Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Successful Engagement between Iñupiat and Scientists in Utqiaġvik, Alaska: A Sociocultural Perspective
by Erickson, Kaare Ray Sikuaq, M.A., University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020, 157; 27833754
Abstract (Summary)

Climate change has become a global threat that the world is struggling to grasp. At the frontlines of these changes, the Arctic warms at an amplified rate. U.S. research funding agencies have taken unprecedented and aggressive measures to steer Arctic sciences to not only consider its impacts on Indigenous communities in the Arctic, but to work with those communities in producing research that benefits locals in the Arctic. Barriers have prevented positive engagement between scientists and Indigenous communities, including the irrelevancy of research to locals’ daily lives and wide cultural and geographical gaps between research institutions and Indigenous entities. There are few models of successful and mutually-beneficial relations between Indigenous communities and scientists in the Arctic. This project focuses on the extremely unique and historic example of relations between local Iñupiat and Arctic scientists in Utqiaġvik, Alaska. This thesis provides both a detailed history of the relations between Iñupiat and scientists in Utqiaġvik, and a snapshot of how Indigenous science specialists and Arctic researchers in Utqiaġvik view cross-cultural knowledge exchange as they experience it in 2020. Three primary findings of this research include: first, that multiple forms of successful engagement exist between Iñupiat and academic scientists in Utqiaġvik, two of which include co-production of knowledge and contractual logistical service; second, relevancy of research is an extremely important precursor to successful engagement between scientists and communities; and third, both Iñupiat science specialists and Arctic researchers must possess unique sets of skills for long-term success in working together. This research has the potential to have broad implications for how Indigenous contributions are acknowledged, compensated for, measured, and valued in the face of increasing scientific research in the Arctic.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ogilvie, Kristen A
Commitee: Dannenberg, Clare J, Leonard, Beth R
School: University of Alaska Anchorage
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Alaska
Source: MAI 81/11(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology
Keywords: Co-production, Engagement, Eskimo, Indigenous, Iñupiaq, Utqiaġvik
Publication Number: 27833754
ISBN: 9798643173212
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