During the winter 2009, when oil prices reached record levels, residents of Native villages in rural Alaska were faced with the decision of whether to buy food to feed their families or fuel to heat their homes. A heavily restricted fishing season had left people who rely on a healthy salmon run for both commercial gain and personal substance requirements were left with very little cash to survive the winter without help.
These proud people cried out for help and Alaska’s politically-charged blogging community jumped in to help even before the state’s government officials responded. Flat rate Priority Mail boxes filled with staple items were reaching residents and cash donations were being accepted by a number of entities that were willing to help.
Given the dynamic nature of blogs, this site was created by a group of anonymous and semi-anonymous bloggers to serve as a clearinghouse for those wishing to help bush Alaskans. As winter turned to spring and record-breaking floods wreaked havoc in communities along the Yukon, we tried to help get the word out about this disaster and ways people could help in the rebuilding of the community of Eagle, totally destroyed by the flood.
We are now moving forward, hoping to bring awareness to the issues facing rural Alaska — the rural/urban divide, the need for science driven approaches in issues dealing with the state resources, both living (fish, wildlife and Native people) and mineral (oil, gas and precious metals) and the extreme costs facing people struggling to survive after thousands of years of living off the land.