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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Indigenous Education Worldwide

"Teaching Our Many Grandchildren"





Our Goals:

*Decrease health-related absences in our Village schools.

*Increase the availability of culturally sensitive, service learning curriculum on health and environmental education in rural Alaskan schools.

*Renew our commitment to our Athabascan values of Respect for the Land and Nature, Village Cooperation and Responsibility to Village.

"This project has helped our students learn how to be more responsible for their environment-they are learning to see the connections between the toxic waste that is tossed on the ground and the river they take their fish from."

-Evelyn Beeter

Evelyn Beeter with retired lead dogs Apollo and Dennis.  
©Bill Hess
Evelyn Beeter with retired lead dogs Apollo and Dennis.

Mt. Sanford
Tribal Consortium

Through the Mt. Sanford Tribal Consortium Learn and Serve Programs, students in Chistochina and Mentasta, Alaska, are exploring ways they can promote healthy choices that will protect and preserve their land for future generations. MSTC was awarded grants from the Corporation for National Service, Learn and Serve America Program, and began the development of this curriculum based on traditional knowledge. Our students are exploring ways they can 'make a difference' through a variety of community, school, and summer camp activities. Our Elders share traditional ways of living that develop self-respect and show respect for the land and others. With their input, along with other community members and teachers, MSTC has developed this culturally relevant environmental and wellness curriculum to be used by our own schools. Additionally, it is our hope that it will help and inspire other communities to begin similar service-learning programs.


Whouy Sze Kiunalth
("Teaching Our Many Grandchildren") 1998-2000

MSTC received the first grant, Whouy Sze Kiunalth ("Teaching Our Many Grandchildren) and our students began exploring ways they could make a difference in protecting and preserving our local environment. Elders spent time teaching students traditional Alaska Native values about caring for the land during special community events, in the classroom, and at our summer culture camps. At the beginning of the project, students were unconcerned about all the junk in our Villages, but over the course of the program they have changed their attitudes. Old appliances such as refrigerators and freezers have now been safely disposed of and both communities joined together for a massive junk car removal project when 300 cars were crushed and removed from our Villages!

Youth Engaged in Outreach (YEO) 2000 - 2003

Using the former project model, our students have continued to explore ways they can protect and preserve our environment for future generations. The Youth Engaged in Outreach program engages our students in service activities such as cleaning up our local lake and stream shores and restoring historical trails that our ancestors occupied and subsisted on for centuries. In addition, the YEO Program will establish an informational and supportive system for their neighboring Villages' cleanup efforts. The project supports efforts of community members for a healthier physical environment and relies on traditional ecological knowledge built into this curriculum to produce long-lasting change.

Health Awareness Partnership Initiative
(HAPI) 2000-2003

Providing quality health care in rural Alaska presents many challenges. Our students are working to raise community awareness about some of the crucial rural health issues while learning how to make responsible choices that impact their own health. The HAPI Program began in 2000 as a partnership between MSTC and the Village Councils, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and Alaska Gateway and Copper River School Districts to provide health education opportunities to our students and community members. Students conduct research about proper nutrition and good sanitation habits through fun hands-on, culturally relevant health lessons. They develop exhibits around topics they have selected and provide a health fair in each Village to share what they have learned.

Building Digital Traditions

The Building Digital Traditions program is helping both Villages develop technologically capable residents, allowing them to compete in today's global society while reflecting local culture and traditions. Students are taking the leadership role in technology development in their Villages, and they work side by side to help teach Village members the nuts and bolts of using an Internet connected computer. In addition, they receive training from technology experts from around the state, and are working to build computer labs in both Villages, which are available for community use.



MSTC Mission Statement



In A Sacred Manner, by Wilson Justin

Learn & Serve Focus Groups

People icon



Interview of Elders

Clans of Chistochina & Mentasta

Why Are We Here?

Who We Are

Land icon


Our Way of Life

Mapping the Village

What A Waste

Raw Materials

Our Natural Resources


Water icon


Water, Water

Our Watershed

Food icon


Where Does Our Food Come From?

Gathering, Traditions and Nutrition of our Food

Keeping Ourselves Healthy

A Student Led Health Fair

Assessment & Performance Evaluation


Learn & Serve Program

Sources, Resources

Thank You


Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, educational institution, and provider is a part of the University of Alaska system. Learn more about UA's notice of nondiscrimination.


Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
Phone (907) 474.1902
Fax (907) 474.1957
Questions or comments?
Last modified November 7, 2006