Community partnerships for self-reliance

Drying salmon (Krista Heeringa)

Community Partnerships for Self-Reliance (CPS) partners with rural communities as they work toward their vision for self-reliance. We support community driven responses to self-reliance and sustainability challenges by identifying and linking relevant information and research support. 

CPS was formed through the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) in partnership with the Alaska Native Science Commission through the Community Partnership for Self-Reliance and Sustainability pilot project. 

The 2013 pilot project was a collaboration with residents of Igiugig, Newtok, Koyukuk, and Nikolai.  Each community identified 1–3 issues where research expertise from UAF could help them meet their goals for self-reliance. The partnerships:

  • provided advice to Igiugig on a plan that integrates multiple renewable energy sources,
  • documented the flood history of Koyukuk to enable the community to plan and receive funding for flood-safe infrastructure, 
  • clarified the legal constraints and opportunities for village relocation in Newtok, and 
  • facilitated communication between Nikolai and ADF&G that allowed the community to obtain enough fish for winter that had been threatened by the Kuskokwim River salmon fishing closure.

Community Research Partnerships for Supporting Sustainable Traditional Harvest Practices

UAF Community Partnerships for Self-Reliance is launching a new initiative in collaboration with Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments, Tanana Chiefs Conference, and the Alaska Department of Fish & Game with financial support from the National Science Foundation.

Traditional harvest practices are an important part of community self-reliance, wellbeing, and sustainability for Alaska Native communities.  The impacts from climate change, changes in wildlife and fish availability, energy prices, and subsistence regulations all present significant challenges to rural communities’ self-reliance. Developing research capacity within communities that addresses local needs and resource concerns in the context of these rapid changes requires collaboration from many people with diverse skills and perspectives.

Through these research partnerships we would like to collaborate with communities to implement projects that the communities feel would strengthen traditional harvest practices.

Areas of expertise: 
Research collaboration
SNAP Contact: