Module 4: Post # 1 ~ Alaska Natives: Our Fight to Survive

A Short AJ+ Documentary Titled Alaska Natives: Our Fight to Survive looks at the past, present and future of Indigenous Peoples in Alaska; including major obstacles, such as the division among the people caused by oil and gas exploration. As people struggled between a desire to protect the land, and the need to earn a living.

The documentary is informative and well done, but I found it interesting that none of the producers are Indigenous.

The documentary does raise many issues. One of which, is food insecurity faced by the Inuit due to high rates of unemployment, and low paying jobs, brought on by the rapid modernization of Canada’s north in the last fifty years. The Feeding Nunavut Program reports that 60% of Nunavut’s children live in households without a dependable quantity of nutritious food.

One of the solutions to the program was paying harvesters to hunt and distribute the food gathered throughout the communities participating. Interestingly the traditional food, called country food, could not be shared with the schools because of health regulations. The author of the report, Taye Newman, noted that this was discouraging as the rules are in direct contrast with the goal of feeding children, and encouraging traditional foods. Another success of the program was the involvement of youth in learning how to hunt, gather, and prepare traditional foods.

www.youtube.com/watch


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