Meetings in Third Space: Heterotopias and the Changing Culture of Alaska Natives


Cynthia Romer

Date of Completion


Document Type

Campus Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Robert Ricketts

Second Advisor

Jeremy Szteiter


The Alaska Native community has created a heterotopia (transformative/other space) in the form of regional Native corporations due to the forced evolution of their culture by colonization. These regional corporate heterotopias have in turn metamorphosized into representational entities. This situation has led to the creation of a “third space”; a space where the traditional and modern Native community comes together with the transformed regional corporations in order to communicate. Although the origins of this space can be traced to colonialism, it has been transmuted by the Alaska Native community and is in the process of becoming a meeting place where traditional Native culture can meet modern Native culture to create a new cultural paradigm. This essay is framed combining Western paradigms and traditional ways of knowing in the Alaska Native culture to explore the concepts of heterotopia and third space using a metacognitive and philosophical framework.


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