Negotiating Salmon: Ontologies and Resource Mangement in Southwest Alaska

Paula Elise Schiefer* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Current environmental crises disclose power hierarchies, such as within the ne-gotiation of how to distribute natural resources. This paper focuses on the importance of ack-nowledging human-animal relationships and lived realities within the co-management and conservation of resources. The research draws on conflicting ontologies that can be found around salmon conservation in Southwest Alaska, especially around returning king salmon in the Kuskokwim River, which has seen a decline in numbers over the last decade. It illustrates the importance of considering the ontological constitutions of animals as beings, which ren-ders the understanding of how human-animal relations can be maintained throughout crises. Rather than perpetuating the assumption that salmon are ›natural‹ objects, but understood and known differently by indigenous communities, the ontological approach enables us to recognize that salmon are not one entity but constituted beings in enacted worlds.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcological Ontologies
Subtitle of host publicationApproaching Human–Environmental Engagements
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Number of pages76
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021


  • Resource Materialities
  • Political Ontology
  • Resource Management
  • Conservation
  • salmon


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