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

Oral Tradition and Cultural Atlases

The resources at this site provide examples and guidance about ways in which the rich oral traditions of Native people can be drawn upon in support of the school curriculum. 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 protoco
ls of interviewing an Elder.

Family Tree Project
by Rachel Craig
Excerpt: "The elders of Northwest Arctic Borough have been very concerned about our knowing our own family trees."

Naparyarmiut Cultural Atlas
This student-produced Cultural Atlas is from Hooper Bay, Alaska, through the direction of one of their teachers, Cate Koskey. Password required. To obtain a password, you can Register.

Minto Mapping Project
Excerpt: "The Minto Mapping Project began several years ago with the intent of recording indigenous place names of traditional and contemporary land sites used by the people of Interior Alaska's Minto Flats."

Marshall Cultural Atlas
This collection of student work is Frank Keim's classes. He has wanted to share these works for others to use as an example of Culturally-based curriculum and documentation.

Kake Cultural Atlas
This site is password protect for Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights. To obtain a password, you can Register.

Angoon Cultural Atlas
This site is password protect for Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights. To obtain a password, you can Register.

Akula Elitnaurvik
This site is student-produced to express their culture in Kasigluk, Alaska.

Aleut/Alutiiq Cultural Atlases
The Oral History Department of the University of Alaska-Fairbanks Rasmuson Library, working under the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Alaska Federation of Natives and the University of Alaska Fairbanks, created these "cultural atlases" as a means of integrating Native ways of knowing about science and technology into Western educational curricula. These are the first such internet compatible multimedia "jukeboxes" produced under the Alaska Rural Systemic Challenge grant from the National Science Foundation. Password required. To obtain a password, you can Register.

Upper and Lower Kalskag Virtual Museum
This site has two purposes.
First it is a space for students of Upper and Lower Kalskag, Alaska to share information about their surroundings, traditions, and culture. They do this through pictures, film, and words...
Second, this site serves as a place for Educators to read about and see a Place Based project in the classroom. Information tells the research and educational philosophies that the Virtual Museum project is based on. Films and Blog show how the project unfolds in the classroom.

Hooper Bay Web-based Cultural Atlas - Framework and Lesson Plans
"Cate Koskey enrolled in CCS 693 - Cultural Atlases as a Pedagogical Strategy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cross Cultural Studies. As of December 2006, this proposal and framework was being implemented in Hooper Bay, Alaska, by teachers, students, and the community."

Building an Understanding of Cultural Topography:
Creating a Cultural Atlas with a Three-Dimensional Topographic Map

"Cheryl Silcox, in White Mountain, Alaska, enrolled in Cultural Atlases as a Pedagogical Strategy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cross Cultural Studies." This is an example of a Lesson Plan for Grade 2 being utilized in White Mountain.

Native Insight Competition Winners
On October 22, 2009, "Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) President Julie Kitka announced the names of seven Native Insight Competition winners, who will receive $10,000 each. Their ideas will be published in Native journals and magazines across the United States, including Alaska Newspapers, Indian Affairs, Native American Times, Native Sun and Native Legacy Magazine.
The Native Insight Winners’, Finalists’ and Semi-Finalists’ ideas will also be shared with members of the Obama Administration. “The Native community has a tremendous amount of knowledge and insight to share. We were overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of the essays submitted, and we are looking forward to helping take these great ideas to the public and the Administration,” said AFN President Julie Kitka."

Denakkanaaga and NAGPRA: Oral Traditions In Education
by Caroline Brown
An article in in Sharing Our Pathways published in March/April 1998 by Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

Songs and Legends: Alaska Native Oral Literature
Excerpt: "This index provides access to the collections of oral history and music originally recorded in the early and mid-1970s and now available on compact discs. The points of access are compact disc number within each set, name of the speaker, village where the selection was recorded, and the language used by the speaker. There is also an electronic version of the index included with each set of compact discs."

Listening to Our Past
Excerpt: "The Association des francophones du Nunavut is pleased to launch the new Listening to our Past web site, which should be very useful to Inuit students and to all those who are interested in the Inuit culture. The site is available in French, in English and in Inuktitut. "

"MapTEACH is developing a culturally responsive geoscience education program for middle- and high-school students in Alaska that emphasizes hands-on experience with the geosciences and spatial technology (GPS, GIS, and remote sensing imagery)."

Children as Community Researchers
This link brings you to the UNICEF Teachers Talking website. Under the “Take Action” bar, then under “Activities for Students”, see “Children as Community Researchers”. There are also lots of other interesting things on this site.

Sitka Area Native Place Names
"In 1975, TIingit Elder Charlie Joseph Sr. began working with the newly formed Alaska Native Brotherhood Education Program, today known as the Sitka Native Education Program. “Isabella Brady was the director of the Program and she got us interested in recording place names around Sitka. We would pack up and travel around in the Program’s van as Charlie pointed out various locations and told us their names in Tlingit,” explains Ethel Makinen, a fluent Tlingit speaker and the Naa Tlaa (clan mother) of the Sitka L’uknax.ádi."

Kiana Place Names Map
This is hosted on the Alaskool website. Excerpt: "There are many layers to discovering and understanding Native place names and the land. The Katyaak, Inupiat Placenames in the Kiana Area map was prepared in 1994 by NANA Regional Corporation with funding provided by the National Park Service and NANA. There are also recordings of some of the discussions that took place in order to put the place names on the map. We hope to be able to eventually attach some of the discussion to places on these maps."

Project Jukebox
Excerpt: "The basic framework for each Project Jukebox computer program is the same, although each has its own personal variations based upon who worked on the project and their intended audiences. Each Jukebox has a variety of materials, from interviews to transcripts, maps, photos, or a searchable topic list. In some cases, the materials are linked and cross-referenced to each other within each program. In others, each type of resource must be looked at independently. Each Jukebox program includes navigation instructions as you go along or it is self-explanatory with arrows and buttons. It is possible to navigate within parts of Jukeboxes using the browser's back and forward buttons, but you won't get as far. The buttons and arrows on the Jukebox pages themselves are designed to link all pages and parts of a project together. "

Internet Access to Oral Recordings: Finding the Issues
October 25, 2000 by Karen Brewster, Research Associatefor the Oral History Program, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Aboriginal Mapping Network
Excerpt: "The Aboriginal Mapping Network is a collection of resource pages for First Nation mappers who are looking for answers to common questions regarding mapping, information management and GIS."

Original Voices
Excerpt: "Within each section of the exhibit are classroom activities to promote the learning experiences of fourth and eighth grade students as they process the exhibit. OV asserts that cross-cultural understanding and critical thinking are better developed through structured classroom interactions with other students as well as personal reflection."

Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
A link to the Oral History Department at the Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Te Kawa a Māui Atlas
Staff and students at Te Kawa a Māui, Victoria University of Wellington, are building a digital map-based database of student work.



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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 June 18, 2012