“Holistic Approach” Pilot Project in Oscarville
In Fall 2014, a group of rural development professionals and agency leaders held the first roundtable on a Holistic Approach to Sustainable Northern Communities. The roundtable brought together federal, state, and local partners to develop a more collaborative approach to projects in rural Alaska. While issues like energy, housing, transportation, sanitation, health, and economic development are typically addressed by separate agencies, they are all interconnected. This project uses a holistic approach driven by the community and leverages the expertise and resources of agency partners.
Oscarville, a small Yup’ik village in southwest Alaska, volunteered as a pilot project for the holistic approach. Oscarville has a major housing need on top of high energy costs. Through a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, Oscarville worked with CCHRC, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and partners to create a Climate Adaptation Plan. The plan includes ways to create jobs, adapt subsistence life, and make the community more resilient to change.