ArcticWays.com is a grassroots effort within the Alaskan interior aimed at:
1. Sharing our native Athabascan culture and our respect for the earth with others;
2. building an economy that is environmentally and culturally sustainable within our
remote villages; and
3. promoting the practice and preservation of our cultural traditions.
The Yukon Flats are the traditional lands of the Gwich’in and Koyukon
Athabascan peoples whose current population is estimated at 1,210 (US Census 2000).
These traditional lands encompass 35 million acres of critical wetland habitat
dominated by the Yukon River with the Brooks Range to the north and the White
Mountains to the south.
The seasons and the land still dictate local activities
and the dominant subsistence livelihood. Locally harvested moose, caribou, bear, sheep,
salmon, whitefish, grayling, ducks, geese, ptarmigan, rabbit, and berries comprise the
majority of the local diet. The subsistence lifestyle serves as a mainstay in supporting
cultural norms, practices, and language. Trapping is a practice that provides food, income,
and clothing during the winter months. Bush plane, river boat, and snow machine are the
only methods of travel in the region, there are no roads.
ArcticWays.com provides an opportunity for local artists
to utilize their traditional skills within this remote region to provide cash income to
compliment their subsistence lifestyle. Through ArcticWays.com artists are able to
reach new markets for their arts and crafts. With success, this effort will touch
the lives of dozens of artists and their families, allowing them to continue to live
a traditional subsistence lifestyle within a global economy.
ArcticWays.com is a joint project of the Philadelphia
University and the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, with essential logistical support provided by the Numi Group, of Fairbanks.
The project includes a number of other dedicated Partners, among them: GCI.com, the Arctic Village Local Council, the City of Nulato, the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Management, the Yukon Flats School District and the Yukon-Koyukuk School District..