Alaska Native Resilience
Voices from World War II
- PUBLISHED: April 2024
- SUBJECT LISTING: Native American and Indigenous Studies, History / American History, Pacific Northwest / History
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 240 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 42 b&w illus. and 5 maps
- SERIES: Indigenous Confluences
- ISBN: 9780295752525
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
The US government justified its World War II occupation of Alaska as a defense against Japan’s invasion of the Aleutian Islands, but it equally served to advance colonial expansion in relation to the geographically and culturally diverse Indigenous communities affected. Offering important Alaska Native experiences of this history, Holly Miowak Guise draws on a wealth of oral histories and interviews with Indigenous elders to explore the multidimensional relationship between Alaska Natives and the US military during the Pacific War. The forced relocation and internment of Unangax̂ in 1942 proved a harbinger of Indigenous loss and suffering in World War II Alaska. Violence against Native women, assimilation and Jim Crow segregation, and discrimination against Native servicemen followed the colonial blueprint. Yet Alaska Native peoples took steps to enact their sovereignty and restore equilibrium to their lives by resisting violence and disrupting attempts at US control. Their subversive actions altered the colonial structures imposed upon them by maintaining Indigenous spaces and asserting sovereignty over their homelands. A multifaceted challenge to conventional histories, Alaska Native Resilience shares the experiences of Indigenous peoples from across Alaska to reveal long-overlooked demonstrations of Native opposition to colonialism.
Authors & Contributors
Holly Miowak Guise (Iñupiaq) is assistant professor of history at the University of New Mexico.
""Through prioritizing Indigenous voices, Holly Guise’s analytical framework of ‘equilibrium restoration’ provides a provocative lens for uncovering Indigenous agency in more meaningful ways than just resilience or resistance normally reveal.""- Joshua L. Reid, author of The Sea Is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs