"New Evidence, New Directions"
August 17-21, 2016    Sitka, Alaska

Human Migrations across and around the Pacific
New Genetic Evidence and Southern Routes
Navigational knowledge: old, new, and revitalized
Disasters, Disruption, and Dispersal

Conference Venue: Sitka Fine Arts Camp on the Historic Sheldon Jackson College Campus

Since 2002, small conferences of eclectic scholars have met to discuss human mobility across and along the coasts of the Pacific ocean. Our shared oceans, shared humanity, and a growing awareness of our shared responsibilities for the connected seas have shaped our ideas, understandings, and concerns. The ambiance of the island setting and the friendly people of Sitka provide a respectful and supportive environment for the interdisciplinary and international discourse we have - often on controversial topics.

During the first decade of the twenty-first century, a flurry of new scholarship stirred old ideas and introduced new ones. Molecular genetic studies, oceanography, marine biology, experimental rafting, and the revitalization of canoeing and kayaking have challenged established theories. Native American knowledge, navigational skills and rich oral traditions have added perspectives to our new understandings. We have greatly underestimated human mobility, intelligence, navigational knowledge, endurance, will and courage.

Photos by James Poulson.


Paths Across the Pacific wants to extend its thanks to the gracious organizations and people who have contributed to this conference. They include: Allen Marine Tours, Sitka Sentinel, KCAW, Visit Sitka, Greater Sitka Chamber of Commerce, Sitka Fine Arts Camp, New Creations Bistro, Arrowhead Press, Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB), Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS), Sitka Tribe of Alaska (STA), Sheldon Jackson Museum, Mary Ann Peterson, and the PATHS Planning Team including Nancy Yaw Davis, Bill Davis, John Stein, Rebecca Osborn, Anne Pollnow, Anna Lee Hirschi, Linda Blankenship, Edie Leghorn, Connie LaPerriere, Jim Dangel, Dean Orbison, Larry Calvin, Linda Trierschield, and Nancy Knapp.

Program Director, Nancy Yaw Davis, Ph.D.
907 623-7969
Coordinator, Nancy Knapp