Caleb Pungowiyi of Oceana approached the borough and suggested that we document the traditional knowledge of our local hunters. Five years later; this Atlas documenting local traditional knowledge of subsistence use in village of Kivalina, Noatak, Selawik, Noorvik, Deering, Buckland, and Kotzebue is complete. We preformed 160 semi-directive one-on-one interviews, reviewed the mapped data, and finally presented the maps to a local advisory group for their endorsement.
Our residents are no longer dependent on gathering subsistence resources as the main means of survival. Today we need a strong subsistence economy coupled with a healthy cash economy to thrive. This document, at its best, will be used to promote economic development and protect our subsistence resources.
This Atlas represents efforts of over 200 Borough residence who contributed their knowledge to this important project. We are grateful to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coastal Impact Assistance Program, Oak Foundation, Shell Oil, and ConocoPhillips for their financial contributions.
Elders emphasized the importance of mapping traditional Iñupiaq place names to support endangered language preservation and improved emergency response as the Northwest Arctic Borough Subsistence Mapping Project team met with advisory groups in the seven participating communities. With support from NANA, Aqqaluk Trust, the Regional Elders Council, and the National Park Service, the Northwest Arctic Borough and mapped 2,000 traditional Iñupiaq place names to promote youth education through endangered language preservation and improved emergency response. Many of the original maps were missing or damaged. The Northwest Arctic Borough located the original data and mapped this information in GIS format. Elders noted some of the names documented nearly 30 years ago were in the wrong location or spelled incorrectly and emphasized the need to check the spelling and location of the place names. The Northwest Arctic Borough Subsistence Mapping Project and NANA met with elders fluent in the Iñupiaq language and checked the spelling and location of the place names
This database contains information from 7 of the 11 Northwest Arctic Borough communities: Buckland, Deering, Kivalina, Kotzebue, Noatak, Noorvik, and Selawik. As part of the second phase of the Northwest Arctic Borough Subsistence Mapping Project (SMP), researchers from the Borough and Oceana met with local advisory groups to gather and document local and traditional knowledge (LTK) on Important Ecological Areas (IEAs).