Alaska's Rural Development

1st Edition

Peter G. Cornwall

Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 232 Pages
ISBN 9780367019082 - CAT# K404583

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This book examines the social, economic, political, and cultural concerns surrounding the development of rural Alaska. The authors explore the controversy over rural development from a variety of perspectives—some supporting economic development and its implications for rural communities, others arguing for alternative approaches. They raise the issues of external control over local development and the effects of the boom-and-bust cycle often associated with rural change. Part 1 surveys the economic development of Alaska's resources, providing an historical overview of its fur, timber, and fishing industries and examining the current importance of oil, gas, minerals, and agricultural products. The section concludes with a discussion of the unique patterns of trade between Alaska and Asia. The second part turns to the organizations that have been, and are presently, the major vehicles for development—the village and regional corporations that grew out of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 and the non-profit organizations responsible for social services and education. The authors also discuss the increasingly important role of governmental institutions. The final section considers the conflict between the goal of economic development and traditional Native values of subsistence and cultural preservation. The authors ask whether the development of Alaska's rural regions must take place at the expense of the traditional lifestyle and cultural distinctiveness of Native society.

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