ABSTRACT. Recent surveys of high school students in Alaska’s Northwest Arctic and Bristol Bay regions reflect the social changes taking place in rural Native communities. Significant differences exist between the aspirations of young people in small villages and those in the larger towns that constitute regional hubs (Kotzebue and Dillingham). Town students, who attend more complete and varied high schools, express greater confidence in their educations and more interest in attending college. Jobs at Red Dog Mine, recently opened in the Northwest Arctic, appeal particularly to young males with strong ties to village life. This labor pool presents special challenges for the mine’s goal of 100% Native employment, however. A majority of town students and about half of the village students expect to migrate permanently away from their home region. The likelihood of expecting migration increases curvilinearly with community size.Young women and collegeaspiring students disproportionately expect outmigration. Differential migration affects the acculturation and life prospects of individuals and shapes the demographic profile of Alaskan villages, towns, and cities.

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Journal Title



Arctic Institute of North America

Document Type



c The Arctic Institute of North America

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Sociology Commons