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Native Pathways to Education
Alaska Native Cultural Resources
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
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Alutiiq RavenLiitukut Sugpiat'stun
(We Are Learning How To Be Real People):

Exploring Kodiak Alutiiq Literature
Through Core Values

A Thesis

Presented to the
Faculty of the
University of Alaska Fairbanks

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

By
Alisha Susana Drabek, B.A., M.F.A.
Fairbanks, Alaska
December 2012

Dissertation (pdf - 5.8 MB)

Abstract:

The decline of Kodiak Alutiiq oral tradition practices and limited awareness or understanding of archived stories has kept them from being integrated into school curriculum. This study catalogs an anthology of archived Alutiiq literature documented since 1804, and provides an historical and values-based analysis of Alutiiq literature, focused on the educational significance of stories as tools for individual and community wellbeing. The study offers an exploration of values, worldview and knowledge embedded in Alutiiq stories. It also provides a history of colonial impacts on Alutiiq education and an in-depth study of the early colonial observers and ethnographers who collected Alutiiq oral literature, clarifying the context in which the stories have been retold or framed. Collections of traditional Indigenous literatures are valuable on many levels. This collection is of historical and personal significance for local Kodiak Alutiiq tribal members' identity as it makes these resources more accessible for community members and educators, and therefore accessible to younger and future generations. The conclusion also provides recommendations for next steps for developing curriculum and revitalizing Alutiiq oral traditions. The book is intended to contribute to an understanding of the evolution of cultural traditions in Alaska, and to serve as a model for similar cultural reclamation and education efforts.

 

 

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Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks  AK 99775-6730
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Last modified January 28, 2013