Although western civilization over the past hundred years has changed the pattern of Eskimo life considerably, most Natives in the Northwest Region still remain economically and culturally oriented to the same subsistence resources that supplied their culture prior to contact with the western world. Except for Nome and a few mining camps, every settlement in the region is located according to the availability of game, fish, or fuel. The seasonal life patterns of most of the villages are still clearly influenced by the movement of fish, caribou, and marine mammals, and subsistence remains an integral part of the village economy. While new opportunities with Native corporations and other commercial enterprises have drawn a significant number of wage earners to Nome and Kotzebue, a substantial part of the money they earn is used to purchase durable goods related to the subsistence way of life—outboard motors, snow machines, guns, and other supplies.

The Northwest Alaska Native Association (NANA) has recently completed a detailed household subsistence survey, the first of its kind in the state. NANA representatives interviewed members of each household in every village in their region to estimate average yearly harvests of each resource for the last several years. Summaries of these surveys are shown in Figure 163.






People from White Mountain fishing in Fish River. One haul of the net brings in more than 100 large salmon at the height of the season.

C. D. Evans
George Sabo

[Alaska Regional Profiles, Northwest Region, p. 199]

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