Decades before scientists recognised the looming dangers of climate change, the elders of one of Alaska’s indigenous groups, the Yupik people, shared a profound warning with their children. “When the world changes”, they said, “the weather will change along with the people”. Over fifty years later, the impact of climate change on Alaska’s environment and population is becoming more and more visible.
The Central Alaskan Yupik people, who have retained their native language and culture despite centuries of Russian and American influence, now face their toughest challenge yet. How will this society, which is so close to nature, adapt to the changing natural landscape around them? By following hunters, fishermen, dog mushers, pilots, and politicians, we discover a new face of Alaska, one marked by the thaw of the land, and the voice of a culture in peril. Does their experience prefigure our own global future?