and unregulated economic growth through non-renewable resource based economies (Griffiths and Young 1989). This situation is well recognized by the eight nations bordering the Arctic who last year signed a historic "Declaration on the Protection of the Arctic Environment" (First Ministerial Conference 1991). Nonetheless, there is little Alaskan villagers can do by themselves to alter these trends.

A different global consideration, yet a very immediate one, stems from the reliance of Arctic economies, particularly the natural resource sector, on non-Arctic consumers and producers. This influence is constantly felt throughout Alaska through fluctuations in the price of crude oil as a $1.00 price difference translates into $150 million dollars of state revenue being gained or lost. Alaska’s economic history seems to have followed an implicit "staples theory" of development in which natural resource exports are the leading or basic sector that will give rise in time to backward and forward industrial linkages as well as a developed service sector to support the growing population. Unfortunately, the backward and forward industrial linkages have been slow to materialize and the state’s economy remains relatively undiversified and centered on select natural resource exports, primarily oil, fish and timber. To the extent to which Alaskan villagers participate in these export activities in order to garner needed cash, their income-producing livelihoods are subject to external markets beyond their control. Similarly, to the extent Alaskan villages are dependent on state expenditures, their viability is threatened by uncontrollable market variables.

A particularly important variant of the external market-dependency characteristic is the growing influence of "animal protection movements" on the livelihoods of northern villagers, particularly those engaged in harvesting furs for commercial purposes. The International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs recent monograph–Arctic Environment: Indigenous Perspectives (Hansen 1991)–presents a comprehensive treatment of this phenomenon from the point of view of the humans who suffer because of it–indigenous northerners. They clearly indicate that

The indigenous perspective [on sustainable development] focuses on the indigenous society and on how small communities in the Arctic can maintain renewable resource harvesting as the basis of their economy. The strategy chosen by indigenous peoples is one which enables them to maintain their close relationship with nature while at the same time, reinforcing their cultural integrity and securing their future as distinct peoples. Their strategy involves a mutual dependence between indigenous society and the natural environment and wildlife. (20)

In the mid-’80s, several communities in the Doyon region joined to form a fur marketing cooperative to better deal with the vagaries of the external fur market and thereby better establish trapping as an important cash generating strategy. Should villagers like these who are regularly engaged in commercial fur harvests find no markets for their furs, their prospects for a stable and renewable source of cash will be severely threatened and with it, their prospects for a sustainable rural lifestyle. One can only wonder if a more widespread anti-hunting and fishing attack is soon to follow.

If sustainable development is to have any chance of being attained in village Alaska, it is quite clear that it will depend less on the local actions of village Alaska Natives than it will on the actions of external actors. From this perspective, a localized approach to sustainable development will not appreciably alter the historic pattern of subordinate and dependence relations between village Alaska and the wider industrial system. Such a localized strategy, even if successfully implemented, will not be sufficient to insure the degree of self-reliance and self-determination sought after by many Alaska Native villagers. The increasing importance of the global ecosystem for village subsistence systems cannot be ignored, and the roots of dependence have grown too deep for the basic external exchange relationships needed for the continued existence of small villages to be severed. It is simply hard to imagine villagers existing today without having access to a productive ecosystem, a source of cash income, and a modest range of services that typically cannot be provided from resources within a small community without a tax base; for example, health clinics, schools and air fields.

Can anything be done? If Alaska Native villagers wish to embrace sustainable development as a viable local development strategy, and I think there would be strong support for this, it appears to me that they will need to follow both an appropriate localized development strategy as well as a heightened and externally oriented political strategy. As Lyck points out, ". . . the decisive factor [will be] their ability to gain support and acceptance among nations south of the Arctic (1990:312)." Alaska Natives and other northern Indigenous people have been aware of external threats to their existence for several years and already have taken their concerns to a larger forum. The 1977 formation of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference to deal with panArctic development issues affecting the indigenous way of life and the 1984 formation of Indigenous Survival International to counteract the animal protectionists are both significant occurrences. The planned involvement of the ICC in the upcoming "global summit" or United Nations Conference and Development (Nielsen 1991) provides an excellent opportunity for indigenous northerners to link their concerns to those of indigenous people throughout the world and thereby clearly and powerfully dramatize the effects of the global level on the viability of traditional lifestyles. But more is needed. Local village people, in particular, need to become more forceful advocates for their way of life in and out of their communities. The surrogate spokesmen’s role fulfilled by those in indigenous organizations is a useful one, but only village people can express true meaning of a village way of life and what its loss would mean. This "true meaning", rather than the professional argument of the surrogate, might be what is needed to change the behavior of ‘industrial-man’. In Alaska, there is some indication that a village voice may be emerging. Will Mayo, the president of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, the non-profit organization serving the Doyon region, recently advocated the formation of a statewide intertribal council by arguing that:

The power of 200-plus Alaska tribes would be a great potential force in local, statewide and national areas if we would only unify. Look at the power just a few thousand sportsmen or animal rights activists exercise in politics because they have organized. We are forced to react to their moves and it is killing us. It is time for tribes to develop an ‘offense’ and let someone else react. (Tanana Chiefs Conference 1992)

In sum, it seems the strategy for a sustainable indigenous future must be "Organize Locally and Act Globally."


Alaska Department of Labor. 1982. Alaska Native Report. Juneau: State of Alaska. 1991 Alaska Population Overview: 1990 Census and Estimates. Juneau: State of Alaska. 1991b AKCENS: Bulletin of the Alaska State Data Center. 8 (3). Juneau: State of Alaska.

Alaska Federation of Natives. 1989. Building a Sustainable Economic Future-Is Lack of Money the Problem? Anchorage: Alaska Pacific Consultants (xerox).

Arctic Institute of North America. 1989. Annual Report. Calgary: Arctic Institute of North America. 1991. What’s New at the Arctic Institute. Calgary: Arctic Institute of North America.

Barbier, Edward B. 1987. The Concept of Sustainable Development. Environmental Conservation. 14(2):101-110.

Barbier, Edward B. and Jennifer A. McCracken. 1988. Glossary of Selected Terms in Sustainable Economic Development. London: International Institute for Environment and Development.

Benedict, Ruth. 1960. Patterns of Culture. New York: New American Library.

Connatty, Brad. 1988. A Bibliography of Sustainable Economic Development Literature available from the University of Calgary’s Mackimmie Library. Calgary: Arctic Institute of North America.

Dag Hammarskjold Foundation. 1975. The 1975 Dag Hammarskjold Report on Development and International Cooperation. Development Dialogue (1/2):1-128.

Daly, Herman E. 1990. Sustainable Growth: An Impossibility Theorem. Development . (3/4):45-47.

Doyon Limited. 1980. Annual Report. Fairbanks: Doyon Limited.

Dubbs, Patrick J. 1988. Another Development" in Rural Alaska. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Regional Science Association. Napa. February 1991. Arctic Atolls: Small State Theory and Rural Development in Alaska. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Regional Science Association, Monterey. February 1991.

Duffy, Patrick. 1988. Achieving Sustainable Development in the North. Information North 14(8):1-4. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. 1991 Olds suggests it may make sense to move villages for economics. May 16:5.

First Ministerial Conference. 1991. Declaration on the Protection of the Arctic Environment. Griffiths, Franklyn and Oran R. Young. 1989. Sustainable Development and the Arctic. Nuuk, Greenland: Working Working Group on Arctic International Relations, Report 1989-1.

Hansen, Bente, ed. 1991. Arctic Environment: Indigenous Perspectives. Copenhagen: International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, IWGIA Document 69.

Institute of Social and Economic Research. 1986. Changes in Rural Alaska Settlement Patterns. Anchorage: University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Keith, Robert F. and Mary Simon. 1987. Sustainable Development in the Northern Circumpolar World. In Conservation with Equity: Strategies for Sustainable Development. P. Jacobs and D. A. Munro, eds. Pp. 209-225. Cambridge, U.K.: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Jacobs, P. and D. A. Munro, eds. 1987. Conservation with Equity: Strategies for Sustainable Development. Cambridge, U.K.: International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Lyck, Lise. 1990. International Involvement, Autonomy and Sustainable Development in the Arctic. Polar Record 26(159):309-312.

Meadows, Donella H., Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers and Wm. Behrens. 1972. The Limits to Growth. New York: New American Library.

Nielsen, Jorn Berglund. 1991. Brazil 1992. Inuit Tusaataat:12.

O’Riordan, Timothy. 1988. The Politics of Sustainability. In Sustainable Environmental Management: Principles and Practice. R. Kerry Turner, ed. Pp. 29-50. London: Belhaven Press.

Pearce, David, Edward Barbier and Anil Markandya. 1990. Sustainable Development: Economics and Environment in the Third World. London: Earthscan Publications.

Pretes, Michael. 1989. Sustainable Development and the Entrepreneur: An Annotated Bibliography of Small Business Development in Circumpolar and Developing Regions. Whitehorse: Government of the Yukon.

Pretes, Michael and Michael Robinson. 1989. Beyond boom and bust: a strategy for sustainable development in the North. Polar Record. 25(153):115-120.

Redclift, Michael. 1987. Sustainable Development: Exploring the Contradictions. London: Routledge (1989 reprint).

Science Council of Canada. 1991. Northern Science for Northern Society: Building Economic Self-Reliance. Ottawa: Science Council of Canada.

Tanana Chiefs Conference. 1992. Planning begins for statewide intertribal council. The Council 17(1):1.

Trainer, Ted. 1990. A Rejection of the Brundtland Report. IFDA Dossier 77:71-84.

Turner, R. Kerry. 1991. Environment, Economics and Ethics IN Blueprint 2: Greening of the World Economy. David Pearce, ed. Pg.209-224. London: Earthscan Publications.

Weeden, Robert B. 1989. An Exchange of Sacred Gifts: Thoughts Toward Sustainable Development. Alternatives 16(1):41-49.

Winter Cities Forum 91. 1991. Is Sustainable Development Feasible-Program. Sault Ste. Marie, Canada: Winter Cities Forum.

World Commission on Environment and Development. 1987. Our Common Future. New York: Oxford University Press.

End Notes

These observations are not based on systematic field research and same would be needed to verify their accuracy.

Modified map from DoyonLimited 1980 Annual Report

For example, see O’Riordan (1988), Pearce, et. al. (1990), and Turner (1991).

Barbier takes care to differentiate this general conceptualization of sustainable development from the more narrow one of "environmentally sustainable development" that is specifically concerned with optimal resource and environmental management over time (Barbier and McCracken 1988:14).


The essays assembled in this collection reflect over 30 years of first hand observation of, and participation in Native education and rural development in Alaska.




Part I: Alaska Native Education

Cultural Definitions in Educational Programs

The Log School: A Case for Appropriate Design (with Ray Barnhardt)

Alaska Native Education and Development Ideologies

Part II - Rural Development in Alaska

Organizational Congruence and ANCSA

Another Development in Rural Alaska

Decolonizing Economics

The Whale and the Co-op: The Emerging Issue of Animal Rights in Rural Alaska

Arctic Atolls: Small State Theory and Rural Development in Alaska

Sustainable Development and Indigenous People: Authors and Actors in Rural Alaska

Small Alaska Native Villages: Are They Worth Saving?



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Last modified August 14, 2006