In rural Alaska villages, families struggle to survive - CNN.com
This article came out on cnn recently describing some of the hardships that people who live in rural Alaska are facing these days. The problem has actually been escalating in recent years, with the rise in fuel costs and such. I had a bit of a lively debate with a friend on the matter who felt that these people should move to an area where they can survive with more ease.
I think it's an interesting question actually. Many of the people affected are people indigenous to rural Alaska. Their people, for hundreds (or thousands?) of years were able to live off of the land. I'm sure there were years of famine and such, but they were still able to survive. But something in the way they live has changed. Now, rather than relying 100% on the food foraged, they must spend money to travel and spend exorbitant amounts of money for necessities such as milk and eggs. Of course, these were not necessities until recent history.
What I'm wondering is this.. has a dependence on technology and adaptation to the ways of modern civilization been a detriment to their way of life? I'm sure that quality of life may have improved by having a more varied diet. And of course, fuel heated homes are much easier than working to gather wood from the land to keep a fire burning for heat. But implementing changes that cost money, being involved in the monetary trade for survival with a deviation from traditional methods of 100% working off the land might not have been an even trade off. I don't really think that it's fair to say that these people should be required to move if they can't make things work there in their ancestral lands, but reverting to a more traditional way of life may be impossible now.
But what is the solution to their woes? Should the state subsidize funds to those citizens in order to help support a living link in history? Or should they say tough luck? If you live there, you need to support yourself more?