Food Security & Sovereignty

Graphic of a basket containing berries and carrotsThe UAF Chukchi Campus located in Kotzebue, Alaska is above the Arctic Circle in a food rich local environment, food that has traditionally supported the Native people living in this region for millenia. To supplement these food resources available from the land and ocean, the Food Security and Sovereignty (FSS) project supports the development of domestic agriculture in this harsh and short growing environment.  FSS enhances local sustainable food production through the development and cultivation of three food sources: an outdoor demonstration garden with crops such as potatoes, lettuce and cabbage; a native food garden with traditionally gathered and eaten plants from the tundra; and a hydroponic growing system to produce greens, tomatoes and other salad material. Using alternative energy in the hydroponics growing system, we are able to enhance food security by providing a sustainable energy source for year round controlled growing.

FSS has strong participation by local community members including local youth and youth serving programs. The multiple workshops and experiential learning opportunities available through this Project build knowledge and skills that can be applied to personal gardens, native food gathering and food preservation. Community members are encouraged to volunteer in building and maintaining the gardens, while learning how to grow common food plants in the gardens located at Chukchi Campus. The emphasis of FSS is fostering the understanding between subsistence and agriculture and how both benefit the region in terms of secure sources of healthy, locally grown produce and traditional food.

Contact: Minnie Naylor, Interim Director of Chukchi Campus (907) 474-6616 |

A light blue shipping container on a trailer with a Chukchi Gardens banner hanging on it

Gardeners reaching into colorfully painted garden boxes

Top photo: Chukchi Campus staff  introduced the importance of thinning your garden to free up root space.  

Bottom photo: Hydroponic growing system using sustainable energy in Kotzebue, Alaska.