Alaska Native Villages Work to Enhance Local Economies as They Minimize Environmental Risks

Tribal Profiles
U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit

While the residents of Alaska Native villages face a disproportionately higher risk of having their traditional subsistence lifestyles affected by Arctic development, they also recognize that changes bring new opportunities. Accordingly, leaders of several Alaska Native Village Corporations have stepped up to discuss the potential positive and negative impacts to their region with resource producers and other development groups. Seven Alaska Native Village Corporations—Gambell, Golovin, Saint Michael, Sitnasuak, Stebbins, Unalakleet, and Wales—have formed a limited liability corporation, the Bering Sea Alliance (BSA), to have a stronger voice in protecting their subsistence way of life when working with other groups such as government agencies and private organizations. Working together through BSA, they aim to engage in dialogue with key stakeholders to protect the rich abundance of their region while striving to enhance their disadvantaged local economies. To help Alaska Natives build local capacity to prepare for oil and gas development, BSA holds a variety of training workshops and conferences for these communities. BSA also seeks joint ventures with organizations in the public and private sectors to provide services such as spill-response and rescue operations.