We are the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development, of the College of Rural and Community Development at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. This blog will be a platform for dialogues about issues specifically relevant to rural Alaska and Alaska Natives, and more broadly to communities in the Arctic and Circumpolar North and Indigenous communities throughout the world.
The department hosts two distinct, but complementary programs, the Alaska Native Studies BA and the Rural Development BA and MA, and our faculty have expertise and interest across a broad range of subjects from Alaska Native arts and cultures to sustainable community development to the law as it relates to Indigenous peoples. It can be difficult to articulate the breadth of our programs and faculty. Yes, we have an Alaska Native and Indigenous focus, but we also focus on development of communities throughout Alaska and the Circumpolar North. Yes, we have an Alaska and Circumpolar North focus, but we also look to learn from development experiences and processes throughout the world, particularly with Indigenous peoples and rural areas. In everything we do we try to bring a unique approach that encourages students and faculty to bring their own cultural foundations to understand and solve broader social and development issues. We have a passion for communities, a passion for positive change, and a commitment to helping students apply what they learn to make a better future.
We will post on department activities and events, teaching techniques and issues with our unique style of blended and distance education, and cultural, social, and economic development issues relevant to Alaska and the Circumpolar North and to rural Indigenous people throughout the world.
Ultimately, we hope that this blog will become a forum for dialogues across the many communities that share our interests and a space for faculty, students, and community members to share their experiences. Welcome!