The DEER Study

Documenting the Ethnohistory and Ethnoarchaeology of Reindeer (DEER) on the Alaska Peninsula

The DEER study documents the ethnohistory and ethnoarchaeology of reindeer from 1905—1950 and explores the legacies of herding on the Alaska Peninsula. It also investigates the migration of Inupiat to the central Alaska Peninsula in the early 1900s. One of our objectives is to shed light on a relatively unknown facet of the “American period” of Southwest Alaska by considering the connections between Inupiat migratory waves and reindeer economics in the region. This focus not only covers diverse themes, such as reindeer economics, cross-cultural relations, and perceptions of the environment, but it also helps us to understand how people creatively exploit changing circumstances to make their lives go well. The DEER study also contributes to broader discussions in circumpolar pastoralism, including human-animal relations, migration, mobility and global markets.