The Atna’ and the Political Ecology of the Copper River Fishery, Alaska

Davin L. Holen


Political ecology is a holistic mode of inquiry that applies political analysis to issues of resource use, specifically access by actors and organizations interacting in defined social and cultural contexts. This paper uses a political ecology perspective to reveal how the Atna’, an Athabaskan people of south-central Alaska who have no treaty rights to resources, use their knowledge of their environment to articulate a specific claim to Copper River salmon. Three case studies of Atna’ public activism are presented demonstrating Atna’ participation in the governmental regulatory process.

  • Davin L. Holen, Division of Subsistence, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, 333 Raspberry Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99518

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