The goals of the Alaska Native Science Commission are to:

  • Facilitate the inclusion of local and traditional knowledge into research and science.
  • Participate in and influence priorities for research.
  • Seek participation of Alaska Natives at all levels of science.
  • Provide a mechanism for community feedback on results and other scientific activities.
  • Promote science to Native youth.
  • Encourage Native people to enter scientific disciplines.
  • Ensure that Native people share in the economic benefits derived from their intellectual property.


Targeted areas of concern identified by the Native community include:

  1. Environmental health and the causes of disease that are specific to Alaska Natives, especially the types of cancers that are killing the young and non-substance abusers.

  2. Elements and conditions that contribute to the survival of Native cultures and societies, and identification of major barriers to cultural survival.

  3. Partnerships with agencies and researchers who have supported community involvement in research and work well with the Native communities.

  4. Active community involvement in science and research which:

  • Inform communities of their rights regarding research done on their environment or people.
  • Establishes community research standards and protocols.
  • Establishes standard research reviews to address issues of local concern and cultural values.
  • Assures that scientists work with communities on the direction and design of research.
  • Channels communication of research results in a practical manner back to communities which are most impacted.
  • Helps scientists work directly with students who are interested in the classroom and at the research site to foster interest and involvement.
  • Promotes hire of local people to assist with research.
  • Prepares locally-held knowledge of community resources.
  • Promotes student learning through elders.
  • Encourages and supports students who are interested in science to become actively involved in the research of their people and homelands.
  • Establishes local standards for the utilization of traditional knowledge with consideration of intellectual property rights.