Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Determining the Drivers of Alaskan Inuit Migration, Arctic Alaska
by Melvin, Forrest Leanna, M.S., The George Washington University, 2017, 96; 10283257
Abstract (Summary)

Migration choice among Alaskan Inuit in the Arctic Alaskan region is complex and multifaceted. Migration patterns are characterized by high rates of out-migration and return migration however, the factors contributing to migration choice are more nuanced. To better understand the driving factors influencing migration a mixed methodological approach is used by incorporating statistical data analyses and informal interviews collected for Nome Census Area and North Slope Borough. Determining the socio-cultural, economic, and environmental factors influencing migration choice of Alaskan Inuit in Arctic Alaska provides insight into community resiliency and adaptability to regional experiences of social and climatic change. The results demonstrate external investments, employment opportunities, climate change, Inuit cultural practices, and family are important to Alaskan Inuit lifestyle. Results of regression analysis indicate that climate, subsistence, and modern wage economy have the most significant effect on in and out migration in Nome Census Area while in North Slope Borough cultural economy and wage economy balance, family, and external funds have the most significant impact on migration. The factor loadings impacting migration between 1991-2011 explain only 41% in Nome Census Area and 21% in the North Slope Borough. Low explanatory power of the quantitative variables underscores the importance of the non-quantitative indicators, such as importance of family and culture on return migration. Personal interviews further support that the resilience of Arctic Alaskan communities relies on the health of local economy to provide jobs, health care, and education but also on the ability to participate in cultural and familial activities which perpetuates adaptability among Alaskan Inuit.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Streletskiy, Dmitry
Commitee: Cullen, Declan, Price, Marie
School: The George Washington University
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 56/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Native American studies, Demography
Keywords: Alaskan inuit, Arctic, Migration, Resilience
Publication Number: 10283257
ISBN: 978-0-355-04711-0
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