First Time Visitors
The documents posted on this site have been developed for easy access and use
by Alaska Tribes. Unintentionally, we are increasingly receiving
hits from a broader audience with which we are happy to be
able to share our information. We have noted in the past however
that those unfamiliar with the conditions and circumstances
in Alaska Native Villages are apt to generate seemingly obvious
solutions to the Village solid waste and water sanitation
problems. However, there are many reasons that these problems
exist. These reasons include socio-, cultural-, economic,
legal-, logistical-, and infrastructural considerations and
all must be taken into account or failure will likely result
(and has, in numerous instances). Wherever in the world you
are, no project, no program, and no protocol will succeed
in the long-term without the explicit involvement of, guidance
by, and courteous respect for, the people who are to benefit.
Conventional engineering only works in conventional communities
because the context is implicitly included. Engineering in
non-conventional communities must be carried out by explicitly
revisiting each assumption and replacing it with one that
The below references are provided for those wishing to understand
in part the inherent complexities involved in working with
Villages to improve sanitation conditions.
Alaska Natives Commission. Final Report. Anchorage, AK, Vol.1-3,
Alaska Commission on Rural Governance and Empowerment (ACRGE),
Final Report to the Governor.
U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. An Alaska
Challenge: Native Village Sanitation. Washington, DC: U.S.
GPO,OTA-ENV-591, 1994. http://www.fas.org/ota/reports/9401.pdf
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Water Division. Federal
Field Workgroup Report to Congress on Alaska Rural Sanitation.
Seattle, WA: U.S. GPO, EPA 910/R-95-002, 1995.
Napoleon, Harold, edited by Eric Madsen, Yunyaraq: The Way
of Being Human
Zender, Lynn, “Solid
Waste Management on Indian Reservations: Limitations
of Conventional Solid Waste Engineering”,
Doctoral Dissertation, University of California,
Davis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering,