Perspectives on Business and Economics, Vol. 40

68 Recommendation: Allocation of Responsibility Any efficient framework for relocating Native Alaskan villages must address the redundancy described previously. The federal and state governments and the ANCs should assume distinct, yet complementary, roles in the relocation procedure. Federal Government The federal government should create an entity to administer relocation. An ombudsperson can serve as a point person dealing with funding and environmental issues. This concept evolved from discussions with Dr. Ristroph (phone interview, December 14, 2021) as well as Ms. Van Cleve (phone interview, November 17, 2021). Each made clear that a point person dedicated to handling relocation functions for the community would be invaluable in expediting the process. Each of the 229 federally recognized tribes would have its own paid ombudsperson who would help the tribal council evaluate the best course of action in response to climate change, including whether relocation is necessary or whether hazard mitigation, such as protect in place, would suffice. The ombudsperson can serve as a common point of contact while promoting individualized consideration of that community and its unique culture. Responsibilities would include developing an understanding for, and articulating the needs of, a particular community, helping the community prioritize their project items during the creation of a hazard mitigation plan, advising on the most suitable course of action for the challenges faced by that community, and submitting grant/funding applications. Another federal initiative that would streamline the relocation framework would be creation of an approved universal climate hazard report. As noted, the relocation process is delayed and made more expensive because various environmental assessments must be generated. It would save time and money if a single hazard report could be submitted that would encompass the requirements of the various agencies, including FEMA and EPA. Former Denali Commission official Niemeyer took this approach in working with the Akiak village’s environmental impact statement. He incorporated each important area into one report in order to identify the community’s priorities, the participating stakeholders, and the hazard mitigation planning information, emphasizing that “linking the developments to save time and speak in a language that all important and unique agencies can understand” saves the community valuable time (phone interview, December 16, 2021). A unified reporting protocol established by the federal government applicable to all agencies will undoubtedly reduce delay and costs. State Government Alaska is only now attempting to gather sufficient data to render meaningful climate threat assessments. This is significant because “a key barrier to adaptation…[has been] access to information at a scale useable to a small town” (Fitton et al., 2021). Thus, relevant reliable data are imperative in the decision-making process for threatened communities. The state government should provide site-specific risk assessments in order to “help communities to develop and implement longterm solutions, and precisely understand the relative level of risk statewide” (Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, 2020). Once a community decides to implement a climate disaster resilience plan, Alaska should arrange for any assessment required. In addition to funding individual risk assessments, the state government should update statewide threat assessments every 5 to 10 years. The rapidity of climate change necessitates close monitoring of affected areas. In 2021, the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys published a report on erosion exposure (Buzard et al., 2021). While a step in the right direction, this report does not capture the full impact and severity of climate change in Alaska. The scope of investigation should expand to include analysis of how climate change is affecting Native Alaskans’ traditional way of life. Alaska Native Corporations The ANCs, which were created by the 1971 ANCSA, can be utilized to improve the process of disaster resilience. ANCs currently operate with the main purpose of generating economic revenue for their shareholders. ANCs do not often invest in projects designed