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A History of Dwelling in the Kivalina Region

Towards a history of dwelling-site selection in the kivalina region: rendering visible knowledge/power relations of inhabitation, confinement, and movement.  

The contemporary discourse surround Kivalina’s relocation has come to be characterized by urgency, uncertainty, and risk. In order to shift the mood from vulnerability to resilient possibility and support a culturally specific and situational site selection(s) for relocation and/or expansion, this project places the narrative of relocation on a continuum of inhabitation of the Kivalina region by Inupiaq people over time.

A history of dwelling-site selection in the Kivalina region reveals centuries of choice exercised under various forms of constraint. Through consultation with village leadership, locally guided site visits, and archival research, this project will make visible the ways in which the people of the region skillfully negotiate environmental, governmental, cultural, economic, and global forces.

Through written and visual methods we will re-present this site selection history to the village, Re-Locate project participants, representatives from agencies relevant to Kivalina’s relocation, and global audiences.

Project Lead:
P. Joshua Griffin, M.Div, M.A.
University of Washington, Seattle
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Anthropology

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