Total, as well as free, T4 and T3 levels were obtained over four seasons for young male infantry soldiers assigned to interior Alaska. Significant seasonal variations were found in both T3 and T4. Total T4 and T3 levels were highest in winter, while free T4 and T3 levels were highest in early spring. Correlations with melatonin levels from a concurrent study showed an association between late day (17.00) mean spot melatonin levels during the preceding summer and T3 levels in winter and spring. Differences in seasonal T4 and T3 levels between indigenous and newly arrived people in the sub-Arctic may be related not only to cold acclimation but also to light.
Arctic peoples today find themselves on the front line of rapid environmental change brought about by globalizing forces, shifting climates, and destabilizing physical conditions. The weather is not the only thing undergoing rapid change here. Social climates are intrinsically connected to physical climates, and changes within each have profound effects on the daily life, health, and well-being of circumpolar indigenous peoples. This paper describes a collaborative effort between university researchers and community members from five indigenous communities in the circumpolar north aimed at comparing the experiences of indigenous Arctic youth in order to come up with a shared model of indigenous youth resilience. The discussion introduces a sliding scale model that emerged from the comparative data analysis. It illustrates how a "sliding scale" of resilience captures the inherent dynamism of youth strategies for "doing well" and what forces represent positive and negative influences that slide towards either personal and communal resilience or vulnerability. The model of the sliding scale is designed to reflect the contingency and interdependence of resilience and vulnerability and their fluctuations between lowest and highest points based on timing, local situation, larger context, and meaning.
This article examines challenges, coping strategies, and resilience among Eveny adolescents in northeastern Siberia. It explores situations which the study participants associate with challenge and hardship, namely their experiences of transition from life in the family reindeer herding camp to schooling at the age of 7, bullying, boredom, and violence. By situating the data within the Eveny framework of resilience (khinem), the study provides the ethnographic context for coping strategies and efforts (e.g., sharing, inter- and intragenerational support, availability of safe homes) undertaken by the community in order to mitigate the situations of risk and hardship and to facilitate adolescents' resilience. The account emphasizes that instead of identifying adolescents as either resilient or vulnerable, it is necessary to explore culturally specific processes and practices which potentially contribute to their acquisition of resilience.
Indigenous circumpolar youth are experiencing challenges of growing up in a context much different from that of their parents and their grandparents due to rapid and imposed social change. Our study is interested in community resilience: the meaning systems, resources, and relationships that structure how youth go about overcoming difficulties. The research reflects an understanding that social and cultural ecologies influence people's available and meaningful options. The in-depth, qualitative study of 20 youth from the same Arctic community shows Inupiat (Alaska Native) youth are navigating challenges. Findings from this research suggest that Inupiat youth reflect more flexible patterns of resilience when they are culturally grounded. This cultural foundation involves kinship networks that mediate young people's access to cultural and material assets. Our participants emphasized the importance of taking care of others and "giving back to the community." Being "in the country" linked youth to traditional ontology that profoundly shifted how youth felt in relation to themselves, to others, and the world. The vast majority of participants' "fulfillment narratives" centered on doing subsistence and/or cultural activities. In relation to this, young people were more likely to demonstrate versatility in their resilience strategies when deploying coherent self-narratives that reflected novel yet culturally resonant styles. Young women were more likely to demonstrate this by reconfiguring notions of culture and gender identity in ways that helped them meet challenges in their lives. Lastly, generational differences in understandings signal particular ways that young people's historical and political positioning influences their access to cultural resources.
Compared to other regions of North America, there have been relatively few paleopathological studies of arctic populations to date, particularly those aimed at elucidating patterns of health and disease prior to contact, and assessing temporal changes in disease patterns. In the present study, four Aleut skeletal samples representing one pre-contact population from Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands (N=65), and three late pre-contact/early contact period populations from Umnak, Kagamil, and Shiprock Islands (N=227), were examined macroscopically for indicators of health status. The analysis revealed some evidence of declining health in the late pre-contact/early contact period. Statistical comparisons of the earlier and later samples indicated a significantly higher frequency of cribra orbitalia and cranial infection in the later sample compared to the earlier one. Archaeological, epidemiological, and historical data point to several possible explanations for these findings, including the introduction of new pathogens by Europeans.
A comparison of identified faunal assemblages from the Dorset site of Phillip's Garden indicates that harp seal hunting was the main focus of activity throughout the site's occupation. Despite the highly specialized nature of site use, it appears that reliance on harp seal decreased over time while fish and birds became increasingly important. These changes may reflect longer seasonal occupations at the site in later centuries, and/or a decrease in the local availability of harp seal. The observed shift coincides with the onset of a local climatic warming trend, which might have affected harp seal movements in the area. Dorset subsistence and settlement patterns in Newfoundland are still poorly understood due to a lack of preserved faunal assemblages in the region. The temporal trend illustrated here indicates that we cannot assume that these patterns were static throughout the Dorset occupation of the island.
For decades, Bible stories have been a source of both conflict and healing. In earlier days, Christian missionaries often went to considerable lengths to question the accuracy of traditional northern Native stories, especially those with supernatural dimensions, and to discredit traditional Native spiritual leaders, such as medicine men and women, angakoks, and shamans. The missionaries’ efforts often undercut Native culture and sometimes contributed to the intergenerational trauma that creates widespread hurt and pain in northern Native communities today. At the same time, a significant number of northern Native people derive considerable solace and support from their Christian beliefs and church affiliations, and many Christian religious organizations active in the North today no longer oppose traditional Native stories, practices, and values. Many northern Native people recognize that there is great value in both Native stories and the stories found in the Bible, but some still feel a tension in trying to reconcile acceptance of both. In his presentation, Walter Porter provided an interesting perspective on this issue, and his approach has considerable potential for healing.
This qualitative study explores community resilience factors within an indigenous S?mi community in Northern Norway. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 22 informants, 12 females and 10 males, ranging in age from 13 to 19 years old, 12 of whom had reindeer husbandry affiliation. Data analysis used a modified grounded theory approach and narrative analysis. Interpretation of the data was based on ecological perspectives theory and the identification of possible community resilience factors including S?mi language competence, use of recreational and natural resources, and traditional ecological knowledge, such as reindeer husbandry related activities. These cultural factors appear to strengthen adolescents' ethnic identity and pride, which in turn act as potential resilience mechanisms. Land was a significant arena for traditional practices and recreation. The majority of the youth reported support from relationships with extended godparents (f?ddarat) and extended family (sohka) networks. The f?ttar network was particularly strong among adolescents with reindeer husbandry affiliations. Native language competence and reindeer husbandry were key components in adolescent social networks. Interconnectedness among the community members and with the environment seemed to promote resilience and well-being. Two factors that excluded adolescents from full community membership and participation were being a nonnative S?mi language speaker and the absence of extended S?mi family networks.
When we talk about narrative, we often focus on the story and the teller, but rarely on the listener. Yet often the first step in healing is finding someone who will listen to you and truly hear your story. Alice Kimiksana and others in the Canadian Arctic village of Holman, who are concerned about the community’s high suicide rate, understand this basic healing principal very well. They have worked together to create a Help Line—a confidential listening and crisis intervention program—for their community. Kimiksana talks about how in Holman, as in other northern communities, trauma led parents to teach their children not to talk about their pain, their fear, or their abusive experiences, including those that occurred in the residential schools. As a result, even years later, the pain, fear, and hurt can become unbearable, leading sometimes to alcohol and drug abuse, and sometimes to violence toward oneself or others. Educational groups, Healing Circles, and youth groups are starting to help. However, unless there are helpers who will listen when people begin to tell their stories, this first step in healing cannot take place and the cycle of intergenerational trauma will not be broken.