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.