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Cross-Strait Beringia Days Celebrated in Alaska


Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
September 9, 2011

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With more than 225 participants from across the Bering Strait region, the Beringia Days International Conference was held in Nome, Alaska in early September. Organized by the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) and Alaska’s Institute of the North—and supported by numerous regional organizations—Beringia Days celebrates the shared natural and cultural resource heritage of the cross-strait Beringia region. Native leaders, scientists, governmental representatives, and local residents from both Russia and the United States gathered to learn more about projects funded by the NPS Shared Beringia Heritage Program. They shared ideas about what a proposed joint U.S.-Russia Beringia heritage area would look like and offered insights on the importance of greater bilateral cooperation in the Beringia region for native families and communities. A youth forum also took place concurrently. Photos of Beringia Days are available on the NPS website. Prior to Beringia Days, BPC Environment Working Group coordinator Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Reifsnyder visited four native subsistence villages with the Superintendent of the NPS's Western Arctic Parklands unit. They heard local concerns about increased commercial development, shipping, and the impact of climate change on the region.

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