About the Project

Since 2009, we have partnered with community leaders to collaboratively design a project that shares stories about living well in Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska. We use a community-based framework to show how women and men across generations build leadership, strength and well-being. This project explores different facets of change and specifically focuses on the pathways that women, men, and families forge to live well. Project participants have helped us understand current livelihoods, supported by generations of being in place and ancestral knowledge, given great social, economic and environmental changes.

The project goal is to collect these stories for the community and future generations. Based on community feedback, this project increasingly emphasizes Iñupiat Values and the Iñupiaq Learning Framework as models for leadership, strength and healing. We completed 26 interviews; most are archived at the Iñupiat Heritage Center. The collaborative participatory nature of our research, including local advisors and young people in the research process and providing additional opportunities for consideration of research methods and ethics, is central to this project. We created a local project advisory team who are respected leaders in the community. We also seek guidance from other community members, and are grateful for their feedback.

TEAM

Laura Zanotti

Purdue University
Associate Professor of Anthropology
lzanotti@purdue.edu

Courtney and I became excited for work with Barrow community members during a 2009 visit. Several women and men we spoke to during that time, and in subsequent visits, talked about the importance of sharing stories of leadership and strength across generations. We continue to be guided by community members in our research process, and our goal is to generate materials for the IHLC, school district and other entities. I look forward to each visit to Barrow, and love going out on tundra and beach walks, learning how to cut maktak or prepare niġliq soup, sharing cake and tea after a big meal, and spending time in the community. I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2008. I joined the faculty at Purdue in 2009.

Courtney Carothers

Associate Professor at School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
clcarothers@alaska.edu

I am an Associate Professor of Fisheries at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of Washington and shortly after joined the faculty at University Alaska Fairbanks in 2008. My research explores the close relationships that people and cultures have with fisheries and their lands and waters. I have been fortunate that my research has provided me opportunities to get to know several regions of Alaska – the Kodiak Archipelago, the Northwest Arctic Borough, and the North Slope. I first came to Barrow, as well as Nuiqsut, in 2009. I was studying local knowledge of fisheries at that time. Laura and I wanted very much wanted to develop a community-based project that would be of interest and use locally. We feel privileged to be able to learn so much from our community partners and research participants.

Sarah Huang

Purdue University
Graduate Student in Anthropology
huang727@purdue.edu

I joined the Women and Men’s Leadership and Strength Project in 2014. As a project team member I am interested in the historical and cultural traditions of whaling and subsistence foods in the community. Throughout this project, I have been blessed to participate in Nalukataq and learn about the celebration of the spring whaling season as well as be a part of the community sharing of food. I have also been welcomed into homes and kitchens with warm hearts and warm ovens to learn how to fry Eskimo donuts and whale steak. I have been truly blessed to experience the cultural connections through Iñupiaq foods and families.

Charlene Apok

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Graduate Student in Rural Development

crapok@alaska.edu
I joined the Women’s and Men’s Leadership and Strength project in 2014. It has been a special experience to work for and learn from the people in Barrow. I am thankful to be part of a project that is committed to being community based. As an Iñupiaq, it has been especially transformative to continually be immersed in cultural learning and practices while balancing and negotiating how research can serve and benefit our people. In this way, having a role as an indigenous scholar continues to be both challenging but equally rewarding.

Charlotte Ambrozek

Ilisagvik College Cooperative Extension
Village Outreach VISTA
charlotte.ambrozek@ilisagvik.edu
I joined the Women’s and Men’s Leadership and Strength project in July 2015. The project allowed me to explore a deeper and different side of living well in Barrow. I continue to be inspired by the power of subsistence and traditional livelihoods and experiences in helping guide leaders and foster strength. Through my time with the project I continued to work with Cooperative Extension at Ilisagvik College on cooking, nutrition, and finance focused wellness for families and future families.

TEAM

Laura Zanotti

Purdue University
Associate Professor of Anthropology
lzanotti@purdue.edu

Courtney and I became excited for work with Barrow community members during a 2009 visit. Several women and men we spoke to during that time, and in subsequent visits, talked about the importance of sharing stories of leadership and strength across generations. We continue to be guided by community members in our research process, and our goal is to generate materials for the IHLC, school district and other entities. I look forward to each visit to Barrow, and love going out on tundra and beach walks, learning how to cut maktak or prepare niġliq soup, sharing cake and tea after a big meal, and spending time in the community. I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of Washington, Seattle, in 2008. I joined the faculty at Purdue in 2009.

Courtney Carothers

Associate Professor at School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
University of Alaska Fairbanks
clcarothers@alaska.edu

I am an Associate Professor of Fisheries at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I received my PhD in Anthropology from the University of Washington and shortly after joined the faculty at University Alaska Fairbanks in 2008. My research explores the close relationships that people and cultures have with fisheries and their lands and waters. I have been fortunate that my research has provided me opportunities to get to know several regions of Alaska – the Kodiak Archipelago, the Northwest Arctic Borough, and the North Slope. I first came to Barrow, as well as Nuiqsut, in 2009. I was studying local knowledge of fisheries at that time. Laura and I wanted very much wanted to develop a community-based project that would be of interest and use locally. We feel privileged to be able to learn so much from our community partners and research participants.

Sarah Huang

Purdue University
Graduate Student in Anthropology
huang727@purdue.edu

I joined the Women and Men’s Leadership and Strength Project in 2014. As a project team member I am interested in the historical and cultural traditions of whaling and subsistence foods in the community. Throughout this project, I have been blessed to participate in Nalukataq and learn about the celebration of the spring whaling season as well as be a part of the community sharing of food. I have also been welcomed into homes and kitchens with warm hearts and warm ovens to learn how to fry Eskimo donuts and whale steak. I have been truly blessed to experience the cultural connections through Iñupiaq foods and families.

Charlene Apok

University of Alaska Fairbanks
Graduate Student in Rural Development

crapok@alaska.edu
I joined the Women’s and Men’s Leadership and Strength project in 2014. It has been a special experience to work for and learn from the people in Barrow. I am thankful to be part of a project that is committed to being community based. As an Iñupiaq, it has been especially transformative to continually be immersed in cultural learning and practices while balancing and negotiating how research can serve and benefit our people. In this way, having a role as an indigenous scholar continues to be both challenging but equally rewarding.

Charlotte Ambrozek

Ilisagvik College Cooperative Extension
Village Outreach VISTA
charlotte.ambrozek@ilisagvik.edu
I joined the Women’s and Men’s Leadership and Strength project in July 2015. The project allowed me to explore a deeper and different side of living well in Barrow. I continue to be inspired by the power of subsistence and traditional livelihoods and experiences in helping guide leaders and foster strength. Through my time with the project I continued to work with Cooperative Extension at Ilisagvik College on cooking, nutrition, and finance focused wellness for families and future families.

Acknowledgements

Thank you
This research was supported by an NSF Office of Polar Programs ASSP Grant #1304660 and the College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University, Kinley Trust Grant.

We continue to be thankful for and honored by the generous time community members have shared with us. We would like to also thank our project advisors, research participants, and the community of Barrow, the Native Village of Barrow, IHC, ICAS, UIC, UMIAQ, BASC, and all the organizations and institutions who have opened their homes and lands to us. Quyanaqpak!

Color photos were taken by the leadership and strength team members, the Ilisagvik College Marketing Department, or Tuzzy Consortium Library. Historical photos are reproduced from the Iñupiat Heritage Center.

Website designed and developed by Chapas Design

Contact

To learn more about the project, please contact

Laura Zanotti
Department of Anthropology
Purdue University
lzanotti@purdue.edu