Los Angeles Times

Alaska North Slope Elections

The recent 2011 elections for mayor of Alaska's vast North Slope Borough reflected deep divides in a community that depends on subsistence whale hunting for food and whose only major source of income is oil exports. Now oil drilling is moving out of Prudhoe Bay and into the Arctic waters on which the Inupiat Eskimos have depended for millennia, and fears of an oil spill like the Exxon Valdez or BP's Deepwater Horizon have driven the community into deep self-examination of the values they cherish as native people.Will Rose and Kajsa Sjolander