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

Athabascan RavenWHOUY SZE KUINALTH
"Teaching Our Many Grandchildren"

 

 

 

STATE STANDARDS

English/Language Arts

A. A student should be able to speak and write for a variety of purposes and audiences.

B. A student should be a competent and thoughtful reader, listener, and viewer of literature, technical materials, and a variety of other information.

C. A student should be able to identify and select from multiple strategies in order to complete projects independently and cooperatively

D. A student should be able to think locally and reflectively in order to present and explain positions based on relevant and reliable information.

E. A student should understand and respect the perspectives of others in order to communicate effectively.

 

CULTURAL STANDARDS

A. Culturally-knowledgeable students are well grounded in the cultural heritage and traditions of their community.

B. Culturally knowledgeable students are able to build on the knowledge and skills of the local cultural community as a foundation from which to achieve personal and academic success throughout life.

C. Culturally knowledgeable students are able to engage effectively in learning activities that are based on traditional ways of knowing and learning.

Interview the Elders

Renee David with Katie John, Batzulnetas 1999.
©Bill Hess
Renee David with Katie John, Batzulnetas 1999.

OBJECTIVES 

Students will:

  1. establish relationships with and gain better appreciation for Elders.
  2. develop ideas on how to protect their environment from damage.
  3. gain a higher degree of understanding of local customs and traditional ways of knowing and learning.

Katie John talks to Mentasta youth about respecting the old ways and respecting themselves.Courtesy of Megan Holloway
Katie John talks to Mentasta youth about respecting the old ways and respecting themselves.

People iconTeacher Note:

 

Traditionally, Athabascan people have looked to their Elders for advice and guidance. The Village has always relied on their knowledge of the land and its resources. Elders respect the traditional ways of conservation. They are a valuable resource themselves. Elders have a perspective on life that is closely tied to the land. With all of the changes occurring in the Villages, this relationship between the people and the land may be lost.

The importance of the local traditions and respect for Elders' traditional values cannot be overemphasized. Establishing strong relationships with Village Elders at the start of this curriculum will greatly enrich your lessons, broaden the understanding and experiences of the students, and strengthen the school-community partnership.

 

Originally, Athabascans learned by listening and hearing only, but today, they learn only when they see first, then listen.

 Lena Charley showing Zach and Karl Martin how to gather spruce roots.
Courtesy of Joan Herrmann
Lena Charley showing Zach and Karl Martin how to gather spruce roots.

Lesson 

GRADES K-12

Activities:

  1. Work with the students in helping them prepare a list of general questions about the past and present in regards to dealing with waste and the natural resources (i.e. use, conservation, and protection).
  2. Establish a relationship between the class and one or more willing Elders. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you work with the Tribal Council to develop a relationship before inviting Elders into your classroom. Have the students explain to the Elder(s) the nature and purpose of your lesson/curriculum. Try to document an Elder's perspective and values in regard to the environment. With the Elder's and Tribal Council's permission, use an audiotape or videotape to record the conversation.
  3. Guide the students in asking the Elder(s) questions about what was done in the past and what should be done now about waste, and how to protect the environment/natural resources.
  4. Concluding the activity, have the students record their thoughts and reflections about the lesson of the Elder(s) in their journals. Students may wish to update a school web site with this information or perhaps, make a web site containing the information of the Elders. Kindergarten students may speak their thoughts to the teacher, instructional aide, or classroom volunteer.

 

Discussion Ideas:

  1. Why is it important that we listen to and understand our Elders?
  2. What can our Elders offer that no other person, book, TV, or movie can offer?
  3. Is there an effective way to record and remember our Elders' wisdom? What are the limitations of audiotape, videotape, and taking notes?
  4. How can we pass our Elders' knowledge on to our children and grandchildren?

Dedication

MSTC Mission Statement

Introduction

Prelude

In A Sacred Manner, by Wilson Justin

Learn & Serve Focus Groups

People icon

ELDERS

DENAEY (PEOPLE)

Interview of Elders

Clans of Chistochina & Mentasta

Why Are We Here?

Who We Are

Land icon

NANINEH (LAND)

Our Way of Life

Mapping the Village

What A Waste

Raw Materials

Our Natural Resources

Weather/Climate

Water icon

TUU (WATER)

Water, Water

Our Watershed

Food icon

C'AAN (FOOD)

Where Does Our Food Come From?

Gathering, Traditions and Nutrition of our Food

Keeping Ourselves Healthy

A Student Led Health Fair

Assessment & Performance Evaluation

Rubrics

Learn & Serve Program

Sources, Resources

Thank You

 
 

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
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ANKN
Last modified August 17, 2006