Miners, Trappers, Hunting Guides, and Homesteaders: An Ethnographic Overview and Assessment

For the Love of Freedom Miners, Trappers, Hunting Guides, and Homesteaders: An Ethnographic Overview and Assessment
For the Love of Freedom Miners, Trappers, Hunting Guides, and Homesteaders: An Ethnographic Overview and Assessment

Photo developed and colored by Hubrick Photo Studio, McCarthy, Alaska, circa 1925. Estate of Alvina Schultz Collection, McCarthy-Kennicott Historical Museum.

For the Love of Freedom Miners, Trappers, Hunting Guides, and Homesteaders: An Ethnographic Overview and Assessment, by Karen Brewster.

This ethnographic overview and assessment documents the culture and traditions of non-Native communities and occupational groups traditionally associated with what is now Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, and demonstrates their use of park resources or occupancy of lands within park boundaries. These communities and occupational groups include, but are not limited to, small-scale miners, trappers, sport hunting guides, and homesteaders. Drawing upon existing ethnographic and historical documentation and oral history recordings along with some new oral history interviews conducted for this project, this study discusses what brought these groups of people to the region, why they chose to stay, and how they were able to make a living. It illustrates the adaptation, determination, flexibility, independence, and devotion of people who were once outsiders to transform a new and wild place into their home.

Recommendations are made for future historical and ethnographic research to address identified data gaps. The Annotated Bibliography developed as part of this project is available to download as a separate volume.

Last updated: October 10, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve
PO Box 439
Mile 106.8 Richardson Highway

Copper Center, AK 99573

Phone:

(907) 822-5234

Contact Us