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SELAWIK: Rich Cultural Resources Explored
Alaska Region, August 28, 2006
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Many old cabins and camps, such as this one, are scattered across the Selawik Refuge. Most of these were seasonal settlements of local Inupiat for subsistence hunting and fishing activities.
Many old cabins and camps, such as this one, are scattered across the Selawik Refuge. Most of these were seasonal settlements of local Inupiat for subsistence hunting and fishing activities. - Photo Credit: n/a

The Selawik Refuge in northwest Alaska is home not only to many kinds of fish and animals but also to the Iñupiat, the Alaska Native people of the region.  Seasonal camps and cabins occupied by the Iñupiat for subsistence hunting and fishing dot the refuge.  Some of these are contemporary, others date from the historic period, and others originated hundreds of years ago.  As a way to become more familiar with the Refuge’s cultural and historic resources, Refuge staff spent three days in August visiting old camps and settlements in the Selawik area with an Iñupiaq guide from the community.  Staff took photos, marked sites with a GPS, and recorded narrative information and Alaska Native place names.  This field work followed up on a visit to Kotzebue earlier this summer by Regional Archeologist Debbie Corbett, who met with Refuge staff and National Park Service archeologists to discuss the Refuge’s cultural resources program.

Field work of this type not only assists the Refuge staff in managing cultural resources, but also promotes partnerships with tribal organizations by educating Refuge staff on tribal concerns and community history.  The Refuge hopes to continue its work on cultural resources and to incorporate this information into its outreach materials. 


Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



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