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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ataam Taikina: Traditional knowledge and conservation ethics in the Yukon river delta, Alaska
by Cook, Chad M., M.A., University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2013, 129; 1552133
Abstract (Summary)

This research was conducted in collaboration with rural Yup'ik residents of the Yukon River delta region of Alaska. The thesis explores traditional knowledge and conservation ethics among rural Yup'ik residents who continue to maintain active subsistence lifestyles. From the end of July through August of 2012, ethnographic field research was conducted primarily through participant observation and semi-structured interviews, documenting Yup'ik subsistence hunting and fishing practices. Research participants invited me beluga whale hunting, seal hunting, moose hunting, commercial and subsistence fishing, gathering berries, and a variety of other activities that highlights local Yup'ik environmental knowledge, practices, and ethics. Through firsthand examples of these experiences, this thesis attempts to explore what conservation means through a Yup'ik cultural lens. Documenting Yup'ik traditional knowledge offers an opportunity to shine a light on the stewardship of local people's relationship with their traditional lands. The importance of maintaining direct relationships with the natural world, eating Native foods, and passing on hunting and gathering skills to future generations help develop the narrative of my analysis. In many ways, the cultural heritage of the Yup'ik people are embodied in such practices, providing a direct link between nature and culture.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Plattet, Patrick
Commitee: Charles, Walkie, Koskey, Mike, Schneider, Bill
School: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Department: Northern Studies
School Location: United States -- Alaska
Source: MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Ecology, Social research, Ethnic studies
Keywords: Conservation, Ecology, Ethnography, Resource management, Subsistence, Yup'ik
Publication Number: 1552133
ISBN: 978-1-303-71193-0
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