Village Economics in Rural Alaska-Social and Economic Interactions in Three Island Communities in the Bering Sea

The goal of this study was to analyze the nature of social and economic interactions in three island communities in the Bering Sea: Gambell and Alakanuk on St. Lawrence Island, and St. Paul in the Pribilof Islands. Household survey, leadership interview, and archival data sources were used to examine the degree to which natural resource harvesting activities and reciprocal sharing of food and other resources remained important aspects of life in the villages in the mid-1980s. The study was pioneering in its systematic documentation and analysis of dynamic interactions between subsistence activities and commercial fishing endeavors that, together with public sector transfers, comprised the basis of village economies at the time of the study.