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Yup'ik RavenYuraryaraput Kangiit-llu:

Our Way of Dance and Their Meanings

A Dissertation Presented to the
Faculty of the Indigenous Studies Program
University of Alaska Fairbanks

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirements for the Degree

Theresa Arevgaq John
November 2009

Dissertation (pdf - 17.8 MB)

The powerpoint shown during the defense:

Video of the public defense:
(235 MB - video from the camera and slides)

Video of 2010 Graduation in Bethel
("I would like to thank Hubert Angaiak of YKHC for sharing the KUC commencement recording.")



Yuraryaraput Kangiit-llu: Our Way of Dance and Their Meanings is made possible because of the generosity of many distinguished elders, adults and youth of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. I specifically want to acknowledge the following late elders Albert Therchik, Teresa Moses, Martina Chagluak and Alex Bird. Their legacy will be celebrated forever through visual symbols of their wisdom. I want to thank the Nunakauiak Traditional Council and Emmonak elders for giving me permission to conduct research in their villages.

The old and new stories alike on the critical role of Yup’ik dance as an important aspect of the Yupik social infrastructure provides context and body to my work. The unique and diverse indigenous knowledge system that covers time span from early twentieth century into contemporary times reflects life stories as it was than and as it is told today through aesthetic art of oratory.

I want to thank indigenous supporters whom tirelessly listened and read my work that include my parents Chief Paul John and Martina John, Lolly Carpluk, Director of Alaska Native Teacher Preparation Project, elder Joseph Asuluk, Sr., community and spiritual leader, Deanna Lincoln, an indigenous Art Laision for School District, Chuna McIntyre, a native artist, my sister Agatha John-Shields, Principal of Ayaprun Elitnaurvik, Becky Nicholai and Marti Hinz, retired social workers. A special thanks to my long time partner Mick Leach who provided much needed support and encouragement. These people provided me with critical advice on indigenous theoretical conceptual frameworks and methodologies that helped to guide my qualitative research approach.

Finally, my deep gratitude goes to my dedicated and supportive graduate Indigenous Studies Graduate Committee members that include Co-Chairs Dr. Raymond Barnhardt and Dr. Joan Parker-Webster, Dr. Patrick Marlow, and Dr. Beth Leonard. And a special thanks to Dr. Phyllis Morrow who served as a member but had to withdraw for family reasons. Specific recognition goes to Dr. Joan Parker-Webster that tirelessly devoted her energy and time to provide professionalism and direction through my dissertation journey.



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Alaska Native Knowledge Network
University of Alaska Fairbanks
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Phone (907) 474.1902
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Last modified February 3, 2011