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

Sharing Our Pathways

A newsletter of the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative

Alaska Federation of Natives / University of Alaska / National Science Foundation

Volume 4, Issue 3, Summer 1999


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In This Issue:

Preparing Culturally Responsive Teachers for Alaska's Schools

Lessons Learned

Partnerships are Necessary

The Cry of the Loon

Village Science

Aleut/Alutiiq Region

Iñupiaq Region

Yup'ik Region

Southeast Region

Athabascan Region

Summer '99 Camps

Alaska RSI Contacts

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Preparing Culturally Responsive Teachers for Alaska’s Schools

The following guidelines, adopted by the Assembly of Alaska Native Educators in February 1999, address issues that should be considered in the preparation of teachers who will be expected to teach students from diverse cultural backgrounds in a culturally responsive and healthy way. The intent of these guidelines is to offer assistance to teacher education programs in addressing the special considerations that come into play for teachers seeking to implement the Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools in their work as educators.

Using the Alaska Teacher Standards as a framework, these guidelines provide specific suggestions for complementary knowledge and skills that culturally-responsive teachers need to acquire above and beyond the performance indicators stipulated by the state for each of the teacher standards. While all of these guidelines should be given explicit attention during the initial pre-service preparation of teachers, many of them will benefit as well from continued attention throughout a teacher's professional career. No student, community or society stands still for long and, therefore, neither can a teacher.

The guidelines are in draft form now, with plans to publish the final version this summer. You can download a pdf version (viewable with Acrobat Reader) from our ANKN website at

1. Philosophy

A teacher can describe the teacher's philosophy of education and demonstrate its relationship to the teacher's practice.

Culturally responsive teacher candidates who meet this standard will:

  1. develop a philosophy of education that is able to accommodate multiple world views, values and belief systems, including the interconnectedness of the human, natural and spiritual worlds as reflected in Alaska Native societies.

  2. incorporate locally appropriate cultural values, as reflected in the various regional value statements and posters, in all aspects of their teaching.

  3. gain first-hand experience in alternative ways of knowing and learning under the guidance of personnel who are themselves grounded in ways of knowing that are different from those based on a literate tradition (i.e., schooling), including the experientially-based oral tradition of Alaska Native societies.

  4. incorporate alternative ways of knowing in their teaching practice and understand the similarities and differences between them, particularly with regard to Alaska Native and Western traditions.

  5. demonstrate their understanding of alternative world views in contexts where they can be judged by practitioners of those world views.

2. Learning Theory & Practice

A teacher understands how students learn and develop and applies that knowledge in the teacher's practice.

Culturally responsive teacher candidates who meet this standard will:

  1. incorporate and build upon the prior knowledge and experiences of the students in their care and reinforce the positive parenting and child-rearing practices from the community in all aspects of their teaching.

  2. demonstrate a thorough understanding of the role of naturalistic intelligence in indigenous societies and will demonstrate their ability to draw upon multiple forms of intelligence in their teaching practice.

  3. acquire and apply a full repertoire of skills for the appropriate use of experiential approaches to teaching and learning in their teaching practice.

  4. demonstrate the ability to work with mixed-age/grade groupings in their classroom and to utilize the range of abilities and experiences in such a situation to instructional advantage.

  5. approach the developmental potential of their students in a way that recognizes that all children develop at their own rate and in their own way.

  6. engage in extended experiences that involve the development of observing and listening skills associated with the traditional learning ways of Native people.

3. Diversity

A teacher teaches students with respect for their individual and cultural characteristics.

Culturally responsive teacher candidates who meet this standard will:

  1. acquire and apply the skills needed to learn about the local language(s) and culture(s) of the community in which they are situated.

  2. draw upon the traditional teaching roles and practices in the community to enhance the educational experiences of their students.

  3. participate in an Elders-in-Residence program and learn how to implement such a program in their own school and classroom.

  4. understand the significance of the role of cultural identity in providing a strong foundation for all social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development and will demonstrate the ability to build on that understanding in their teaching.

  5. acquire a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of the local, regional and statewide context in which their students live and be able to pass on that understanding in their teaching, particularly as it relates to the well-being and survival of small societies.

  6. help their students to understand and compare different notions of cultural diversity from within and beyond their own community and cultural region, including factors that come into play within culturally mixed and blended families.

  7. serve as adult role models by actively contributing to the local lifeways and traditions as practiced in the community in which they teach.

4. Content

A teacher knows the teacher's content area and how to teach it.

Culturally responsive teacher candidates who meet this standard will:

  1. pursue interdisciplinary studies across multiple subject areas that are applicable to the curriculum content they will be called upon to teach as it relates to the real-world context in which their students are situated.

  2. demonstrate an extensive repertoire of skills for the application of the content knowledge they teach in guiding students toward the development of local solutions to everyday problems in the world around them.

  3. know how to acquire an in-depth understanding of the knowledge system indigenous to the place in which they are teaching and apply that understanding in their practice.

  4. demonstrate a recognition that many and various cultural traditions from throughout the world, including Alaska Native, have contributed to the knowledge base reflected in the Alaska Content Standards.

  5. demonstrate the ability to align all subject matter with the Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools and to develop curriculum models that are based on the local cultural and environmental experiences of their students.

  6. recognize the importance of cultural and intellectual property rights in their teaching practice and will honor such rights in all aspects of their selection and utilization of curriculum resources.

5. Instruction & Assessment

A teacher facilitates, monitors and assesses student learning

Culturally responsive teacher candidates who meet this standard will:

  1. utilize multiple instructional strategies and apply those strategies appropriately and flexibly in response to the cultural and instructional environment in which they are situated.

  2. incorporate and build upon locally identified cultural values and beliefs in all aspects of their teaching and assessment practices.

  3. construct and teach to alternative curriculum frameworks, including those grounded in Alaska Native world views and knowledge systems.

  4. utilize alternative instructional strategies grounded in ways of teaching and learning traditional to the local community and engage community members in helping to assess their effectiveness in achieving student learning.

  5. demonstrate the ability to utilize a broad assortment of assessment skills and tools in their teaching that maximize the opportunities for students to demonstrate their competence in a variety of ways applicable to local circumstances, including the involvement of local Elders to pass judgement on knowledge and skills associated with traditional cultural practices.

  6. demonstrate a thorough understanding of the cultural implications of standardized and norm-referenced tests and be able to make appropriate decisions regarding their use for educational and accountability purposes.

  7. consider all forms of intelligence and problem-solving skills in the assessment of the learning potential of students in their care and provide appropriate opportunities for the educational advancement of all students.

  8. acquire the skills to utilize technology as a tool to enhance educational opportunities and to facilitate appropriate documentation and communication of local cultural knowledge while honoring cultural and intellectual property rights.

6. Learning Environment

A teacher creates and maintains a learning environment in which all students are actively engaged and contributing members.

Culturally responsive teacher candidates who meet this standard will:

  1. construct learning environments in the classroom context that are modeled on natural learning environments in the community.

  2. effectively utilize the local community as an extension of the classroom learning environment.

  3. successfully prepare for, organize and implement extended camps and other seasonal everyday-life experiences to ground student learning naturally in the surrounding environment.

  4. utilize natural structures and models to construct learning environments that are compatible with the cultural and ecological context in which students are situated.

7. Family & Community Involvement

A teacher works as a partner with parents, families and with the community.

Culturally responsive teacher candidates who meet this standard will:

  1. effectively identify and utilize the resources and expertise in the surrounding community to enhance the learning opportunities of the students.

  2. develop partnerships with parents, Elders, school board members and other community members as co-teachers in all aspects of their curricular and instructional planning and implementation, and arrange for appropriate recognition for such contributions.

  3. understand the role and responsibility of the school as a significant factor in the social, economic and political make-up of the surrounding community and as a major contributor to the communities health and well-being.

  4. assume culturally appropriate and constructive roles in the community in which they teach and respect the roles and contributions of other members of the community.

8. Professional Growth

A teacher participates in and contributes to the teaching profession.

Culturally responsive teacher candidates who meet this standard will:

  1. draw upon the regional Native Educator Associations along with state and district resources for their own educational improvement and professional growth.

  2. engage in critical self-assessment and participatory research to ascertain the extent to which their teaching practices are grounded in the traditional ways of knowing and transmitting the culture of the surrounding community.

  3. prepare and maintain a comprehensive portfolio documenting the strengths and weaknesses they bring to their role as a teacher.

  4. demonstrate their willingness and ability to contribute to a supportive collegial environment that promotes professional growth of all participants on behalf of the educational and cultural well-being of the students in their care.

  5. participate in, contribute to and learn from local community events and activities in culturally appropriate ways.

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Lessons Learned

by Mary Rubadeau

An address for the Alaska Native Education Leadership Retreat, January 1999, Wasilla, Alaska

It has been a remarkable and rewarding afternoon, listening to the talented and committed people speaking today. They are giving us their pledge to keep the educational needs of rural Alaska and Alaska Natives at the very center of their decision-making on the statewide scale. I applaud the vision and commitment of everyone in this room and the organizers of this retreat. What we are about today is Alaska Native student success.

Twenty years ago my husband, Bob, and I moved from New York to Unalakleet. I was to be the special education teacher for the BIA school there. I had a shiny new degree and was ready to get right in there and "change the world!" But, as happens often in life, things turned out differently than I had planned. And, looking back, I guess you could say that the best part of my "real education" began there on the Bering Sea coast.

I want to spend a few minutes telling you about some of my teachers and how they taught me what I needed to know. A few "lessons from the bush." I also want to share a short list of guiding principles I learned from these cultural teachers-a checklist I have used as a quick test for myself to see if an idea meets the high standards of cultural relevance and application. And then I will relate briefly how the Juneau School District responded positively to an Office of Civil Rights complaint and built programs and services to better meet the educational needs of our Alaska Native students.

My first teachers in Unalakleet were Thora and Martha-the two oldest women in the village. They waved us over on our first walk through town. Many of you know the kind of wave I mean! With a mischievous twinkle in their eyes and not an ounce of shyness in their direct interrogation, they introduced us to our first important lesson. They asked the important questions first, to put us into a context they could understand with information about the single most important influence on who we were: our families. Where does your family live? Is it a city? Have they been to Alaska? Will they miss you? Brothers? Sisters? Nieces, nephews? Why don't you have any children yet? Over tea they spoke about their own families. It was important that they let us know how their lives had grown in relation to others. So many names! Martha alone had twenty-four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Thora, as a much sought after traditional midwife, had delivered hundreds of babies over her fifty-year vocation. All were "family."

In the following years I learned to listen to people as they told me about a child. You know what I mean, "That little Rosie, she is Diane's second girl, fourth baby. Her mother is Elsa, sister to Ruby from Bethel. Baby's father is Clarence. His mother was Ethel and married to the postmaster . . . " I always found within those names the right person to call if Rosie was having a difficult time. They gave me the adult mentor for this child. Just the right advocate in this child's life that would help me see to the child's needs-Lesson Number One.

Before we left that first day they pulled me aside and agreed that now that I was in Unalakleet I would have babies. They told me to drink stinkweed tea and sleep with my feet towards the door. Sure enough, both of my children came as naturally into the village as that first conversation with these remarkable women.

All of the latest findings in developmental brain research points to the tremendous importance of nurturing, parental involvement and positive stimulation during the earliest years of a baby's life. As a cornerstone of their culture, Alaska Natives understand and reinforce this concept. Children from birth were not left behind. They were brought to every event, every meeting. Their well-being was factored without mention into planning large community gatherings or small groups discussing matters at city hall. Children were not excluded. Their needs were never thought of as separate from the agenda of a meeting. This was Lesson Number Two.

As a teacher I watched with interest the keen, but fair, competitiveness of the children. Although setting high goals and meeting the mark was evident in athletics and subsistence activities, it was hard to find the right way to transfer the strategy to the classroom. I asked Thora about how could I get my students to view algebra like a foot race. She sat me down in her kitchen and with all of the great acting ability of an accomplished storyteller, and told me why competition, although sometimes necessary, should always make us laugh, not create winners and losers:

Two old women were picking berries on the tundra in their long dresses and their break-up boots. These women had spent their whole lives as friends, gone to school, raised their families, and enjoyed their status as Elders. The picking was good and in the late afternoon they found themselves far away from the village, near a stand of willows. Suddenly a big grizzly bear lumbers out of the trees and spots them. They begin to back away and the bear slowly follows them out across the tundra.

The two women turn and run arm in arm across the tough footing of the tundra. Looking back they see that the bear is gaining. Suddenly, one of the ladies sits down on the tundra, kicks off her rubber boots and begins digging in her backpack for her tennis shoes. Her friend is trying to pull her back to her feet as the bear closes the distance. "Hurry up, hurry up," she said. "Those shoes aren't going to help you outrun the bear!" The seated woman ties her last knot and jumps to her feet. "I don't have to outrun the bear," she said with a wink, "I just have to outrun you!"

Competition is not the only way to motivate and interest a child in achieving high standards-Lesson Number Three.

We need to look to our pockets of excellence in Alaska: There are many exceptional classrooms already in rural and urban Alaska. Classrooms in all of our districts where:

  • The learning outcomes-the targets for success are clear.

  • All students find opportunities within the school day to shine.

  • Teachers have resources-including technology.

  • There are many ways for students to demonstrate competencies.

  • There are consistent high expectations for all students.

  • Highly trained and creative teachers employ a variety of instructional methods to meet diverse learning styles.

  • The richness of Native language, music and culture is celebrated for its cognitive and spiritual worth.

  • Parents and caregivers are full participants in the educational plans for their children.

  • The challenge to all of us as educational leaders is to expand the success of these model classrooms system wide.

  • The role of parents in a child's education is one of the highest predictors of future success.

  • All children are special. Each learns in their own unique way. Beware of categories that divert resources from the primary teacher-student relationship.

  • Community partnerships with business leaders, elected officials, parents and family service agencies strengthen an educational system.

  • Keep what is best for children and learning at the very center of your agenda. Put bargaining units, facility needs and grant criteria secondary to designing an educational program to meet each child's needs.

  • Schools are a community asset to be used to assist children and families. Mental health counseling, family support services, before and after school programs, structured recreational activities and adult learning opportunities all belong within the walls of a school.

  • A positive and safe school climate where respect is a core value that is reinforced at every opportunity.

I'd also like to share a few stories from Juneau. There are 1,150 Alaska Native students in the Juneau Schools, approximately 20% of the student population. When I went to Juneau in 1994, there was a complaint against the district from the Office of Civil Rights regarding the over-identification of Native students in special education. This was a national problem that was very real in the Juneau School District and it was not clear how to resolve it. If we decertified children from eligibility, then funding and services would be cut.

Many Alaska Native leaders, parents, specialists, teachers and even administrators become students of the problem. We networked with national experts and read and thought and talked and listened to each other.

Today we can't claim that the issue is resolved, but we have new strategies that work far better to serve kids and families while placing a high value on cultural influences on learning. Those strategies include:

  • cultural interviews,

  • new assessments,

  • intervention teams and

  • a long term plan for staff development on equity and multicultural issues.

We have also developed a vision for identifying Alaska Native language and cultural and traditional learning styles as gifts, not handicaps. We have stopped putting bureaucratic labels of "communication disordered" and "learning disabled" on kids, and have taken administrative and paperwork time and used it to better serve them.

In the past year, the district has worked with Native leaders to develop a Tlingit Language Plan. Juneau is making a commitment to blending the traditional language and cultural history within multiple aspects of the curriculum, not simply creating a separate class that must compete for limited resources. We have a cadre of teachers who have made a commitment to be our anchor team to kindle this fire that we know will take years of resolve to flourish. But it does feel good to be taking action on this critical issue instead of just talking and wringing our hands!

The actions we have taken in Juneau have one common goal-to increase the achievement and success of Native students. We've worked towards this goal on many fronts: new alternative programs, more classroom options, summer school, tutorials, an Early Scholars and Elders-in-the-Schools program and a partnership with Headstart to serve 20 additional Native children and families in a new site in one of our schools.

We are making progress, but again these actions require long-term commitment. We have much to learn from each other. I feel privileged today to share some of my reflections and experiences with you. My vision for the future is an individualized learning plan for every child-a blueprint for learning. My future has students demonstrating their competencies in a project-based format. Each student will have a portfolio of their educational products that show their abilities and work. My future for education includes a positive adult mentor for each student. No child can have too many people interested in their well-being and development and every child deserves a mentor and advocate.

I look forward to building on the many other lessons handed down from Thora and Martha. I am excited about listening and learning from all of you over the next two days. Thank you for hosting this retreat. Thanks to all of you for being here.

It will take every ounce of our leadership, vision and resolve to make sure that all of the children in Alaska have not only the opportunity to dream big dreams, but also the skills to make them come true.

Thank you,

Quyana, Gunalcheesh

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Partnerships Are Necessary For Success

by Frank Hill

Angayuk (Alutiiq), Paatnaaq (Iñupiaq), Ikayuqa (Yup'ik), Agitaasax (Unangan), Woosh een yei gidne (Tlingit), Neelggenaa'yoo (Koyukon-Athabascan)

The words above mean partner in some of the Alaska Native language dialects, but all share the understanding that it takes the coordinated skills of individuals to accomplish a task or complete an activity. If any part of the partnership fails to do their work, the probability of success is decreased.

Many successful endeavors depend on the coordinated work of individuals or groups of individuals. Such is true of the work of the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative/Rural Challenge; without the partnerships we have established throughout Alaska, the efforts of AKRSI/RC would not be successful.

Many corporate and legal entities have senior partners that established the concept of the business or firm and continue to serve as advisors to the entity's success. Alaska Native Elders are our senior partners; they collectively contribute their wisdom and knowledge to the project so that we can continue to be successful in our mission to enact systemic change in Alaska's rural schools and improve learning opportunities for Alaska's rural and Native children.

AKRSI/RC's partners include school districts, the University of Alaska, private higher educational institutions, local tribal colleges, Native teacher associations, the Alaska Department of Education, tribal organizations, city and borough governments, public and private organizations, and individuals. Partners must have a coordinated vision of the goal or mission of the enterprise. Each partner must do their part to ensure that the goal is accomplished. Partners meet frequently to make sure that everyone is working toward that goal.

Partners can be depended on to do their job; just like I knew my commercial fishing partners would do theirs. Commercial fishing is a dangerous activity, and without the confidence that my partners would do their jobs unfailingly, I, as captain, would not be able to do my job of keeping the boat where the fish are, safely. My hunting partner, George, and I have established a pattern for successful hunting-we know each other's skills and strengths and can depend on each other to make sure that we have successful and safe hunts. My Finnish father had a friend who named his small boat Ipa, which I understand to be "partner" in Finnish. He named his boat appropriately because he said he could depend on it to do whatever he asked, unfailingly, every time.

The aft/helmsman in an Aleut baidarka had to know how to keep the craft stable on the ocean waves so that his partner could successfully throw his spear. This is one of many examples of partners working together in Alaska Native cultures to be able to successfully live in their environments. It often took whole groups to do the job, such as a successful whaling crew, then later, the whole village was needed to pull the whale onto the ice and divide the bounty.

The AKRSI/RC partners have been working together for nearly four years. Since we began, we have maintained a consistent set of partners and have refined our methods and means to stay on track. It is still very important to keep our partners informed and updated as we approach the last year of the project, in the time we have given ourselves to accomplish our mission.

We want to thank the AKRSI/RC partners for the work they have done. They need to know that without their individual and group efforts, none of what we have accomplished would have happened.

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The Cry of the Loon

by Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley

The following article is a continuation from the previous issue of Sharing Our Pathways

The loon's standards of life and making a living are impec- cable, thus allowing it to live successfully for many thousands of years. Its basic standard is respect-a respect for the Greater Being, spirits, others' rights to live a life that fits their needs and a respect for the environment. It is taught all aspects of its place by its parents using all five senses. The young are taught how to play; taught the ritual of swimming, diving and making its call; taught how to select a nesting place; taught the art of making a nest; taught to appreciate the lifeforms within its place and taught to live a life that is interacting with all that is around it. Nature is science. It knows that it is a loon and always will remember that. Yes, its standards are simple and intertwined leading to a life that is full of meaning and direction.

For those of us who are indigenous or Native people, we must resurrect our ways of recognizing and paying homage to the Ellam Yua spirits and Nature. When we regain our spirituality, we will again learn to laugh from our hearts and play because "those who know how to play can easily leap over the adversaries of life. And one who knows how to sing and laugh never brews mischief" (an Iglulik proverb.) When we awake at dawn and look at the sun rising and life begins to stir again, this is mysterious. The loon is telling us of this mystery of life-its mysterious connection to us. This is sacred. When we begin to understand this, we will begin to change our relationship to our environment. We will begin to experience a need for a new existence. I am happy to state that among the Alaska Native people, the Yupiat have striven for and are heading for a new existence! We have many Yupiat Elders and others who have become teachers for all of us, and all point to the same direction-a new consciousness for life. A new consciousness that is vibrantly traditional, full of truth, beauty, health, happiness and love. These five attributes of life become the foundations to the question that each and every one of us will ask ourselves as to the type of life that we want to pursue. As we put this into practice, we will become the model of existence for now and in the future.

In this contemporary world of chaos, we can create our own reality. We can re-create ourselves as we want to be. We have the power within us to do this. We have three things that will help us to do this. First, we have our past through myths, stories, rituals and ceremonies. We can draw from them that which will help us reconstruct, and dispense with those that will not be of help to us in our efforts. Secondly, we have our imagination and ability to see what we would like to be in the future. What will we look like? What will we live in? How will we make our living? What kinds of things will we possess? How will we recognize the spiritual? And, lastly, we have our rational, thinking minds that react to things around us and thus enable us to connect with things as they are now. We know what we are, know what others think of us, know how we try to make a living, know how the federal and state governments work against us, and know how we react to negative as well as the few positive things that happen to us. Knowing these time and thought spirals can help us to reconstruct our reality and ourselves. It is time that we make songs about alcohol and drugs telling of their power over us, telling us it is now time for us to give up and be released from their use, and give up or relinquish our emotional ties to these destructive elements. If we merely release these from our lives, we will return to it. So it is absolutely necessary that we give up our emotional ties to it-I do it because it makes me feel good, allows me to talk and mix with people. This is an emotional tie that will get you back to it.

The loon reminds us that its standards for life are high, and so should ours. In looking at the federal and state standards, I get confused as to the real meaning of them. Perhaps it's the fragmented and convoluted approach by fields of study that make this so. It does not show me a need for a change in education. There is an old Chinese saying that goes something like this: When there is someone pointing at the moon, only the idiot looks at the finger! These Eurocentric standards require that we look at the content of the various fields of study. They tell us what our students are purportedly to know at the end of secondary school. Content, thus information accumulation and reasoning, seems to be of overriding importance. As I've said before, information and rationality are a very small part of learning. There is a missing ingredient that fails to give direction and a wholeness to the standards. This is not to say that they are useless, but can be if left alone.

The needed ingredients (strange attractors) are the Alaska Standards for Culturally Responsive Schools. These say to me that there needs to be a change in education, not only schooling. Schooling is that which happens in the structure called the school. Education is that which happens within and without the family, school and community. The latter is all inclusive. In reading and thinking about the standards, I get the distinct feeling that there is a need to change the way that we teach, the things that we teach about, the materials we use, how we measure growth and development and where things are taught. These standards behoove that something be done to accommodate the Native thought-worlds, their worldviews. The loon would desire this for its survival and ours. We are now on that pathway.

In conclusion, the cry of the loon is encouraging us to balance our physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual selves to begin to live lives that feel just right, walking peacefully and expressing it to others in our own Native languages. Piurciqukut Yuluta pitallketuluta.-"we will become people living a life that feels just right." Quyana.

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Village Science: “. . . And Junk Like That”

by Alan Dick

Over thirty years ago, right after freeze-up, I helped Jack Ingatti make a fishtrap. We spent hours splitting spruce for the fence, chopping poles to support the fence and many more hours picking river ice to set the trap. The first time we checked the fishtrap was an eye-opener. Hundreds of lush (burbot) flopped on the ice until the cold air silenced their efforts. Every day the trap produced a harvest for the village.

One of my partners and I had a dog team that was a composite of all the rejects in the village-dogs people didn't want to feed and didn't want to shoot. They were slow but adequate for our needs. The oldtimers told us not to feed fresh lush to our dogs but to freeze them for several nights first. We thought about it and decided that they were giving us some superstition because we could see that the lush were fat and good dog feed. When it was our turn to check the fishtrap, the dogs agreed with us as they ate the fresh lush on the spot. We didn't say anything, not wanting to hurt people's feelings by exposing the local superstition. Within two weeks our dogs were totally lifeless. We had to rest them halfway to the store and it was only two miles from the village. Occasionally, someone mumbled, "fresh lush." We didn't make the connection for quite a while. We fed our dogs tremendous amounts of dogfeed, but they remained skinny and lazy. Finally, the tapeworms started dangling from the dogs' posterior and we got it. Fresh lush have tapeworms! If we had frozen or cooked the lush, our dogs could have made it to the store without a break halfway. Superstition? Hardly. That was science.

The oldtimers always told us not to eat snow when walking in the winter. They said to stop and make tea over a fire if we were thirsty. I was only about five miles from home and had walked the trail before. Not wanting to waste time making a fire, I shrugged off the advice and started eating handfuls of snow to quench my great thirst. I almost didn't make it home. It takes 80 calories to convert one gram of 32š ice to 32š water. A junior high student could have done the math and told me I hadn't eaten enough food that day to provide the energy necessary to melt large quantities of snow. I felt qualified to write the sequel to a Jack London saga by the time I dragged myself in the door.

I wasn't alone in my foolishness. In the late '60s there was a new BIA teacher in the village. He said "Native people are smart for how to cross the river and junk like that." Before six months were up, he almost drowned twice. He tipped a boat over when the ice was running in the river. His wife had to save him as well as the doctor and nurse who were in the boat. Later that spring, he barely escaped when he drowned his snowmachine in twelve feet of water.

There are still some issues I wonder about, like whistling at the northern lights. I don't see how whistling can influence anything. Did I? Of course I did back then. I walk lightly in those areas now. The fact that I don't understand something doesn't disprove it. There are many issues yet to be explained.

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Aleut/Alutiiq Region

by Teri Schneider

The following is a synopsis of camps offered in the Aleut/ Alutiiq region this summer.


The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is a professional organization of American Indians and Alaskan Natives. For over nine years AISES has sponsored summer programs throughout the United States that have empowered indigenous students to increase their academic abilities, preparing them for careers in science, mathematics and technology.

Last year AISES expanded its efforts to our students in Kodiak and combined resources with the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative, Kodiak Island Borough School District, Kodiak Area Native Association and Afognak Native Corporation to provide a fantastic, academically challenging and culturally enriching experience for students, teachers, community members and Elders.

Once again, this opportunity is being offered this summer during two week-long camps.


Camp #1, July 18-24
Camp #2, July 25-31


"Dig Afognak" site on Katenai, Afognak Island


This opportunity is open to all students, grades 2-12 (young students may be considered if they are successful applicants and are accompanied by a participating adult family member.) The primary focus is on Alaska Native students currently living among the Kodiak Archipelago with an interest in Alutiiq Native culture, language and ways of knowing, as well as science, math and/or technology.

Also invited are the Alutiiq Academy of Elders, educators of the Kodiak Island Borough School District, members of the Native Educators of the Alutiiq region and other interested community members as space allows.


  • Acknowledge the Alutiiq Elders as the first teachers of their culture.

  • Learn first hand from Alutiiq Elders and community members with hands-on projects relative to rural survival, lifestyles and indigenous ingenuity.

  • Learn more about the rich history of our island communities and explore the culture of the Alutiiq people, past and present.

  • Bring together Elders and teachers outside of the formal school setting.

  • Give participants the opportunity to live with and learn from people of another culture.

  • Develop curriculum resources that integrate indigenous knowledge in the current curriculum that can be used in classrooms across the district at all levels.

  • Orient new teachers to the cultural and environmental uniqueness of our island community.

  • Stimulate interest in math, science and engineering fields among Alaska Native students

  • Increase students' confidence and knowledge in math, science and technolgy

  • Incorporate indigenous values and perspectives with Western math, science and technology

  • Encourage parents to support the academic pursuits of their children

  • Integrate academic learning with cultural enrichment

As a teacher participant, you would be asked to bring your "science teaching tools" so that you can participate directly with Elders and students as they explore the cultural and environmental aspects of life on the Kodiak Archeopeligo and apply those to creating a science project or experiment. You may also sign up to utilize this experience as part of a requirement for a course being offered through UAF.

If you have any questions call Teri Schneider at (907) 486-9031 or leave a message at (907) 486-9000.

Kodiak Area Native Association (KANA) Spirit Camp


Camp #1, July 11-15
Camp #2, July 15-20


The site is on Sitkalidak Island on the southeast end of Kodiak Island, near the village of Old Harbor.


The camp is offered to youth between the ages of 10 years and 18 years old.


  • subsistence restoration

  • traditional arts

  • Native dance

  • archeology

  • storytelling

  • kayaking

  • archery

The youth also learn useful tools for today's world such as wilderness survival; environmental conservation; and first aide techniques. Counselors attend camp and help with activities such as talking circles that are used to bring the group closer together and provide a safe environment to talk about sensitive issues. All those involved with Spirit Camp are committed to conveying to the youth how to benefit from making positive choices.

Registration forms will be available in April. For more information contact: Val Pillans or Gwen Kwachka at KANA (Kodiak Area Native Association) (907) 486-9800 or 1-800-478-5721.

St. Paul Stewardship Science Camp


August 9-20


7-12th graders, St. Paul and St. George students


  • Pribilof School District

  • Pribilof Islands Stewardship Program

  • US Fish and Wildlife Service

  • National Marine Fisheries Service

  • local tribal councils

  • village corporations

  • city governments.


School, Mike Kurth, (907) 546-2222, ext 1
Stewardship, Karin Holser, (907) 546-3190

Unangan Cultural Camp

The second annual Qungaayux Culture Camp will apply Western Science to Native ways of knowing. Organizers hope to establish more participation from other Unangan communities. Topics include plant lore, hunting, fishing, geographical place names and storytelling.


Third week in August


Fish and Wildlife Service


Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska

Unalaska City Schools


Moses Dirks, (907) 581-1222
Harriet Berikoff, (907) 581-2920

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Iñupiaq Region

by Elmer Jackson

Cultural Camps in the Iñupiaq Region

The AKRSI initiative for the Iñupiaq Region for the year 2000 will be Elders and Cultural Camps. Summer camps have been in existence in the Iñupiaq region for a number of years. The organizers of the 1999 cultural summer camps have been busy.

Illisagvik Camp is located between Ambler and Shungnak on the upper Kobuk river. Last year, they held their first camp and plans are underway for a second camp. Further down the Kobuk river is the Kiana Elders' Iñupiat Illitqusrait Camp located near Kiana. The Kiana Traditional Council plans and sponsors this camp with funding coming from the Robert Newlin Aqqaluk Trust Fund. Northwest Alaska Native Association sponsors the Sivunniigvik Camp, located near Noorvik. Many Elders and youth from the region attend this camp. In the village of Selawik, Elders and planners usually take students camping or to a residential camp for part of the summer.

At these camps, the students and young people are taught the Iñupiat Illitqusrait or the way of life of the Iñupiat. Some of the topics taught are fishing, hunting skills and other skills for gathering food with an emphasis on the Iñupiaq values. The planning for next year's AKRSI initiative has begun. I do not have the camp schedules at the present. If you would like more information, you can call me at (907) 475-2257 or e-mail me at

Many thanks go to all who participated in the 1999 Alaska Native/Rural Education Statewide Consortium held in Kotzebue, April 15-17.

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Yup’ik Region

by Barbara Liu

Four AKRSI memorandum of agreement partners in the Y/Cup'ik Region are asked to sponsor and host Academy of Elders' camps this year. Yupiit School District, Kashunamiut School District, Bristol Bay Campus/Ciulistet Research Association and Southwest Regional Schools will host Academies inviting bilingual and science teachers from the following school districts: Kuspuk, Lower Kuskowkim, Lower Yukon and St. Mary's.

Kashunamiut School District is sponsoring a sod house rebuilding summer camp at one of their traditional sites which is within a boating distance from Chevak. More information on Kashunamiut Camp is available from John Pingayak at Kashunamiut School (email: or by calling (907) 858-7712.

Bristol Bay Campus/Ciulistet Research Association is sponsoring a mini-spring Squirrel camp at Picnic Beach a short distance from Dillingham. More information on the BBC/CRA camp is available from Esther Ilutsik at Bristol Bay Campus (email: or by calling (907) 842-3502.

Yupiit School District is sponsoring a Mini-Fish camp, which is a boat ride away from Akiachak. More information on the Yupiit Camp is available from Sophie Kasayulie at the Yupiit School (email: skasayulie@ or by calling (907) 825-4427.

Southwest Region School District is sponsoring a camp near Manokotak. More information on SWRSD Camp is available from Dana Bartman at Manokotak School (email: dbartman@ or by calling (907) 289-1013.

In March, 1999, a two-day meeting was held for some of the Academy of Elders' camp coordinators; the planning process was conducted in the C/Yup'ik language. Esther Ilutsik, (representing BBC/Ciulistet) came as well as Joe Slats representing Yupiit School District and Earl Atchak, an alternate for John Pingayak, representing Kashunamiut. Two of our Elder consultants on regional camps were Andrew Ayuluk of Chevak and Joe Lomack of Akiachak.

After introductions, I gave a brief overview of the AKRSI project and our initiative for this year, and quoted our C/Yup'ik philosophy statement developed on C/Yuuyaraq. Two years ago, a written statement was developed through a graduate course facilitated by Cecilia Martz along with Elder Louise Tall of Chevak. Students involved were Joe Slats of Akiachak, John Lamont of Alakanuk, Evon Azean of Kongignak, Tim and Fanny Samson of Kipnuk, John Mark of Quinhagak, Lorina Warren of Eek, Flora Ayuluk of Chevak and myself.

In our two-day meeting, we talked about science and math-how learning is through hands-on activities out in the field. While we may be able to tie-in Western science and Y/Cup'ik ways of living, there was some fear expressed that in melding the two ways of knowing, that the use of English would create some imbalance in our "Y/Cuuyaraq". The Elders agreed that they are not in a position to divide us but to encourage us to work together towards involving our "Y/Cuuyaraq" through education. Earl Atchak of Chevak added, "the words of the poster send hope, strength and unity." We further clarified our Academy of Elder Camps' mission in our discussions. Everyone accepted the Y/Cup'ik poster philosophy as guiding our camps' direction. The wisdom truly comes from the hearts of our Elder men and women. The Elders expressed the importance of presenting camp activities in our own language. It was encouraged that participants be able to understand and speak with them.

Elders Joe Lomack and Andrew Ayuluk spoke in agreement using high Yup'ik vocabulary at times, enlightening several thoughts in running camps and setting guidelines. Joe Lomack explained Ellam Kilgartaan/Creator watches over the land, water and its inhabitants. There are rules on hunting and gathering for family members experiencing death, miscarriage and menses. Ella/Weather animals and fish sense those affected by these three areas. There are many side effects, both long-term and short-term, through good or bad weather and abundance or scarcity of animals and fish that can affect the whole community or camp. Consequently, if a sponsor takes this seriously and requires that the camp participants let it be known who have not experienced any of the three within the year, the weather will cooperate and animals and fish will be available.

Andrew Ayuluk mentioned a concern that children are not used to camping anymore and need parental support to motivate them. Involving community adults, such as young parents and teachers in the camp to motivate youth and Elders, begins a good example of Y/Cup'ik families, schools and community working harmoniously.

Any questions on the AKRSI memorandum of agreements with school districts within the Y/Cup'ik region or activities associated with AKRSI, please contact your school district coordinators or myself. Contacts are Nita Rearden, LKSD; Sophie Kasayulie, Yupiit; John Pingayak, Kashunamiut; Ellen Napoleon, LYSD; Lillian Johnson, St. Mary's; Dana Bartman, SWRSD and Cheryl Jerabek, Kuspuk. Have a great summer.



Wangkuta Y/Cup'igni qanruyutet aturluki anglituukut.

Ilakuyulluta, ukvertarluta, pingnatuuluta.

Nallunrilamta Yuuyaramteni piciryarangqerramta nutemllarmek.

Qigcikiyaram aturtai taringumaut ellam iluanelnguut elpengqellrit

nunuliutengqellrit-llu. Qanruyutem aturtai umyuartuluteng, elluatuuluteng,

nuuqitevkenateng yuuluaqerciqut.


We, the C/Yupiit are raised according to the original directions of our forefathers. We love one another, our belief is strong and we continue to better our lives. We know that our way of life has been grounded in traditional values and customs since time immemorial. Those who follow the teachings of respect understand that everything has a spirit with rewards of gratitude. Those who follow the teachings of our ancestors are intelligent, self-assured and prosperous.

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Southeast Region

by Andy Hope

The main AKRSI initiative for the Southeast region in 1999 is AISES camps, clubs and science fairs. Students, teachers, counselors and other staff from our partner districts (Juneau School District, Hoonah City Schools, Chatham School District and Sitka School District) will participate in this initiative.

Planning for the 1999 AKRSI initiative began in January with a teleconference and has been followed by a regional planning meeting in Juneau in late February and several subsequent teleconferences. Technical support for planning and implementation of the 1999 AKRSI initiative has been provided by Dr. Claudette Bradley-Kawagley and Alan Dick. Other support has been provided by Dr. John Carnegie of UAS-Sitka Campus.

Dates have been set for two AISES Camps this summer. The first (for girls grades 5-11) will be held July 5-17 at Dog Point Fish Camp and the UAS-Sitka campus (for use of science and computer labs.) The second camp (for boys grades 5-11) is August 2-14, also held at Dog Point Fish Camp and the UAS-Sitka Campus. Applications are available from the participating school districts. Ten students, ideally five boys and five girls, from each district will participate in the camps.

A special topics course with undergraduate and graduate options will be offered by John Carnegie and Claudette Bradley-Kawagley for teachers and educators in conjunction with the camps. Alan Dick, author of Village Science and Northern Science, will also offer technical support throughout the year. Alan will attend both camp sessions. Claudette will attend the August 2-14 camp. Those interested can e-mail me at or phone (907) 465-8776.

The intent of the planners is for students to develop rough ideas for science projects while at camp. These projects can then be refined in the fall and winter and hopefully entered in the regional, state and national AISES science fairs. The Southeast AISES fair is tentatively scheduled for November 1999 in Juneau. The statewide AISES fair is tentatively set for late January or early February 2000.

The Southeast Alaska Native Educators Association will host a Native Curriculum Development Institute in conjunction with the August camp. The institute will be open to the public. The institute will feature the Carnegie/Bradley-Kawagley courses as well as a session on the Axe Handle Academy (a bioregional thematic curriculum) that will be offered by Richard and Nora Dauenhauer.

A celebration of indigenous languages is tentatively planned for late fall in the San Francisco Bay area. Tentative co-sponsors include the Athabascan Language Consortium, The Tlingit Language Consortium, The Native California Network, Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival, News from Native California Magazine and the Before Columbus Foundation. The celebration will be to honor those who have worked to conserve indigenous languages and promote indigenous language literacy. The first Sister Goodwin Award (sponsored by the Before Columbus Foundation and part of the American Book Award program) will be presented at the celebration. Contact me for more information.

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Athabascan Region

by Amy Van Hatten

Let us (Jonathan, Henry and I) show you where we've been. To know where you're going, you must first understand where you've been. Try to see how difficult it may be for others to understand nature as being the first teacher to indigenous peoples and the animals and that we must first look to nature before intellectual decisions are made. Look for the human element in solutions for better living, education and learning style while taking a look at the entire background. Keep in mind that being "there" results in a better understanding of what is demonstrated or implied, but is not stated. Analogy: Learning to drive a car by reading the book and not practicing with a real car!

Sometimes, when people who are not familiar with a person's background do an interview, they (unintentionally) take information out of context. However, if you double check your work, then it has a good chance of fitting to the source's background. Compare the two Elder interviews I submit here. There are ways to interpret them and not take them out of context. Try to figure out the process by using clues from the context of information on hand.

One article is transcribed from a recorded interview with Jonathan David. Further knowledge I have of him not mentioned in the interview is that for years Jonathan has helped students, teachers and community members learn about the two worlds he lives in. He is very encouraging and an inspirational speaker too. A few projects he is very involved with are the AISES Native science fair & camps, Old Minto Culture Camp and the UAF Elder-in-residence program.

The interview with Henry Titus was edited from my notes. I had asked his daughter to add whatever she remembered about growing up in camp as a way to encourage others who have moved away from rural villages. The next time I am told "I don't know anything," I will gently say, "Nonsense!" because what little she shared with me was like adding passwords to missing pieces. She corroborated my interview notes. Thank you, Dolly Edwin.

Special thanks goes to Jonathan and Henry, with loving respect from me. Happy Trails.

Henry Titus

Happy Birthday Henry Titus! Henry turned 84 years old on April 10. He respectfully remains the oldest person in Ruby, Alaska. Originally from Kokrines which was once a booming little town about 30 miles up river from Ruby, Henry and his late wife Agnes raised their family as the last residents in the 1980s (he currently resides at the Tanana Tribal Elders Housing during winter months.)

Numerous people see him as a friend who is fun and easy to talk with. One of the most important values in life I picked up from him, is to have fun while working hard and doing my personal best. The powers of play are often forgotten during work or in other things we do for our own sake or for the sake of others. Read further along and notice that play is not simply games like baseball, volley ball and hopscotch, but a matter of how to maintain life skills (Native science) and gripping the kind of resilience it took to live in the midst of tough times without pointing it out.

Henry said the prime time of his life was being able to live out in the woods and having the ability to make various tools and other implements for subarctic subsistence living taught to him by his ancestors.

The basic tools he used were handmade from various earthly elements. Henry's outdoor education was taught with simplicity and logic. For example, the trunks of big birch trees were used for two main reasons: moisture and straight grain. The natural curve from the base of a root was used for the bow and stern of a canoe. It was also used to make downhill skis.

Henry's measuring tool was a long piece of string with knots tied into it. It had many uses such as building eight-foot freight sleds, canoes (see photo of canoe building in 1970 in Kokrines), smoke houses and fish racks or balers out of spruce or birch trees. It was very handy when he made snowshoes with accuracy according to his petite wife's height and weight. Even the little kids owned their own size snowshoes. In addition, he had a workbench staked into the ground on the bank at fish camp.

For a fun exercise, Henry skied down the base of Kokrine hills. When he checked his trapline he noticed that fox liked to follow his ski tracks, so he set his snares nearby. He figured fox didn't follow sled tracks because of the dog scent so he never set snares close to sled trails. He used to "gee pole" with his dog team, that is using skis (like skijoring) between a team of eight working dogs and the freight sled. He use to hang onto a long pole that was fastened underneath the sled basket and just alongside a sled runner. This method was the best way to handle a big load. In those days, the sleds were big and heavy. They were especially heavy when he loaded them down with camp gear, wife and kids. In the 1950s he taught sled building to students for one month in Tanacross. He said kids from Ruby and Nulato went with him to Tanacross and that the people were real nice there.

His father talked about how he rolled himself up inside of birch bark to keep warm in cold temperatures. It was also used as a repellant when mosquitoes were bad. Don't use spruce bark because it is sticky.

His daughter Dolly Edwin, living in Fairbanks, shared some rich cultural activities with me. With fond memories of growing up in a remote village, she recalls how she and three other sisters helped their parents gather the clear kind of spruce pitch in a can. Her Dad melted it and spread the pitch when he did repair work on canoes. They collected duck and goose down for blankets and pillow fillers, lake grass for lining their boots, and birch bark to line ground pits that served as coolers or to keep things frozen a bit longer. Besides carrying dry fish or meat, they also carried geencodze as trail snacks (fried bear or moose fat similar to pork crackling.) A weather observation she believes to be true was when you see fresh mouse tracks in the snow it means it won't snow for very long. We hope you enjoyed the information we shared with you. (All this sounds like curriculum ideas-figure in the physics, mathematics, science and oral history and then run with it!)

Jonathan David

Jonathan David is a soft-spoken Athabascan Elder from Minto. The twinkle in his eyes gave him away before I took him serious whenever he was being witty. He is a fun person to be around. I found his sense of humor very enlightening and straight from the heart. He is one of the most willing and able-bodied men to work with students in camp settings. His years of experience in living off the land that he was born in, gives listeners a sense of being there when he talks of the old days. Please read the words he shared with me at a "Huff and Puff" basketball tournament in Fairbanks (he said he never played basketball, just baseball and handball the old time way.)

For years I operated the generator in Minto, Alaska. In the village I use to collect rainwater from the roof. One time I got around 40 barrels of water. I put pipe all the way around from barrel to barrel. It ran into a big wooden tank. The school used it. In the winter I hauled ice from the lake close to my village. I learned about electricity before I left the village. The schoolteachers use to talk to me about it and they had an electric stove. I became good with my hands and I could think about what I was hearing real good so I went to school in Sitka. Some teachers work in Sitka for 13 years. Many times I just figured it out in my head and never forget. Once they told me something I never forget. Now I got bum head because I have too many things to think about. (He laughs.)

Before that I worked on the Nenana boat dock in summer time for four years. I did everything on the barge. We hauled lots of groceries. Up to 300 barrels of fuel too.

Before that I helped cut 1,000 cords of wood. The whole village cut it in two months. We had six different wood cutting areas. My oldest daughter, Anna Frank, was little that time. She even help cut brush and burn it after the wood was cut, so the Army caterpillar could haul all the wood out. All the steamboats use to buy the wood. We had it banked up in six places. All the way up and down the river from old village up to about twenty miles away from the village.

Before that I worked construction for $125 a month. I changed railroad tracks between Nenana and Fairbanks. We put in higher tracks that use to have narrow gauge. Nowadays it's bigger gauge. Wintertime I go back to work at the school.

I seen campfire, wood stove, oil stove, electric stove, gas stove and now microwave and I never cook. There are too many coffees and too many other things so I just drink tea.

I don't know how I learned all those things. I had to use my head. Work on my own things. My own house when something is wrong. I fix it. Only when I can't fix it, I buy new one. That's after it's been there too long (He laughs and we seemed to have ended here, but there is more to his stories.)

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Summer ’99 Camps

The following camps are those we had information on when preparing this newsletter. Please verify information with the contact listed.

Summer 1999

Ilisagvik Camp

Upper Kobuk: Ambler, Shungnak, Kobuk
Contact: Ambler Traditional Council
(907) 445-2196

Yupiit Camp

Mini Fish Camp near Akiachak
Contact: Sophie Kasayulie
(907) 825-4427


Near Manokotak
Contact: Dana Bartman
(907) 289-1013

April 30-May 2

Squirrel Spring Camp (Teachers-Elders)

Picnic Beach
Contact: Esther Ilutsik
(907) 842-3502


Yup'ik Immersion Camp

Akiachak, Akiak, Tuluksak
Contact: Sophie Kasayulie
(907) 825-4428

1st week of June

Koyukon-Athabaskan Language & Culture Camp, Koyukuk

Contact: Eliza Jones
(907) 927-2205

June 12-19

Old Minto Cultural Heritage Camp

Old Minto
Contact: Robert Charlie
(907) 451-0923

June 21-30

1999 Pike Spit Cultural Camp, Kotzebue

Contact: Elmer Goodwin
(907) 442-3341

July 4-30

Sivunniugvik (Spirit Camp Kobuk River)

Contact: Aqqaluk Trust c/o NANA
(907) 442-3301

July 5-17

Southeast Regional Science Camp 99

Sitka at Dog Point
Incoming 7th, 8th, and 9th grade girls
Contact: Andy Hope,
(907) 465-8776

July 7-21

Fairbanks AISES Science Camp 99

Howard Luke Camp
Incoming 7th, 8th, and 9th grades
Contact: Dixie Dayo,
(907) 474-1902

July 11-15 & July 15-20

KANA Spirit Camp (not an AKRSI camp)

Sitkalidak Island near Old Harbor
10-18 year olds
Contact: Val Pillans or Gwen Kwachka
at KANA, (800) 478-5721

July 18-24 & July 25-31

Academy of Elders/AISES Science Camp

Katenai, Afognak Island
Incoming 2nd-12th graders
Contact: Teri Schneider, tschneider@
(907) 486-9031

July 25-30

Frosty Peak Camp, Cold Bay

Contact: Allison Young
(907) 276-2700


Kashunamiut Elder Academy

Contact: John Pingayak
(907) 858-7712

August 2-14

Southeast Regional Science Camp 99

Sitka at Dog Point
Incoming 7th, 8th, and 9th grades boy
Contact: Andy Hope,
(907) 465-8776

August 9-20

St. Paul Stewardship Science Camp

St. Paul Island
7th-12th grades
Contact: Mike Kurth, (907) 546-2222, ext 1
Karin Holser, (907) 546-3190

August 16-21

Camp Qungaayux, Unalaska

Contact: Harriet Berikoff
(907) 581-2920

September 20-26

Aleknagik Cultural Camp

Camp Polaris
Contact: Esther Ilutsik
(907) 842-3502

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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

Elmer Jackson
Iñupiaq Regional Coordinator
PO Box 134
Kiana, Alaska 99749
(907) 475-2257

Andy Hope
Southeast Regional Coordinator
University of Alaska Southeast
School of Business/PR
11120 Glacier Highway
Juneau, Alaska 99801
(907) 465-8776

Barbara Liu
Yup'ik Regional Coordinator
Box 2262
Bethel, Alaska 99559
(907) 543-3467

Teri Schneider
Aleutians Regional Coordinator
Kodiak Island Borough School District
722 Mill Bay Road, North Star
Kodiak, Alaska  99615
(907) 486-9031


Ray Barnhardt
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-1902 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax

Oscar Kawagley
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-5403 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax

Frank W. Hill
Alaska Federation of Natives
1577 C Street, Suite 300
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
Harper Building
P.O. Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730

(907) 474-1902 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax

Newsletter Editor: Lolly Carpluk

Layout & Design: Paula Elmes

Arrow Up to the contents



Go to University of AlaskaThe University of Alaska Fairbanks is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and educational institution and is a part of the University of Alaska system.


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 August 16, 2006