Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2017

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Social Work

Additional Affiliations

Brown School of Social Work

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This dissertation explains the relationship between participation in governance and well-being in the Yukon Flats. To garner a deeper understanding of this relationship, definitions of governance and well-being are sought from the participants, thus providing holistic, Indigenous definitions of these concepts. Both formal and informal governance are also explored to understand the important institutions that underpin these larger relationships. Lastly, this dissertation investigates the relationship between participation in traditional hunting, fishing, and gathering and well-being in the Yukon Flats. Qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews, observations, and photographs are all used to document these relationships. Applied thematic analysis is used due to its efficacy when conducting team research and also because of its effectiveness in presenting stories and experiences of participants truthfully and inclusively. These methods are also culturally congruent with Alaska Native epistemologies. This research has relevancy for Alaska Native and American Indian communities, policymakers, and state and federal officials who are all charged with sustaining natural resources and simultaneously creating healthy communities where people are well in all aspects of their life.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Michael Sherraden

Committee Members

Carolyn K. Lesorogol, Molly Tovar, Bret Gustafson, David A. Patterson,


Permanent URL: