Traditional Resources and Customary Practices
Commonly referred to as "cultural resources" in regulatory processes, traditional resources and customary practices are characteristics of the environment or activities that groups consider historically or socially important. All too often cultural resources tend to be narrowly defined as archaeological sites and historic buildings. This is unfortunate, especially in Alaska, and not the intent of the laws and regulations governing our heritage. These laws and regulations are meant to consider and address effects and impacts to uses of the environment, religious places and spiritual practices, historic and archaeological resources, cultural objects and historical documents, oral histories, wildlife and plants, and other aspects that reflect the values, history, and culture of groups that may be effected or impacted by proposed projects and government management.
Cultural Alaska is an Alaskan-owned and Anchorage-based small business striving to preserve traditional resources and customary practices by partnering with tribes, communities, organizations, businesses, agencies, and the public. Whereas most firms specializing in documenting cultural resources focus their efforts on documenting archaeological resources and historic buildings, Cultural Alaska will work with you on a holistic approach to include the tangible and intangible aspects of your traditional resources and customary activities. As a small business, Cultural Alaska can quickly adapt to meet your needs, schedule, and budget. In addition, our small size means lower rates due to fewer overhead and administrative costs.
Owner & Archaeologist
I moved to Alaska 11 years ago as a single guy with Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and five years of experience working as an archaeologist in the Midwest. Since moving to Alaska, I've become a husband and father who has obtained a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. I've continued to work as an archaeologist as well as conduct ethnographic research throughout the state. During this time, my experience has been primarily in the private sector assisting project proponents and governments navigate cultural resource permitting processes and fulfilling their obligations under these processes. I have worked on more than 60 projects documenting traditional resources and customary activities. These projects include conducting archaeological and ethnographic research for transportation, oil & gas, communication, and mining projects, as well as for studies requested by tribes, communities, boroughs, and the state of Alaska. It is this experience that will benefit you, your traditional resources, and your customary practices in the regulatory processes.