Arctic Vessel Traffic and Indigenous Communities in the Bering Strait Region of Alaska

  • Julie Raymond-YakoubianEmail author
Part of the WMU Studies in Maritime Affairs book series (WMUSTUD, volume 7)


The Bering Strait region of Alaska is home to three different groups of indigenous people and 20 federally-recognized Tribes. Indigenous communities in the Bering Strait have both a right and a strong desire to be included in discussions about the future of vessel traffic in the region, to have their Traditional Knowledge and expertise about the marine environment considered and utilized, and to have meaningful involvement in decision making about activities taking place in their homeland and with the potential to impact their lives. This chapter outlines some of the concerns that Tribes and Tribal organizations have regarding current and projected vessel traffic in the region. It also discusses recent research conducted by Kawerak and Tribes that can contribute to discussions about the future of arctic shipping, including GIS mapping, Traditional Knowledge documentation projects, and regional meetings that have focused on shipping.


Bering Strait Vessel traffic Indigenous Subsistence Traditional Knowledge Food security 



The work discussed in this chapter was made possible by funding from the following: Kawerak Incorporated, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Park Service Shared Beringian Heritage Program, the National Science Foundation, Oak Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Dozens of local experts from the Bering Strait region Tribes of Brevig Mission, Diomede, Elim, Golovin, Koyuk, King Island, Nome Eskimo Community, Savoonga, Shaktoolik, Shishmaref, Stebbins, St. Michael, Teller, Wales, White Mountain and Unalakleet contributed their time and expertise to the projects outlined here. Please consult the references for more information about the individuals and Tribes that shared knowledge and expertise; that knowledge remains the property of those that contributed it. Other partners on projects discussed here include Audubon Alaska, the Eskimo Walrus Commission, the Ice Seal Committee, Kawerak’s Marine Program, and Oceana. Thank you to the two anonymous reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of this chapter. For more information on Kawerak’s Social Science Program visit:


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kawerak, Inc.NomeUSA

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