University of Alaska PRESS

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Book Cover

Through Their Eyes

A Community History of Eagle, Circle, and Central

by Koskey, Michael (ed.)

Lotvonen, Varpu (ed)

Tyrrell, Laurel (ed.)

195 p., 30 halftones, 2 maps, 2 tables, 6 x 9

Format: Paper and electronic

Price: $19.95

2018

The towns of Eagle, Circle, and Central are tucked away in the cold, rugged, and sparsely populated central-eastern interior of Alaska. These communities have fewer than three hundred residents in an area of more than 22,000 square miles. Yet they are closely linked by the Yukon River and by history itself.

Through their Eyes is a glimpse into the past and present of these communities, showing how their survival has depended on centuries of cooperation. The towns have roots in the gold rushes but they are also located within the traditional territories of the Hän Hwëch’in, the Gwichyaa Gwich’in, and Denduu Gwich’in Dena (Athabascan) peoples. Over time, residents have woven together new heritages, adopting and practicing each other’s traditions. This book combines oral accounts with archival research to create a rich portrayal of life in rural Alaska villages. Many of the stories come directly from the residents of these communities, giving an inside perspective on the often colorful events that characterize life in Eagle, Circle, and Central.

Michael Koskey is assistant professor and chair of the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies at University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is the author of Cultural Activity and Market Enterprise: A Circumpolar Comparison of Reindeer Herding Communities at the End of the 20th Century. Laurel Tyrrell is a resident of Central, Alaska, and lives a subsistence lifestyle with her family. Varpu Lotvonen is a doctoral student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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