A Holistic Definition of Healthy Traditional Harvest Practices for Rural Indigenous Communities in Interior Alaska


  • Krista M. Heeringa University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Orville Huntington Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • Brooke Woods Tanana Chiefs Conference
  • F. Stuart Chapin III University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Richard E. Hum University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Todd J. Brinkman University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Workshop Participants




Indigenous Food Systems, Wild Foods, Interior Alaska, Traditional Livelihoods, Food Security, Food Sovereignty, Climate Change


Traditional harvest practices of the harvesting and sharing of fish, wildlife, and other wild resources are an integral source of food security that support physical, mental, and spiritual wellness, education, socio-economic development, and cultural identity of Indigenous communities in Interior Alaska. Many significant changes, including climate change, are impacting this way of life and challenging secure access to foods vital for sustenance and cultural preservation. We use a case study approach to develop a holistic and place-based definition of traditional harvest practices of Indigenous commu­nities in rural Interior Alaska that expands upon commonly accepted definitions of food security. This definition emphasizes the role of ecological health, culture, and decision-making power in strengthening food security and sovereignty. We also highlight how multistakeholer partnerships foster capacity building that can support commu­nities in their efforts to advocate for food security and sovereignty.

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Author Biographies

Krista M. Heeringa, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Community Partnerships for Self Reliance

Orville Huntington, Tanana Chiefs Conference

Wildlife and Parks

Brooke Woods, Tanana Chiefs Conference

Hunting and Fishing Task Force

F. Stuart Chapin III, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Professor Emeritus, Ecology, Institute of Arctic Biology

Richard E. Hum, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Assistant Professor of Cross Cultural Studies; Center for Cross Cultural Studies

Todd J. Brinkman, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Institute of Arctic Biology



How to Cite

Heeringa, K., Huntington, O., Woods, B., Chapin, F. S., Hum, R., Brinkman, T., & Workshop Participants. (2019). A Holistic Definition of Healthy Traditional Harvest Practices for Rural Indigenous Communities in Interior Alaska. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(B), 115–129. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2019.09B.009



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