Knowledge Lost in Regulation: How Changing Policy Regimes on the Yukon River for Subsistence Fishing Influence Intergenerational Knowledge Transmission

Authors: Victoria Walsey*, Northwest Indian College
Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Human-Environment Geography, Polar Regions
Keywords: Keywords: King Salmon, Yukon River, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Alaskan Youth, Cultural loss
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Chairman's Boardroom, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


For Indigenous peoples the processes and mechanizes that surround learning also connect to culture. This article contextualizes the connections between Indigenous knowledge systems and the process of transmitting knowledge within a generation and the value to an Indigenous people’s culture and tradition for this to happen. When something, even small as decreasing the fishing season for King Salmon on the Yukon River in Alaska there are negative effects for the intergenerational knowledge transmission processes between Alaska Native fishers and future generations. Indigenous knowledge systems are essential to the development of tradition and aid to shape culture and define one’s ability to live and relate to an environment. Subsistence fishing is a practice connected to Alaskan Native culture and iterated is a framework to investigate this practice as a mechanism to transmit culture and knowledge to allow intergenerational learning to take place. When the process for intergenerational knowledge transmission or iterated learning is interrupted, the data, or biases from one generation to the next are not allowed to manifest and contribute to culture and the learning process is altered. As the practice of subsistence fishing is limited or managed this also limits Alaskan Native youths access to knowledge and negatively affects the cultural transmission between generations of Alaska Native Fishers. This study aims to identify how important an activity such as subsistence fishing for King Salmon on the Yukon River can alter traditional ecological knowledge through the transmission process between generations and ramifications for the learner and the knowledge.

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