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A new book explores the brief flowering of the white fox fur trade during the early twentieth century in the Western Arctic, from Canada to Siberia. It's a far reaching economic, cultural, and ecological account of a period in Alaskan, Canadian, and Russo-Soviet history that tends to be overlooked, despite the boom times it created.

"The impact in the north was immense. As traders moved in and established posts and bartered for pelts, Native peoples abandoned traditional subsistence economies and diets in favor of the goods and foodstuffs they could acquire from traders. The traditional means by which they had long thrived in such a harsh environment gave way as villages centered around trading posts, missions and schools replaced the migratory lifestyle that Arctic survival had always demanded."

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David James is an Alaskan author and literary critic whose work has been published by the Anchorage Daily News, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Anchorage Press, Alaska Dispatch News, and Ester Republic. He is editing a forthcoming anthology of Alaska writing.


The Literacy Council of Alaska helps immigrants in Fairbanks find their way to work, success, and citizenship.
“In the borough there are over 10 thousand people who don’t speak English as their first language. That’s over 10 percent of our population,” explained Mike Kolasa, the council’s executive director, adding, “Last year we had 175 English language learners students.”
A winding path brought Chidozie Menakaya from Lagos, Nigeria, to Fairbanks, Alaska. The latest installment in "Becoming Alaskan."
When I landed back in Fairbanks and walked through those airport doors, I was relieved,” recalled Chidozie Menakaya after returning to Alaska from Lagos, Nigeria. “I thought, ‘What does that mean if Fairbanks gives me relief?’” Then he broke out laughing.