Socioeconomic Evaluation of Reindeer Herding in Northwestern Alaska
Keywords:Economic conditions, Inuit, Reindeer husbandry, Social conditions, Alaska, Northwestern
AbstractRecent proposals to create new federal lands and management jurisdiction in Alaska, associated with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (1971) and pending government legislation, have combined to bring this Native industry into prominence once again. Based on an interdisciplinary study undertaken from 1976 through 1977, contemporary herding is discussed, set against the background of history, the economic considerations and the unique Native culture and lifestyle. Reindeer herding has become an integral part of the social organization, value and cultural systems, as well as economy, of northwestern Alaska. Changes in the industry, whether to improve herding operations or as a result of government legislation, would greatly affect the people and economy of the region.