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

Elders and Cultural Camps as Educational Resources

Elders and subsistence camps are an important part of Native life throughout Alaska. One of the strategies that is proving most successful in connecting the school curriculum to students lives in culturally and educationally meaningful ways is through the involvement of Native Elders as teachers and the real-world setting of a subsistence camp environment as the classroom. The resources at this site promote the establishment of Elders-in-Residence programs in schools and the use of subsistence camps as learning environments that engage students (and teachers) in inquiry-based activities under the guidance of local experts. Anyone wishing to contribute to this site is encouraged to contact the coordinator of the Alaska Native Knowledge Network at (907) 474-1902, or send an email message to

Process of Interviewing
by Rachel Craig
This is a very helpful document for the protocols of interviewing an Elder.

Science in Relation to Traditional Native Ways
(Spring 2013)
"The following pages tell a story, and like many stories it tells about a journey that takes place over time. This journey begins with the elders. They tell stories about growing up and their experiences with education. They talk about how to know yourself, and why it is important to know your history and language. These elder stories provide direction for the journey."

Search for "Camps" in the First Alaskans Institute Resource Directory

Cultural Heritage and Education Institute
Excerpt: "The Cultural Heritage and Education Institutes' mission is threefold- to Share, Educate and Restore; share Athabascan cultural knowledge and skills, educate youth and adults on how to be sober productive participants in native Athabascan and non-native western cultures and restore the spiritual site of Old Minto and the history of a past village."

Gaalee'ya Spirit Camp
Excerpt: "Gaalee'ya Spirit Camp is a non-profit community based organization intended to rejuvenate, restrengthen, and instill genuine respect, love, and attitudes that enable individuals to become willing and able to contribute to their communities."

Guidelines for Working with Inuit Elders
"The following guidelines address how to work with Inuit elders who may have little or no experience working in a formal workplace. These guidelines will help us better understand their expectations and meet their needs as individuals and respected members of our communities. Inuit elders have always lived on the land before they were relocated to the communities, and they have a strong sense of belonging – to the land and to their family. "

Activities for Seniors Facing Loneliness
"Activities such as volunteering at the animal shelter and singing in the choir help us stay connected and give us a sense of purpose. Unfortunately, the conoravirus pandemic restricted our contact with friends and loved ones in 2020 and 2021."

The Native Elder Health Care Resource Center
The Native Elder Health Care Resource Center (NEHCRC), initially funded by the Administration on Aging for a four-year period beginning February 1, 1994, is a national resource center for older American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, with special emphasis on culturally competent health care.

Alaska Native Studies (UAF)
"An academic centerpiece of the Alaska Native Studies B.A. is its Elders-in-Residence program. Prominent tradition bearers from the Native community are invited to reside on the Fairbanks campus for extended periods each semester. Under the direction of Native Studies faculty, students enrolled in ANS 401 receive direct instruction from these distinguished elders. The course is designed to maximize student-elder contact inside and outside the classroom to learn about Native life, past and present."

ANKN Calendar of Events
For an up-to-date place for information on camps and other events, the Alaska Native Knowledge Network Calendar of Events are updated regularly.






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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 September 22, 2021