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Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Shopping for Porcupine  >  Reading Comprehension Questions
Once Upon a Frontier

Essay Summary:  Kantner boldly tackles the complicated and controversial Alaskan issue of subsistence. He witnesses a wolf being killed in front of his house and this leads him to a discussion of ANCSA and ANILCA and redefining what it really means to live off the land.

What is the war happening in Alaska, according to Kantner? (p. 157)

The battle for subsistence hunting and fishing rights.

What did ANSCA, according to Kantner, do to those on the trail of hunting and gathering? (p. 158)

ANSCA created shareholders, and "widened and paved" the road to capitalism.

What does ANCSA stand for? (p. 157)

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.

What does ANILCA stand for? (p. 159)

Alaska National Interest Land Claims Act.

What troubles did ANILCA create for Alaska? (p. 159)

It created hostilities between rural and urban Alaska, with "rural preference" being given to rural residents for subsistence hunting and fishing.

What does Kantner do to deal with his frustration of seeing the wolf die? (p. 160)

He packs up his stuff and heads out on the tundra to go camping.

Who holds higher status than doctors, lawyers, and even the President? (p. 163)

A successful hunter.

How is the "modern mesh of law" drowning those with hunting "instilled" in their hearts? (p. 163)

The laws and regulations confine those who still hunt and rely on the land for their existence.

According to Kantner, what does the gathering of wild food provide beyond nourishment? (p. 164)

Nourishment for spirit.

Why does Kantner pass up the chance for new otter skin pants? (p. 166)

He can buy nylon snow pants and he admires otters for the way they play and care for each other.

Why do the snowmachine tracks not follow the course that Kantner expects and chase the pack of wolves? (p. 166)

The driver is nearly out of gasoline. He will steal gas from Kantner's camp and return to the wolves.

What does Kantner mean when he says that freezers have become "staging areas" for food that will be thrown away? (p. 167)

People are wasting the game they took. They are storing the meat, not using it, and dumping it when it gets too old.

Why does Kantner want to saukataq everyone? (p. 168)

He's angry about the arguing over subsistence rights and who has more right to hunt and fish and over what could be lost (a way of living off the land).

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