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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 Native Knowledge Network

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Volume 10, Issue 4, Fall 2005

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In This Issue:

Welcome from Ray

Nikaitchuat Ixisabviat

Effie Kokrine Charter School at the Howard Luke Campus

Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School

Ayaprun Elitnaurvik Yupik Immersion School

Nanwalek Sugt'stun Preschool

BMEEC in Fairbanks

 

ANROE's Statewide Conference

Bernice Joseph's Keynote Address to 2005 AFN

ANKN Curriculum Corner

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Welcome from Ray

by Ray Barnhardt

Welcome to the electronic version of the Sharing Our Pathways newsletter, a continuing bi-monthly publication of the Alaska Native Knowledge Network. As the funding for the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative winds down, we are planning to use this electronic means to maintain the exchange of ideas and information that was provided for the past ten years by AKRSI through the hard-copy version of the newsletter. The eSOP will be distributed through the ANKN listserv and it will be posted on the ANKN website at http://ankn.uaf.edu/. If you know someone who would be interested in being added to the mailing list to receive the eSOP, or if you don't want to be included on the listserv in the future, get in touch with Sean Topkok at sop@ankn.uaf.edu—he will be the managing editor for the ANKN listserv, newsletter and website.

As you can see, we will be soliciting articles around various themes for future newsletters, as well as maintaining on-going feature sections, such as the ANKN Curriculum Corner. We would like to have articles describing activities from each of the cultural regions featured in each issue of the newsletter, so we urge you to keep the eSOP in mind as an outlet for information about educational activities, events and programs in your community or region. We also invite the Native Educator Associations around the state to submit announcements and information about activities that are underway. If you have questions or suggestions about information that might be distributed through the eSOP, let Sean know and we'll do our best to make the newsletter a useful publication for all. Enjoy this inaugural issue of the e-version of Sharing Our Pathways.

 

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Iñupiaq RavenNikaitchuat Ixisabviat


Kotzebue - The Nikaitchuat Ixisabviat School has been open since September 1998. Nikaitchuat is an Iñupiaq immersion school for preschool children.

"Commitment on the part of parents is critical to the success of any language immersion program. Your active interest and support will greatly influence your child's success; you must be an advocate of the program with your child. Parents must understand how Nikaitchuat works, support its goals, and make a long term commitment to their child's participation, as it takes years for children to develop a near-native fluency in a second language. We thus strongly encourage parents to take an active part at Nikaitchuat Ixisabviat. The results will be well worth the effort. Following, then, are several areas in which you can contribute to your child's success. At school parents may contribute to both Nikaitchuat's and their child's success by volunteering in the classroom or asking the Director if there are any tasks that they may need help with. Volunteers may serve either during the school day or otherwise. Examples of ways parents can be involved at school include making and/or duplicating materials for classroom use, helping with a group activity (like chaperoning a field trip) demonstrating arts and crafts, assisting with potlucks, and visiting to observe class activities."

For more information, please visit:
http://kotzebueira.org/nikaitchuat.html
http://ankn.uaf.edu/SOP/SOPv7i1.html
http://ankn.uaf.edu/SOP/SOPv10i2.html
http://www.alaskool.org/native_ed/curriculum/OTZImmersion/PROJECTABST.html

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Athabascan RavenEffie Kokrine Charter School at the Howard Luke Campus

Fairbanks - The Effie Kokrine Charter School at the Howard Luke Campus in Fairbanks opened in August 2005. Before the school year began in the Fairbanks Northstar Borough School District, the staff at EKCS started enrolling Native and non-Native students through an application process. The school exceeded its projected enrollment goal indicating the enthusiasm from the parents and students for a school with a Native-focused curriculum.

The school day for the students starts at 10:00 am. When you first walk in the school, you see pictures of local Native Elders, cultural values posters, and culturally-responsive student projects and artwork. In the classrooms, half of the florescent lights are turned off, so students can decide for themselves what their comfort level is for their own learning environment. 90% of the teachers are Alaska Native.

For more information, please visit:
http://ankn.uaf.edu/NPE/EKCS/
http://www.fairbanksnative.org/Effie_Kokrine.htm

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Southeast RavenYaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School

Juneau - "Yaakoosgé Daakahídi means 'House of Knowledge' in the Tlingit language. Anna Katzeek, Tlingit elder, is credited for naming the program. The alternative school is an attractive option provided by the School District, as evidenced by its wonderfully diverse student population. This diversity by grade, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and gender is bridged by a common desire to obtain a diploma. This program is the last option before pursuing a G.E.D. or leaving school entirely."
....

"The district now offers Tlingit-oriented classrooms at Harborview Elementary, and holds a grant to expand the effort to other schools. It also has a grant to extend the Native- and science-oriented Camp W.A.T.E.R. from a summer program to the school year in the middle schools. And the district offers the Early Scholars Program at Juneau-Douglas High School to prepare Natives for college."
...
"Sealaska Heritage Institute has received an $850,000 federal grant to develop a Native-oriented high school curriculum in math, science and history.

"The institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1981 to administer cultural and educational programs for Sealaska Corp., the Southeast regional Native corporation.

"Part of the grant's objective is to help Alaska Natives pass the state's high school exit exam, required for a diploma, and be prepared for college, said SHI President Rosita Worl."

For more information, please visit:
http://www.yaakoosge.com/
http://www.sealaskaheritage.org/programs/curriculum_development.htm

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Yup'ik/Cup'ik RavenAyaprun Elitnaurvik Yupik Immersion School

Bethel - "1999 - The Yup’ik Immersion Steering Committee successfully applied for Charter School Status from the Alaska Board of Education. The focus of the application was to provide for comprehensive Yup’ik program autonomy, consolidate under one administration and secure associated charter grants to fund Yup’ik language material development. Parents, teachers, and administration work collaboratively on the planning and implementation of our program."

The Ayaprun Elitnaurvik website offers a wealth of information. It includes the Yup'ik Word of the Week, newsletters, and the history of the Ayaprun Elitnaurvik Yupik Immersion School.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.lksd.org/ayaprun//

 

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Aleut/Alutiiq RavenNanwalek Sugt'stun Preschool

Nanwalek - This immersion preschool started in 2000. Here is an excerpt from a speech by Sally Ash in the Sharing Our Pathways Newsletter Volume 8, Issue 3 (http://ankn.uaf.edu/SOP/SOPv8i3.html#language):

"We started our immersion school for our pre-school kids three years ago. Our Nanwalek Village Council sponsored us. With the support of parents and grandparents who could see the erosion of our language and culture and the rate we were losing our Elders, and with financial support from various agencies, we got started. Getting started was both an exciting and frustrating time for us. We just converted everything in the head start preschool curriculum into Sugt’stun. We used traditional songs and made up songs and borrowed from our Yup’ik friends. We wanted to work with our district school but they wouldn’t even acknowledge us as a school. I remember when I used to teach as a bilingual teacher my credentials were never questioned–supposedly I knew enough to run the program and have complete responsibility. But when I suggested an immersion program, all of a sudden I knew nothing! They tried to discourage us saying that our kids would get confused in school if we did not teach in English. I did some worrying because my own daughter, Ivana, was one of our first students but the thing that kept me going was "Hey, English is all around us through TV and music and even our own people so it will always be there." I can tell you, Ivana is in the first grade and she is doing just fine and so are the rest of our first immersion graduates. We have the happiest times in our little school when our kids are responding to us or to each other in our language or when parents proudly let us know what they hear or what their kids are bringing home. Nothing in the world can beat that!

There is another article in Kenai Peninsula Online. You need to register for a free username and password to access the article. Here is an excerpt from the May 13, 2004 article (http://peninsulaclarion.com/stories/051304/new_051304new001001.shtml):

" [Pauline] Demas said that preservation of culture is important.
" 'Kids are taught the right ways. They listen to teachers because they're taking them to the right places, to something higher. They learn to respect their elders and listen to them,' she said.
" School staff members who come from outside the village agreed.
" 'There's a very positive relationship between the school and village,' said Ginnie Glenn, who teaches the third- through fifth-grade class in Nanwalek. 'We all work together to offer things for the community, whether in the school or the village. And the school respects the village custom and religion.'"

More information can be found at:
http://ankn.uaf.edu/SOP/SOPv5i5.html#sugtestun

 

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BMEEC in Fairbanks

The 32nd Annual Alaska Bilingual Multicultural Education/Equity Conference is scheduled to be held February 8- 10, 2006, at the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. This year's conference theme is Excellence & Equity For All. If you have questions about the BMEEC, please contact Patricia_Adkisson@eed.state.ak.us or call (907) 465-2888. A membership meeting of the Alaska Native Education Association will take place just before the BMEEC on Feb. 7. Everyone is invited to attend. For further information about ANEA, contact Lolly Carpluk at snlmc@email.alaska.edu.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/bme/

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ANROE's Statewide Conference

The Alaska Natural Resource and Outdoor Education Association (ANROE) invites you to submit a proposal for a workshop/session at the upcoming statewide Environmental Education conference, Educational Tools for Environmental Stewardship: Moving from Awareness to Action, to be held at Alaska Pacific University on March 9-11, 2006.

There will be four conference strands:
* Environmental Science for Classroom Teachers
* Sustaining Environmental Education:
* Traditional and Community Knowledge
* Natural History Interpretation and Field Techniques

Proposals are requested for sessions and presentations. (Please see http://www.anroe.org/ for proposal form.) The final deadline for receipt of proposals is December 16, and potential presenters will be notified by January 2 as to whether or not their proposal has been accepted. A proposal form is also available at http://www.anroe.org and may be sent by e-mail to hoags@gci.net or by mail to Stephanie Hoag at 119 Seward #12, Juneau, AK. 99801.
For more information, please contact:
Kristen Romanoff
ANROE Board Member
Wildlife Education Specialist
Alaska Department of Fish & Game
(907) 465-4292
PO Box 240020
Douglas, AK 99824
kristen_romanoff@fishgame.state.ak.us

 

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Bernice Joseph's Keynote Address to 2005 AFN

Bernice Joseph's Keynote Address at the 2005 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Fairbanks, Alaska, is now available online. To access it, please visit:
http://ankn.uaf.edu/Curriculum/Articles/BerniceJoseph/

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ANKN Curriculum Corner

Talking Dictionaries

by Asiqjuq C. Sean Topkok

There are excellent resources available online for Alaska Native languages, however there is also some information on Alaska Native languages online that is inaccurate and even insulting, which makes me a strong advocate for communities to document their own cultural knowledge.

It is very important to work with local Native language experts for several reasons. They can provide examples of dialectal differences and similarities within a language group. For example, in the North Slope Iñupiaq dialect, the phrase for "I'm hungry." is "Kaaktufa". When I was growing up, my father (Clifford S. Topkok from Teller -- his first language was Iñupiaq) said, "Gong-you" (phonetic spelling). Native language experts can correct your pronunciation, grammar, and spelling. More importantly, when you work with a local expert, you have an avenue to practice what you have learned by communicating with others. As with all second language learning, there are great obstacles in truly learning the language through books, audio, or computer programs.

However, utilizing the computer can be a useful resource when you are first starting out as a learner. Instead of having the expert repeat a word or phrase five or six times, more or less, working with a Talking Dictionary enables a student to repeat the word or phrase as many times as the computer allows.

Creating your own placed-based Talking Dictionary is not that big of a challenge. Alaskool.org describes how they have created the Online Iñupiaq Dictionary (http://www.alaskool.org/language/dictionaries/dictionaryindx.html) which represents one method of starting such a project. When starting a Talking Dictionary, try to think about how you can incorporate audio as a way to help learners expand their vocabulary. To enter the spoken version of the language into the computer, you can use a tape recorder or better yet a video camera. There are also other electronic recording devices available with new technology such as MP3 recorders.

Putting everything together into a convenient and useable format may be the biggest challenge. However, I have noticed by working with the youth today, technology comes easily for most of them. There are usually multimedia specialists in local schools who would most likely be very enthusiastic to work on a project like this. With the work that I do through the Alaska Native Knowledge Network, I would be happy to offer suggestions so that communities have stewardship with their own project.

I would encourage you to check online to see what is available and determine what would work best in your own community. We all know that computers could never replace Native language experts and cultural bearers. Technology should only be used as a tool, just like a pencil only fancier. Look for more Alaska Native language resources in a future eSOP.

Separation BarHere are some upcoming themes for future eSOP's:

  • Native Language Resources
  • Reports for Alaska Native Educator Associations
  • Reports from the World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education (WIPCE) and World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC)
  • Academies of Elders

If you have any contributions for these or other eSOP themes, please send them to the eSOP Newsletter Editor <sop@ankn.uaf.edu>.

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Alaska Native Knowledge Network Contacts

Ray Barnhardt
University of Alaska Fairbanks
ANKN
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-1902 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax
email: ffrjb@uaf.edu

Oscar Kawagley
University of Alaska Fairbanks
ANKN
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-5403 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax
email: oscar@ankn.uaf.edu

 

Jeannie Creamer-Dalton
University of Alaska Fairbanks
ANKN
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-1902 phone
(907) 474-5208 fax
email: jeannie@ankn.uaf.edu

Paula Elmes
University of Alaska Fairbanks
ANKN
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-7174 phone
(907) 474-1957 fax
email: paula@ankn.uaf.edu

Sean Topkok
University of Alaska Fairbanks
ANKN
PO Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730
(907) 474-5897 phone
(907) 474-1957 fax
email: sean@ankn.uaf.edu

 

 

Sharing Our Pathways

is a publication of the Alaska Native Knowledge Network through the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

 

We welcome your comments and suggestions and encourage you to submit them to:

The Alaska Native Knowledge Network
Old University Park School, Room 158
University of Alaska Fairbanks
P.O. Box 756730
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6730

(907) 474-1902 phone
(907) 474-1957 fax

Newsletter Editor: Sean Topkok

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?
Contact
ANKN
Last modified August 16, 2006