Towards Ethical Youth Consumerism in Alaska: The Transformation of Alaskan Education and a Viable Transition off Fossil Fuels and the Consumer Pipeline

Part of the Cultural Studies of Science Education book series (CSSE, volume 16)


This chapter explores an educational philosophy that incorporates lessons on ethical youth consumerism and our connections to one another as human beings and to the land and animals where we live. This philosophy is a crucial component in finding the solutions we need so desperately in Alaska and around the world to ensure a healthy planet for future generations. It addresses Alaska’s over-reliance on fossil fuels, rapid changes due to anthropogenic climate change, and our unconscious hyper-consumerism that have created serious social, economic, and environmental issues. Here, I examine the history of damage caused by the assimilationist policies of the United States, the capitalist focus on the individual over the community, and how our own unrecognized oppression might help foster a “just transition” away from fossil fuels. By harnessing the unleashed potential of our youth, we could together find ways of being that are more in line with the traditional Alaska Native values of zero waste and total respect for our ecosystems.


Alaska native Climate change Ecojustice Transformative moral education Just transition 



Hai’choo shizheh k’aa naii. I am so grateful for my Ancestors, to shijyaa naii and family. For the Porcupine Caribou Herd and all animal and plant beings, the water, air, and land of Alaska that make our way of life possible. To my professors at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Fairbanks campuses. I am eternally grateful to Professors Mike Mueller (fellow Ecojustice warrior!), Paul Ongtooguk, and Timothy Jester who consistently believed I could complete this M.Ed. degree at UAA (even with a newborn) and stretched my critical thinking about the injustices faced by Alaska Native peoples. To my mother, Adeline Peter-Raboff, who always set high expectations on her children for pursing education as a life-long journey and my mother-in-law, Clara Anderson, who dedicated many years of her life to the education of Alaska Native people and founded the Interior-Aleutians Campus at UAF. To my husband, James C. Johnson, who patiently stood by my side and said “write, just write” and to our sons, Delnor, K’edzaaye’, and Aldzak who are the embers of my passion and who begrudgingly shared me with my books and my long trips to work on protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and our Native ways of life. And lastly, to all the beautiful youth who give me so much hope!


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Alaska AnchorageAnchorageUSA

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