Alaska's Neighbors

Alaska has lived peacefully for generations with two great neighbors: the Canadian Northwest and Soviet Siberia and Arctic. Prospectors wander freely back and forth across the Alaska-Canada border and travel undisturbed up and down the Yukon between the two countries. Natives of Little Diomede Island, in Bering Strait, which belongs to the United States, and of Big Diomede, which belongs to the USSR, speak the same language, go to each other’s dances and entertainments, and intermarry.

Soviet pilots have flown American bombers and fighters from Fairbanks to their own country, and citizens of the two nations have assisted each other in search for lost airmen and in thrilling rescues. Canadian and American airmen have used each other’s air bases to bomb Japanese shipping and installations. Canadian and Russian blood flow in the veins of many an Alaskan. In peace and war, Americans, Canadians, and Russians have exchanged weather information, knowledge of the air lanes, and scientific data on such topics as wheat raising, reindeer culture, and mining methods.