A newsletter of the Alaska Rural Systemic
Alaska Federation of Natives / University
of Alaska / National Science Foundation
Volume 3, Issue 2, March/April 1998
In This Issue:
Standards for Culturally-Responsive
Schools Adopted by Native Educators
One hundred fifty Alaska Native educators convened
in Anchorage February 1-3 and formally adopted a set of "Alaska
Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools." They are intended
to serve as a complement to the state content standards, focusing
on how schools can help students acquire what they need "to know
and be able to do," while ensuring they become responsible, capable
and whole human beings in the process. To provide guidance in this
endeavor, standards have been adopted for students, educators,
curriculum, schools and communities.
The cultural standards are predicated on the belief
that a firm grounding in the heritage language and culture indigenous
to a particular place is a fundamental prerequisite for the development
of culturally-healthy students and communities associated with
that place. Attention to the local language, culture and place
are essential ingredients for identifying the appropriate qualities
and practices associated with culturally responsive educators,
curricula and schools.
Though the emphasis is on rural schools serving Native
communities, many of the standards are applicable to all students
and communities because they focus curricular attention on in-depth
study of the surrounding physical and cultural environment in which
the school is situated. Such an emphasis acknowledges the unique
contribution that indigenous people can make to such study as long-term
inhabitants who have accumulated extensive specialized knowledge
related to that environment.
By shifting the focus in the curriculum from teaching/learning
about cultural heritage as another subject, to teaching/learning
in the local culture as a foundation for all education, it is intended
that all forms of knowledge, ways of knowing and world views be
recognized as equally valid, adaptable and complementary to one
another in mutually beneficial ways.
A draft version of the cultural standards for teachers,
students, curriculum and schools has appeared in previous issues
of Sharing Our Pathways. The following is the final set focusing
on cultural standards for communities.
A complete set of the
newly-adopted cultural standards, as well as curriculum resources
and technical support to implement the kind of learning experiences
encouraged in culturally responsive schools, may be found through
the Alaska Native Knowledge Network web site located at http://www.uaf.edu/ankn/standards.html,
or call (907) 474-5897.
Cultural Standards for Communities
A. A culturally supportive community incorporates
the practice of local cultural traditions in its everyday affairs.
A community that meets this cultural standard:
1. provides respected Elders with
a place of honor in community functions;
2. models culturally appropriate behavior in
the day-to-day life of the community;
3. utilizes traditional child-rearing and parenting
practices that reinforce a sense of identity and belonging;
4. organizes and encourages participation of
members from all ages in regular community-wide, family-oriented
5. incorporates and reinforces traditional cultural
values and beliefs in all formal and informal community functions.
B. A culturally supportive community nurtures the
use of the local heritage language.
A community that meets this cultural standard:
1. recognizes the role that language
plays in conveying the deeper aspects of cultural knowledge and
2. sponsors local heritage language immersion
opportunities for young children when they are at the critical
age for language learning;
3. encourages the use of the local heritage language
whenever possible in the everyday affairs of the community
including meetings, cultural events, print materials and broadcast
4. assists in the preparation of curriculum resource
material in the local heritage language for use in the school;
5. provides simultaneous translation services
for public meetings where persons unfamiliar with the local
heritage language are participants.
C. A culturally supportive community takes an active
role in the education of all its members.
A community that meets this cultural standard:
1. encourages broad-based participation
of parents in all
aspects of their children's education, both in
and out of school;
2. insures active participation by community
members in reviewing all local, regional and state initiatives
that have bearing on the education of their children;
3. encourages and supports members of the local
community who wish to pursue further education to assume teaching
and administrative roles in the school;
4. engages in subsistence activities, sponsors
cultural camps and hosts community events that provide an opportunity
for children to actively participate in and learn appropriate
cultural values and behavior;
5. provides opportunities for all community members
to acquire and practice the appropriate knowledge and skills
associated with local cultural traditions.
D. A culturally supportive community nurtures family
responsibility, sense of belonging and cultural identity.
A community that meets this cultural standard:
1. fosters cross-generational sharing
of parenting and child-rearing practices;
2. creates a supportive environment for youth
to participate in local affairs and acquire the skills to be
contributing members of the community;
3. adopts the adage, "It takes the whole village
to raise a child."
E. A culturally supportive community assists teachers
in learning and utilizing local cultural traditions and practices.
A community that meets this cultural standard:
1. sponsors a cultural orientation
camp and community mentoring program for new teachers to learn
about and adjust to the cultural expectations and practices of
2. encourages teachers to make use of facilities
and expertise in the community to demonstrate that education
is a community-wide process involving everyone as teachers;
3. sponsors regular community/school potlucks
to celebrate the work of students and teachers and to promote
on-going interaction and communication between teachers and
4. attempts to articulate the cultural knowledge,
values and beliefs that it wishes teachers to incorporate into
the school curriculum;
5. establishes a program to insure the availability
of Elders' expertise in all aspects of the educational program
in the school.
F. A culturally supportive community contributes
to all aspects of curriculum design and implementation in the local
A community that meets this cultural standard:
1. takes an active part in the development
of the mission, goals and content of the local educational program;
2. promotes the active involvement of students
with Elders in the documentation and preservation of traditional
knowledge through a variety of print and multimedia formats;
3. facilitates teacher involvement in community
activities and encourages the use of the local environment
as a curricular resource;
4. promotes parental involvement in all aspects
of their child's educational experience.
Thank You Participants and Planners!
We would like to express our appreciation to all
who helped put the 1998 Native Educators Conference together, whether
you were a speaker, committee member, entertainment group, translator,
panelist, or other. You helped make the conference an exciting
and memorable event.
As our daily work resumes and we continue to work
to improve education in our communities, Alaska's Indigenous people
are leading the way, along with the International Indigenous people,
in the area of Indigenous language and culture becoming a basis
for our children's schooling experience. Throughout this intense
work, our Elders are a constant source of knowledge, support and
guidance. They have woven a super sense of humor in their experiences
to carry us all through the difficult and not-so difficult times
in our work in education.
Please thank each of your families for "sharing" you
and your work with others. We look forward to another invigorating
and exciting conference next year. Until then, God bless each of
you as you continue your work.
Ilisagvik College Receives
Grant to Establish Tribal College Consortium
Ilisagvik College has been named recipient of a $510,000
Kellogg Grant for the establishment of a Tribal College Consortium
in Alaska. The four-year project will serve to address the higher
education needs of Alaska Natives through investigating the feasibility
of developing a statewide network of tribal colleges. Although
tribal colleges and college networks exist in other parts of the
country, Alaska has not yet developed a tribal college network
designed specifically to meet the higher education needs of Native
Four other tribal organizations are collaborating
with Ilisagvik College on the formation of the consortium. These
include Kawarak, Inc., Sealaska Heritage Foundation, Association
of Village Council Presidents and Tanana Chiefs Conference.
The Alaska Tribal College Consortium is proposed
as a means of lobbying for additional federal funding at a time
when state funding for higher education is dwindling. Unlike other
states, Alaska does not currently receive federal funding through
the Tribally Controlled Community Colleges Act. The Kellogg grant
award will facilitate development of the infrastructure needed
to secure this and other sources of funding.
"We are honored to be in a position to be able to
receive this grant," said Ilisagvik president, Dr. Edna Ahgeak
MacLean. "We believe that through a tribal college consortium we
will be able to better address the educational needs of Native
people throughout the state. We foresee the development of a self-supporting
college network working in coordination with other institutions
to provide a full range of higher educational programs for Native
Under the proposal, the consortium will form an inter-institutional
planning committee with representatives from the University of
Alaska, Sheldon Jackson College and Alaska Pacific University.
The group will work together to prepare a comprehensive long-range
plan for Alaska Native higher education, identifying current needs
and deficiencies and developing the goals which will prepare Native
students for the 21st century.
The newly formed Alaska Tribal College Consortium
met at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in October 1997
and recently held a retreat in Anchorage.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930
to "help people help themselves through practical application of
knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that
of future generations." Its programming activities center around
the common visions of a world in which each person has sense of
worth, accepts responsibility for self, family, community and social
well-being and has the capacity to be productive and to help create
nurturing families, responsive institutions and healthy communities.
Denakkanaaga and NAGPRA: Oral
Traditions In Education
by Caroline Brown
A banner that hung above the chalkboard of my high
school biology classroom boldly proclaimed, "Never let school get
in the way of your education." This was not an invitation to skip
school in favor of more exciting adventures, but encouragement
to find the joys of learning in everything that I did, in every
place that I went. Education is never simply cracking open a book
and memorizing its contents. In fact, some of the most important
knowledge can't be found in books because it is the minds and hearts
of the Elders. Information and knowledge are all around us; it
comes in many forms and if we pay attention, we will find it everywhere.
But, some would say, knowledge isn't really knowledge until you
put it to use. Incorporating a curiosity about oral tradition into
educational plans has more uses than you may suspect!
Funded by the National Park Service, Denakkanaaga
recently began the Interior's first repatriation program under
the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).
Repatriation includes both the sensitive return of ancestral remains
that were taken from villages and the return of sacred or cultural
artifacts to villages. NAGPRA provides villages with an opportunity
to learn about and possibly get back collections currently held
in museums or by federal agencies. But the importance of this law
goes beyond the material collections to how we understand history,
culture and, more significantly, who can contribute to and define
what is notable about that history to teach others about it.
The act itself is one of the first examples of Native
oral traditions being considered as "evidence" in evaluating the
nature of collections excavated or collected from villages and
now held in museums. Thus, the collection of oral histories is
important to the success of this remarkable law. Information about
relatives, traditional practices, past events in villages, how
certain objects were made or what they were used for and the identification
of sacred material or objects that were otherwise culturally important
to the village are among the kinds of information or knowledge
that is useful in NAGPRA.
NAGPRA offers villages an opportunity to put this
knowledge to use in some innovative ways-ways that can really benefit
villages by physically returning elements of their history back
to them. In this sense, collecting oral histories is not always
an end to itself, although that is certainly important, but can
be actively used to learn about and operate within laws like NAGPRA
that rely on traditional knowledge. If you would like to learn
more about NAGPRA or how you can get involved, please contact:
409 4th Avenue
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Phone: (907) 456-1748
Denakkanaaga was established in 1982 by the Elders
residing in the Doyon region who wanted to have their voices heard.
One of the primary concerns was expressed in the organization's
first resolution, which stated in part, "The continuation of our
Native culture, language, heritage and tradition is of the utmost
importance to the Elders of the region."
We would like to remind everyone that the Annual
Denakkanaaga Elder and Youth Conference will be hosted by the village
of Allakaket. The conference is scheduled for June 1-5, 1998. The
conference theme will be decided in March.
by Alan Dick
One of the most difficult parts to a scientific inquiry
is finding the right questions. Quite often we are pursuing the
right problem, but we are not asking the right questions.
For years I wondered why, in landing an airplane,
passing through a cloud layer causes such turbulence. I thought
extensively about clouds, condensation, density, vapor and other
factors. I couldn't think of anything about the nature of a cloud
layer that could shake an airplane. Finally I realized that clouds
and turbulence are the result of a third unseen factor. Clouds
form when layers of warmer air and colder air interact. The clouds
do not cause the turbulence. The interaction of the two distinct
layers of air does. That sounds too simple now that I look back.
However, the inability to identify the problem and ask the right
questions has hindered many a solution. For years I have watched
old timers in the villages. They are seldom stuck. They step back
from the problem and look at the whole situation.
The outboard motor needs a water pump. We might think
we are stuck. If we get a bigger picture and think, "I need to
pick berries. How can I get to the berry patch?" there are many
solutions. The need to pick berries is the problem. Fixing the
broken outboard is only one possible way of getting to the berry
patch. Maybe someone else needs to pick berries. They have a boat
and motor but no gas. Together we have a better answer. Maybe that
is why the outboard was broken. We have a need to do something
Old timers know how to step back from a problem and
see the real matter at hand. They are seldom stuck because they
believe there is always a solution. It must be uncovered. The solution
is often in the broad overall picture, not in the narrow view.
If there is a need of a flashlight to find the flashlight, then
the perspective is too close. Village science involves being able
to find solutions when none are apparent. Parts stores, specialty
tools, libraries and diagrams are often not available. That is
when the genius of village people intervenes and clever solutions
are uncovered. Knowing how to think, ponder, view from all angles
and how to avoid hasty decisions are all tolls in the process of
Just How Safe is Subsistence
by Patricia Longley Cochran
The Environmental Protection Agency has provided
funding to the Alaska Native Science Commission (ANSC) and the
Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at University
of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) to help find answers about environmental
contaminants in subsistence foods. The traditional diets of Alaska
Natives may expose them to increased bio-concentration of organic
pollutants from the animals they eat, especially from marine mammals
that may have already high levels of polychlorinated biphenols
(PCBs) and other organic pollutants.
Native scientists and communities will join with
researchers in a statewide effort to identify the presence of abnormalities
in Alaska's fish and wildlife and share knowledge about the safety
of subsistence foods with Native tribes.
Patricia Cochran, ANSC's executive director and co-principal
investigator of the project, wants villages involved in the research
process so they can be active participants in directing the research.
Concerns that are a priority to Native communities will be identified
at a series of regional meetings to be held throughout Alaska during
the next year and at a meeting of Native scientists to be held
in March 1998.
Studies that document problems in plants or animals
may relate issues from the researcher's viewpoint, but that discussion
is often not carried through into other research disciplines to
examine how these problems affect the health and safety of Native
people. Often, the local and traditional knowledge of an area is
not included in the discussion.
In an Anchorage Daily News article, Cochran said, "Native
people are very concerned. We have gotten back responses telling
us about the kinds of things they are seeing, from lesions seen
in fish livers to differences in the teas people have been picking.
There are a lot of things that show some kind of trend. The problem
is nobody can say why or what it means."
A statewide database containing organic, heavy-metal
and radioisotope contaminants data is being prepared from current
studies and will be made available in a simple but useful computer
For additional information, please contact:
Patricia Longley Cochran,
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
The Village Science Initiative enters the Kodiak/Aleutians/Pribilof
Region in 1998. Plans are to establish AISES precollege chapter/clubs
in village schools, operate two summer camps (in Kodiak and St.
Paul Island) and to have a regional science fair for students in
Kodiak, the Aleutian Chain and the Pribilofs. Teachers in Kodiak
will meet in Port Lions with AKRSI staff to develop plans for the
chapter/clubs and the summer camp. Monthly audioconferences with
teachers and educators will commence March 18, 1998, to continue
the development of the chapter/clubs and recruitment of sixth,
seventh and eighth grade students for the camp.
The Annual AISES National Science Fair in Rapid City,
South Dakota is scheduled for April 2-4, 1998. Debra Webber-Werle
of Noatak, George Olanna of Shishmaref, Rita O'Brien of Nenana
and Eddie Gavin of Buckland will chaperone. The following students
have been invited to attend with their projects:
Sarah Monroe of Nenana. Project: A
Comparison of Arctic Grayling and Burbot Anatomy and Fishing
Allison Huntington & Brianna Evans of Galena.
Project: Which (Fur) is Warmer?
Mary Burns of Noatak. Project: Alcohol and You
Sheila Washington, Sherry Ballot of Buckland.
Project: Storing Berries the Traditional Ways
William Birsemeier, Tirrell Thomas of Kotzebue.
Project: Furs that Keep Us Warm
Katy Miller, Brandon Romane, Puyuk Joule of Kotzebue.
Project: Alder Willow Bark Dye
EJ Howarth of Noatak. Project: Caribou Antlers
Brandon Olanna, Norman Kokeok, Donnie Pootoogooluk
of Shishmaref. Project: Uses of Low Wattage Electric Bulb by
Using an Inverter
The Alaska State Science Fair will take place March
27-29, 1998 in Anchorage at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Casey Skinner of McGrath will present her project Spruce Bark Beetle
Habitat. Casey's project received first place in both the Elders'
Awards and the Teacher/Scientist Awards.
The Alaska Federation of Natives and the AKRSI are
proud of the hard work and efforts of these young scientists. We
look forward to continued progress in the development of their
AKRSI is seeking articles from Alaska rural students
(K-12) for a student newsletter. If you have any essays, poems,
short stories or reports on any scientific or cultural event in
the village, please send them to Ursula Graham, UAF Interior-Aleutians
Campus, PO Box 756720, Fairbanks, AK 99775 or fax to 907-474-5208.
Marshall Survival Skills Curriculum
by Mike Stockburger
After many years of frustration teaching rural high
school students traditional classes in discrete subject areas and
watching the majority of students struggle through, not understanding
how the parts fit together, I was given the opportunity to design
and offer a curriculum based on hunting and fishing activities
prevalent along the Lower Yukon River. The students involved were
identified as high risk to drop out or as having serious problems
dealing with the traditional curriculum. This curriculum was offered
to eighth to tenth graders as a self-contained, year long program,
fulfilling all necessary credits.
The main source of employment in this area is commercial
fishing, with this and other occupations heavily supplemented by
subsistence hunting and fishing activities. Keeping this in mind
I tried to design a curriculum that was as hands-on and relevant
as possible. Also at the heart of this design was a survey that
asked parents and Elders questions about the type of education
they would like their children to receive. Although many indicated
they would like to see their children attend college; an equal
number said they should learn skills that would help them survive
wherever they chose to live. There was definitely a sense of disappointment
among Elders that the school did not offer more courses that would
prepare students for life in the village. We hope this curriculum
will help fulfill these needs.
The teaching of values is always one of the most
important parts of a student's education. The goal we identified
as most important to these particular students was to get them
to feel good about themselves in a positive way. We felt the best
way to do this was through a curriculum they would buy into and
by emphasizing a number of important values. These were:
- always respect yourself and others,
- be a team player,
- work hard and do your best,
- be a productive member of your community and
- respect the environment.
Values, unlike some skills, cannot be taught in a
lesson or two. What is required are countless reminders in the
form of discussions, demonstrations, role models, expectations
and acceptance on the part of the learner. Usually a particular
value is best promoted by being reflected in the general attitude
of those involved. The above five values were agreed upon by the
students, school staff and community members of Marshall, a Yup'ik
village on the Yukon River. Expectations during this class were
that students, the teacher and any visitors would do their best
to display these values at all times. The following is a description
of the curriculum as presented to these students and their parents.
This course of study is designed to offer students
the skills needed for life in Marshall. This is a hands-on based
curriculum in which we learn and practice the skills necessary
for commercial and subsistence hunting and fishing in this area.
Included are the communication skills necessary to interact with
people and businesses in other parts of the world. Emphasis is
placed on an atmosphere of cooperation and respect; everyone is
expected to work together to produce a variety of products. We
also concentrate on developing a good attitude about life and how
to become a productive and responsible citizen of our community,
our country and of the environment around us. Students taking this
course meet with myself and other members of the community every
day to learn skills in the following areas:
- Commercial and Subsistence Fishing Methods
- History of Commercial and Subsistence Fishing
- Current Events of the Fishing
- Record Keeping and Taxes of Commercial Fishing
- Fish and Meat Preservation
- Boat Handling and Navigation
- Boat Design and Construction
- Outboard and Snowmachine Repair and Maintenance
- History of Alaska
- Language Arts and Reading
- Math and Problem Solving
- Fish and Animal Biology
The fisheries portion of this course is based on
the Lower Yukon School District fisheries and fisheries science
curricula. The language arts, math, science and social studies
portions have been designed to meet the district's objectives for
each of these areas. The other vocational areas such as welding
or wilderness survival, follow district or state-approved curricula
Students learn about the various methods of fishing
used around Alaska. They hang, mend and use gill nets and fish
traps. Preparation for work aboard a fishing vessel is emphasized.
Topics of interest to the fishers of Alaska are explored including
fish allocation, fish farming and hatcheries.
Students investigate the biology of the five
species of salmon and the freshwater fish found in this area.
This includes the life cycles, anatomy, behavior and classification
of these fish.
Students learn about various types of boats used
in this area including hull design, construction methods and
materials. They participate in the lofting, laying out and
actual construction of an aluminum skiff. Propulsion methods
are covered including outboard repair and maintenance. Electronics
and electrical systems used in small boats are also studied.
Students learn the bookkeeping and tax records
necessary for commercial fishing. Regulations covering commercial
and subsistence activities are studied along with experience
in filling out applications for the various loans and permits
encountered in the fishing industry.
5. Fish Preservation and Preparation
Students preserve the fish they have caught using
a variety of methods including salting, drying, kippering,
freezing, canning and pickling. They also prepare fish according
to local recipes.
6. Fish Processing and Quality
Students learn and practice proper techniques
for handling and refrigeration of fish to ensure high quality.
Commercial methods of processing fish are covered including
the observation of an operational processing plant.
7. Navigation and Weather
Basic navigation is covered including Maritime
rules and Coast Guard regulations. Students learn to collect
and analyze weather data.
Language Arts Activities
1. Writing Project
Students create and publish a collection of articles,
pictures, drawings, short stories, poems, etc. illustrating
the skills and knowledge acquired during this course (along
the lines of Foxfire or Camai.)
Students keep individual journals of daily activities
and prepare a monthly report for the Marshall Advisory School
3. Community Involvement
Students start a biweekly community '"fisheries
awareness" meeting. They meet with community members to discuss
the state of the fishery in this area and to participate in
promoting the Lower Yukon fish projects. Topics include:
- Canadian Treaty Negotiations
- False Pass Intercept Fisheries
- Value Added Product
- Fish Marketing
- Developing Fisheries for Other Species CDQ
and IFQ Programs
We also produce a newsletter to report on topic
discussions and new developments.
4. Computer Skills
Keyboarding word processing and desktop publishing
skills are used to publish the various papers, articles, reports
and newsletters required for this course. Students are also
required to produce at least one multimedia project per semester
to share their activities with the community.
5. Additional Reading
In addition to the reading required for the above
activities, students read and discuss at least two recreational
reading books per month.
Social Studies Activities
1. History of Alaska
Students learn about the history of the state
with an emphasis on the Alaska Native Lands Settlement Act,
the formation of and responsibilities of the Native Corporations
and the effects of these events on today's students. A class
project involves the design and implementation of interactive
web pages explaining this information for use at the elementary
2. History of Commercial and Subsistence Fishing
Students learn how fishing has evolved and how
current policies and laws have come about. The controversy
concerning subsistence hunting and fishing rights is explored
3. Geography of Alaska
Students learn map reading and mapping skills.
Maps of the village and river channels are produced. Students
are expected to become familiar with all major geographic features
of the state. Pen pal connections via regular and email are
established with students in other towns in Alaska.
4. Current Events Topics
Students become knowledgeable through readings,
television programs and other media sources of current events
especially those that relate to fishing. They are able to use
the Internet as a resource for information for class projects.
Students are expected to report to the class on one topic per
quarter in a formal presentation before the class to help fulfill
their public speaking credit.
5. Community Action
Students are expected to design and carry out
one project that provides the community with a service that
is not being performed at this time. Examples are a village-wide
recycling program, remodeling of the local teen center or addressing
the problem of trash disposal in our village.
1. Review of basic operations
Students review addition, subtraction, multiplication
and division and the rules and terminology of each. The Atari
CCC program is used to reinforce skills in each of these areas.
2. Decals, Fractions and Percents
Students use manipulatives and real life examples
to learn computation in the four basic operations for each
of these areas. They are expected to show fluency in conversions
between these forms of expression.
3. Banking and Budgeting
Students are paid for their time using simulated
money. Their paychecks are based on the hours they work with
increases for improved skills and attitudes according to the
class pay schedule (see example this page). They are charged
for room and board and fined for not following classroom rules.
There are rewards such as movies, campouts, etc. that can be
purchased with their savings. Students are responsible for
applying for checking accounts, depositing money and balancing
their checkbooks. Taxes are also computed for income and a
school sales tax is levied on all purchases.
4. Consumer Skills
Students learn to comparison shop and are expected
to fill out orders for fishing equipment, sporting goods and
groceries. They learn to read technical papers such as owners'
and service manuals, assembly instructions and recipes. Students
also learn to interpret charts and graphs.
5. Problem Solving
Students learn to use the five-step problem solving
plan and are expected to use this approach throughout the year.
6. Trip Planning
Students are responsible for the planning of
all trips including fuel and oil needed, menus, equipment costs
and any other logistical problems.
Fisheries Pay Schedule (Example)
Deckhand Pay Step 1: $4.25 per hour
This is an entry level position. If you
were selected for this position, congratulations, you are now a
Able Bodied Seaman Pay Step 2: $6.00 per hour
1. Demonstrate the ability to tie
ten basic knots and explain when to use each.
2. Know the names (common and scientific), the
life cycles and identifying characteristics of each of the
five Pacific salmon found in Alaska.
3. Demonstrate how to write a check and enter
this information in a check register.
4. Read two articles on fishing related topics
and describe these to the class.
5. Demonstrate how to cut and prepare fish for
freezing (heading, gutting, filleting and glazing).
Third Mate Pay Step 3: $7.50 per hour
1. Demonstrate how to hang and mend
a salmon gill net. Show calculations for hanging ratio, distance
and number of floats needed.
2. Demonstrate how to cut fish for smoking or
drying and be able to describe how to preserve fish using each
3. Demonstrate how to read a topographical map
and use a compass to follow a predetermined course.
4. Demonstrate how to calculate mileage and fuel
needed for a boat trip from Marshall to Mt. Village round trip.
5. Write a letter requesting information from
a company selling a product used in fishing or boating.
Integrating Native Values
by Andy Hope
Development of any curriculum that attempts to integrate
Native knowledge must address the source of that knowledge: the
language. That is one of the main reasons that I have been spending
so much energy lately organizing a Tlingit language consortium.
This consortium is comprised of a number of organizations and individuals
including Sealaska Heritage Foundation, Central Council of Tlingit
and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, the
Taku River Tlingit First Nation, the Sitka Native Education Program,
AKRSI, the Yukon Native Language Center, Dick and Nora Dauenhauer,
Vesta Dominicks, Al Duncan and Beth Leonard. Participation in the
group is growing with each meeting.
The consortium has met twice this year and is planning
another meeting for early April. I am recommending that the group
set two simple goals:
1. to facilitate community participation
in the development of Tlingit language programs and
2. Tlingit ownership of all Tlingit language
programs. The main reason community ownership of language programs
is so important is that it is unrealistic to place the entire
burden on Elders-the fluent speakers. Community ownership will
help ensure success.
To work toward the goals, I offer the following approaches.
Development of Early Childhood Programs
These programs could include immersion programs.
Elders could work with early childhood educators. The goal for
this program would be fluency for each child that enrolls.
Development of K-12 Programs With the Attendant
To begin the process of addressing this
need, work has begun on a certificate and degree program for Tlingit.
This program will be literacy based and would be roughly modeled
on the Iñupiaq and Athabascan programs at the University
of Alaska Fairbanks and the Native language program at the Yukon
Native Language Center in Whitehorse, Yukon. To retain Native ownership,
we will attempt to arrange this program with Fort Belknap College
in Montana pending development of a Tribal College in Tlingit country.
Another need in this area is literacy training for non-Tlingit
non-speakers, that is, teachers. This training would enable these
teachers to integrate traditional Tlingit knowledge into their
Development of Adult and Continuing Education
This is the big challenge: How to ensure
the support and participation of the "lost" generation of non-speakers?
These people have not had access to traditional Tlingit knowledge.
How do we provide access?
Development of Master/Apprentice Programs
These would enable non-speakers to work
one-on-one with speakers to attain fluency. This program would
be modeled on the Native California Network mentor program.
I organized panels on the issues outlined in this
article for the Assembly of Alaska Native Educators and the Bilingual
Multicultural Education Equity Conference. The Native Educator
session recommended that I organize monthly statewide teleconferences
to discuss development of Native language education programs. I
will try to organize the first of these in early March. Those interested
in participating can contact me at (907) 465-6362, email: email@example.com.
Integrating Native Values Through Dance
by Leona Kitchens
The Atka Aleut Dancers gave a stunning performance
at the Unalaska City School on February 9, 1998. The troupe consisted
of 16 dancers in ages ranging from kindergarten to adult with the
majority K-12. They sang and danced for a full hour almost non-stop.
Their movements were intricate and graceful and the music was unlike
anything I have heard, not to mention their dance dress! Undoubtedly
the finest performance I have ever seen! I highly recommend them-their
music and dance brought me to my feet! I cannot think of a better
way in which one can integrate traditional values than through
At the request of the dancers, the front row of the
school auditorium was reserved for the Elders. This place of honor
and respect given to the Elders is a value that is practiced by
the Unangan people as well as most native cultures. This seemingly
simple act, reserving the front row for the Elders, is a powerful
way to teach our youngsters about showing our respect and honoring
our Elders. The youngest member on stage is a kindergartner. Throughout
the dances she could be seen looking up toward the older dancers
and mimicking their movements. Often the older dancers would beam
smiles and knowing looks toward her. Teaching through example and
experiential learning are Native values that have long been a successful
mode of passing traditional knowledge to our youngsters.
It is through the dance that students can continue
to learn the language of their heritage. The Unangan language was
proudly spoken throughout the performance. The introduction of
the dancers by their Unangan names was exhilarating for everyone.
Our language is one of the most valued vehicles in which Native
values can be sustained.
One dance performed by the girls reflected the beautiful
call of the seagull. In another dance the boys wore masks. Many
of the dances are stories that come from daily events in people's
lives, but often are expressions of our ancestor's belief in the
world of spirit. The dances and rituals often express the interconnectedness
of the natural and supernatural worlds.
The regalia the dance group wore was of the finest
quality and workmanship. The students are learning not only the
time-honored labor that goes into each garment, but the meaning
behind each piece. Detailed consideration must be given to the
patterns, the colors and the materials used. Two of the male dancers
wore bentwood hats, while the females wore intricately beaded headdresses.
As one style hat may be worn for hunting another is worn for ceremonial
occasions; careful deliberation must be given to the appropriateness
of dress for the occasion. Facial ornamentation and dress often
reflect status, wealth and beauty and this had to be taken into
account as the dancers on stage had the appearance of facial tattoos.
I know that I have only touched the surface of the
Native values that constitute the dance. I challenge you to join
the dance group in your area and if there is not one, to begin
one. Be assured that you will find endless and fulfilling ways
to integrate Native values!
Integrating Native Values
by Elmer Jackson
Elders, native educators, Iñupiaq language
teachers and certified teachers at the Northwest Arctic Borough
School District (NWABSD) began the process of curriculum development.
At their December 10-12, 1997 subsistence curriculum development
workshop, they gathered information on whitefish, caribou, fall
camping, spring camping and medicinal plants.
Lesson units will be created for teachers in the
Iñupiaq region. It was suggested that it might be helpful
to follow the months and seasons beginning with January (Siginniatchiaq.)
Activities of the Iñupiat include many chores, including
creating their subsistence tools for trapping, fishing and gathering
food and wood. Young people are taught the building of sleds, boats
and snowshoes and they learn about weather conditions and the different
types of snow. It is important for the young to learn and know
where the fish are and knowing what supplies to take when one is
out hunting is essential. They learn about predicting weather by
observing the weather. For example, a circle around the moon signals
stormy weather. They learn about winter survival and how to dress
for the cold. When a person is out camping during the winter, he
looks for an area where there is soft snow; a place that has hard
snow means that particular area is windy.
The following information was shared as an activity
that the Kobuk River people practiced in their quest for survival.
During the 20s through the 50s, the men would qaqi;
they traveled by foot with their pack dogs up the Squirrel River
towards Noatak and further north in search of caribou and other
The men hunted for caribou (tuttu),
Dall sheep (ipniaq), ground
squirrels (siksrik, aqlaq)
and grizzly and black bear (iyagriq).
The skins of the animals were dried and brought back to the community.
The hunters saved every part of the animal. Everything in nature
was respected. The muscle tendon, or ivalu,
was dried and woven into thread strings for sewing the furs. The
meat of the caribou, bear, dall sheep and fish were cut into strips
and dried. After the drying process they were stored in cool dry
places, caches or cold storage. The hunters stayed at their hunting
places until Autumn began to color the Earth with bright colors.
When the geese and ducks began their journey south, the men knew
it was time to prepare for their journey home. The hunters gathered
their bounty and, along with the pack dogs, carried the load. The
rest of the food supply was stored and when winter came and the
ice was safe to travel on they went back with a dog team to get
the rest of their supplies.
The hunters walked for many miles to the where the
Squirrel River meets the Kobuk River as it channels to the west.
The men and dogs rested at the river. A camp was set up for the
purpose of cutting logs for a raft (umiagluq).
The logs were tied with rawhide from the animal skins. In Susie
Barrs' account of Living In The Old Days, the men would float down
the river at the time of the full moon.
While the men were hunting, the women and children
stayed home gathering plants, berries, wild potato (masru),
(masru is a sweet root preserved
in seal oil), fish, maktak and puugmiutaq (dried
seal meat). They labored all summer and through fall gathering
food. From animal fats to dried meats and fish, many delicacies
were created and stored. Ittukpala is
a dish where fish eggs are mashed and whipped; cranberries are
added and whipped until it doubles in size. This delicious Iñupiaq
mousse is a healthy mixture of protein and vitamin C. Another dish
is ripe rose hips, whipped, and then seal oil is added and whipped
until it is mixed thoroughly.
Everyday the family continued to gather food. Before
the ice and snow arrived, they all returned to their winter dwellings
of sod and wood. When the ice on the river was safe to walk on,
the people set nets and hooks for fish filled with suvaks-eggs.
In the earlier days, before contact with other cultures,
the Iñupiat utilized seal oil lamps for cooking, warmth
and light. Later they used wood stoves and the need for wood gathering
or coal became a daily chore.
There were times of celebration in the community.
A young man's first successful hunt was given away. A feast and
celebration was planned. Many Iñupiaq foods were prepared
and taken to the community center or church for a feast. The Iñupiat
people share their food with others. Some families do not have
a food provider or a hunter; so food, skins and wood for fuel is
Qivgi is a gathering
of the people-one community would invite another. They feasted,
danced and told stories or legends to the children. Many children
nestled close to the storyteller, listening intently. The flicker
of the seal oil lamp light seemed to bring to life the story itself.
by Barbara "Mak" Liu
This past fall, in October, various regional school
district members at our regional consortium meeting in Bethel were
introduced to student work from Paul T. Albert Memorial School
in Tununak called the Yup'ik Encyclopedia. Chris Meier, teacher
there at the time, provided a compilation of student work archiving
Tununak Elders knowledge, skills, stories and lore on the computer.
Another former teacher, Hugh Dyment, now at Bethel High School
wrote an extensive article about this schoolwide project in the
'97 issue of Bread Loaf Rural Teacher Network.
In other AKRSI related events, Sean Topkok and Scott
Christian visited Kasigluk February 9-12. While there they helped
the Akula students create web pages. In the fall, curriculum unit
building began with area teachers and a few curriculum specialists
at a workshop session with Stephanie Hoag, Scott Christian and
Theresa John in Bethel. A followup session was held in Anchorage,
February 13 and 14 with Peggy Cowan and other statewide unit-building
teams. Sophie Kassayuli from Yupiit School District is working
on a plant unit with the help of resources from her community using
local plants that grow in the summer months. Natalia Luehman is
from the Yup'ik community of St. Mary's and her unit-building topic
is on weather. Much credit is given to the teachers and school
personnel that are passing on culturally-appropriate lessons to
the multitude of students in various grade levels and classes.
As more gets done, parents and Elders' gratitude will multiply.
Yup'ik/Cup'ik Elders are valuable resources in building
oral language skills and content. I recently had the privilege
of presenting Y/Cup'ik stories in a 90-minute session at the Bilingual
Multicultural Education Equity Conference with Hooper Bay/Chevak
Elder, Louise Tall. The session was well attended by many Yup'ik
and Cup'ik speaking teachers. It is enlightening to know of the
support we have in our region for stories that can be incorporated
in lessons. Louise is in her mid-eighties born at a time when there
was no calendars with numbers. She grew up in Qissuunaq (Chevak)
area and moved to Naparyaaq (Hooper Bay) when she first married.
She told three stories at the conference. Tuqutarayuli tells
about sibling rivalry and how a poor unwanted girl is saved by
a crab person (yungnguruulluku). Ciuliaqatuum
Pania Neqnguarluku is about a man asking for a tiny
fish from First Man's daughter at the headwaters of the Kuskokwim
or Yukon, then a shortened version of Tekciugglugaat,
and how this Sparrow family moves from place to place. As a small
prelude, I read the story Quarruuk which
is about two old women who were fooled by a needlefish. For a time-filler
(giving Louise a short break between her stories) Zach Parks, student
at Nunapitchuk High School, entertained, via video tape, with a
short story called Kaviaq, Lagiq-llu which
tells how Fox was truly embarrassed by Goose.
Plans are underway for statewide MOA partners to
meet the first week of April in St. Mary's, Alaska. The dates for
the meeting are April 5-7, 1998. One other activity that is being
tentatively planned with Calista's Elder Council coordinator, Mark
John, is an Elders and Youth Conference tentatively scheduled in
September of 1998 in Kasigluk. Agenda for the spring consortium
will be sent to all AKRSI/ARC MOA partners. The Fall conference
agenda will be available to regional AKRSI/ARC MOA partners also.
by Amy Van Hatten
Welcome Skies of Blue, Sun and You! As we enter Year
Three, there are countless new facets to the Alaska Rural Systemic
Initiative and the Annenberg Rural Challenge for the Interior.
Whenever I consider the many activities of the partners, I appreciate
how expansive curriculum development has to be for enhancing student
performance as members within their school, community and world.
It reinforces the need for bringing people together to continue
to work on developing successful teaching practices in rural education.
Our unit-building team has been working on integrating "Native
Ways of Knowing" in a curriculum unit on snowshoes for grades 5-12.
We are now looking for teachers to field test it, so please let
me know if you are interested.
There is so much happening! Sometimes, to rejuvenate
my excitement, I read over prior issues of "Sharing Our Pathways" to
get a better grasp on the whole picture. It helps me to recognize
where rural Alaskan's needs are with respect to education, the
environment and the economy. There are many interested groups who
might stand to gain directly or indirectly by supporting community-based
curriculum. Additionally, as I assess my role as coordinator from
time to time, I realize I have another responsibility and that
is to see the difference between "what is" and "what can or should
Watch for further developments on the 1998 Athabascan
Regional initiatives Native Ways of Knowing and ANCSA and the Subsistence
Economy. I look forward to networking with everyone of you. Just
let me know where I can be of assistance.
Education Specialist II Position
The Alaska Department of Education is recruiting
an Education Specialist II, position ID number 05-1637, effective
immediately. This is a fulltime, permanent, range 21 position.
Starting bi-weekly salary $2,204.50 located in the TRS retirement
Taken from the Workplace Alaska, Division of Personnel
the position description follows:
The incumbent is responsible for providing statewide
leadership, program planning and implementation, evaluation of
programs related to bilingual education and limited English proficient
programs in Alaska. The incumbent works closely with staff in school
districts involved with state-funded bilingual education programs.
Additionally, the incumbent administers the department's federal
Title VII Bilingual Education grant. This position will be connected
to the federal Title I Disadvantaged and Migrant Education programs,
specifically in the area serving limited English proficient (LEP)
students. General duties for this position within the Bilingual
and Title I/Migrant I LEP areas include, but are not limited to
- Review and approve school district bilingual education
- Provide technical assistance related to bilingual
and LEP program implementation and instructional strategies;
- Research and identify programs with evidence of
effectiveness in serving these populations;
- Provide or arrange for direct training and/or
staff development for bilingual and LEP instructors and administrators;
- Provide technical assistance on standards based
instructional models and
- Appropriate assessment systems and instruments.
ANKN Publications and Resources
Go to the ANKN Publications
and Resources to Order website
View Online Resources
Alaska RSI Contacts
The Alaska RSI Regional Coordinators are
located in five regions within the state of Alaska. They
are listed below to help you identify the correct contact.
Amy Van Hatten
Athabascan Regional Coordinator
5230 Fairchild Avenue
Fairbanks, Alaska 99709-4525
(907) 474-0275 phone
Iñupiaq Regional Coordinator
PO Box 134
Kiana, Alaska 99749
Southeast Regional Coordinator
University of Alaska Southeast
School of Business/PR
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, Alaska 99801
Yup'ik Regional Coordinator
Bethel, Alaska 99559
Aleutians Regional Coordinator
P.O. Box 921063
Dutch Harbor, Alaska 99692
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-1902 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-1902 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax
Dorothy M. Larson
Alaska Federation of Natives
1577 C Street, Suite 201
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 274-3611 phone
(907) 276-7989 fax
Sharing Our Pathways is a
publication of the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative, funded
by the National Science Foundation Division of Educational
Systemic Reform in agreement with the Alaska Federation of
Natives and the University of Alaska.
We welcome your comments and suggestions and
encourage you to submit them to:
The Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
P.O. Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-1902 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax
Newsletter Editor: Lolly Carpluk
Layout & Design: Paula Elmes
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