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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Case Study of the Cook Inlet Regional, Incorporated 2000 Special Distribution

  • Author(s): DuBois, Peter James
  • Advisor(s): Champagne, Duane
  • et al.

This case study involves Alaska Natives and how traditional narrative influences economic ethic. Alaska Natives are organized into Village Corporations and regional Alaska Native Corporations, with Village Corporations composed of traditional villages and Alaska Native Corporations roughly corresponding to traditional cultural areas. In the year 2000, CIRI gave a special distribution of $500 per shares to its shareholders. Most shareholders own 100 shares and received $50,000. I interviewed CIRI shareholders who received this amount on how they used the money from the special distribution, and classified uses as traditional, mainstream American capitalist, or as uses that could be characterized as either. For this case study, I discuss traditional Yupik narrative and cultural values and how the uses characterized as traditional are consistent with traditional cultural values. I briefly discuss mainstream American lottery winners and research on how they use a comparable windfall to provide an example of how a mainstream American might use a similar amount of money.

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