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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 11, Issue 1, Winter/Spring 2006

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In This Issue:

WIPCE 2005 hosted by the Maori!

Equal education means equal results

Dr. Graham Smith at UAF

Traditional Values of Alaska Poster

13th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium

UAF Cross-Cultural Studies Summer Classes

 

New CD-ROM "Creating a Community Elder's Calendar"

ANKN Curriculum Corner

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WIPCE 2005 hosted by the Maori!

by Ray Barnhardt

WIPCE 2005The 7th tri-annual World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education was held in Hamilton, New Zealand on Nov. 26 – Dec. 1, 2005. The Maori people set a new standard for hospitality in hosting over 3000 conference attendees in true Maori fashion, including a day-long welcoming ceremony at a "marae" on the banks of the Waikato river and over 400 workshops held on the campus of the University of Waikato. Alaska was well represented with nearly 100 attendees, including large delegations from the NANA region, the North Slope and Juneau, each of which performed at the opening ceremony. The workshops addressed a wide range of issues organized around Indigenous leadership, language revitalization, Indigenous research and new horizons in Indigenous education. The inspirational keynote addresses presented each day were made available to conference participants in the form of a copy of the first issue of a new International Indigenous Journal (available at http://www.indigenousjournal.com/). Attendees were also able to participate in field trips to visit various Maori communities and education initiatives. For those who had visited Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the past, WIPCE provided a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and catch up with all the exciting things that are happening in Indigenous education around the world.

Alaskans at WIPCEJust prior to the WIPCE events, the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium held its annual meeting of representatives from the many Tribal Colleges, Maori wananga and other First Nations institutions from around the world, including the Consortium for Alaska Native Higher Education. In addition to reviewing several new Indigenous-serving programs and institutions as candidates for WINHEC accreditation, the executive board introduced the WINHEC Journal and enacted a variety of initiatives to strengthen Indigenous higher education on an international scale. For details about the WINHEC Journal and other WINHEC activities, go to http://www.win-hec.org.

The next World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education will be hosted by the Australian Aboriginal people in Melbourne, Australia in 2008. Stay tuned for further details and plan on attending.

Alutiiq Delegation
Alutiiq Delegation

 

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Equal education means equal results

By Diane Hirshberg
(Published: January 27, 2006 in the Anchorage Daily News, permission to reprint from the author)

The Alaska Constitution placed responsibility for providing a public education to all children squarely in the hands of the state Legislature. This year's 50th anniversary of the Constitutional Convention provides a good opportunity for citizens to reflect on the constitution's influence over education and to learn a bit about the history of public education in our state.

The constitution directs the Legislature to "establish and maintain a system of public schools open to all children of the state." For the first 17 years of statehood, Alaska's education system was anything but open to all.

There were, instead, two systems of public schooling in place: one for non-Native and Native children living in urban communities and another for Native students in rural villages. While children in urban areas enjoyed access to state-funded public schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, most Native students in rural communities attended primary schools operated either by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or missionaries. Native teens in rural areas had no access to secondary education in their home communities and were forced to choose between attending a boarding school or living in a boarding home while attending school in an urban area.

In 1972 a lawsuit challenged the constitutionality of the state's secondary school system for rural Alaska Natives. The case, commonly known as "the Molly Hootch case," was settled by the Tobeluk v. Lind consent decree in 1976, with the state agreeing to construct local high schools throughout rural Alaska.

Now that the state has taken responsibility for educating all children, Native and non-Native alike, there still remains the question of whether this is enough. Does the state need to do more than simply open schools wherever children reside?

The answer to that question is provided in Article I, Section 1, where the constitution states "all persons are equal and entitled to equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law." Under this "equal protection clause" the state must provide an equal education to all students, regardless of race.

But what does this mean? Is it making sure all schools receive the same per- pupil funding, with just some adjustments to school funding based on different costs in rural Alaska? Or is there another way we should look at equality in education?

The federal government tells us, via No Child Left Behind, that schools must bring all groups of students to acceptable levels of achievement. If we take that as a guide, then we need to look at education outcomes, rather than inputs, as our measure of equality.

Creating equal educational opportunities does not mean simply providing exactly the same access and resources to all children across the state. Instead, it means creating conditions under which all children can achieve to a high standard. Often, people argue that equality of opportunity is achieved by providing identical resources to students within the classroom. However, equality of inputs does not always result in equitable outcomes for all students.

In Alaska, there is a significant gap between the achievement of Native and non-Native students, and despite No Child Left Behind, it does not appear to be narrowing. We need to look for different approaches to meeting the needs of all students in order to erase this gap.

Students come to school with different levels of preparedness and resources on which to draw. However, their ability to learn and achieve is not dictated by these factors. Educators can and should teach all children so that they reach high levels of competency across subjects and so that they develop both a lifelong love of learning and a desire to be informed and engaged citizens within their local and state community.

Additional resources are needed in those schools serving students who lack basic skills when they enter school. A concentrated investment early on in the education of those children most in need of extra help -- whether urban or rural, Native or non-Native -- will lead to much more equitable outcomes in the long run. If our goal is equality of opportunity for all students in Alaska, then we must do no less.

Diane Hirshberg is an assistant professor of education policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage. More information about the Alaska Constitution can be found at http://www.alaska.edu/creatingalaska.

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Dr. Graham Smith at UAF


Graham Smith, a distinguished Maori professor from the University of Auckland and the University of British Columbia, spent three weeks in February at UAF at the invitation of the the Chancellor's Advisory Committee for Native Education (CACNE) to explore the development of a support structure and pathway for attracting more Alaska Natives to pursue a PhD in their field of interest. Following is the introductory section of a preliminary report that he has prepared for discussion purposes. He will return to UAF in April to follow up on his initial work and begin identifying potential candidates for a cohort of graduate students at each of the UA campuses. If you have any interest in this initiative, please get in touch with Bernice Joseph, Dean of the College of Rural and Community Development and Chair of CACNE. Bernice can be reached at <bernice.joseph@uaf.edu>

A ‘Think Piece’ Report on Developing Graduate Programming to Impact Native and Rural Community Underdevelopment.

Distinguished Professor Graham H. Smith, PhD

1. Preamble

The intention of this ‘think-piece’ is to consider positive and proactive ideas and strategies that will enhance graduate program development within the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF). In particular to develop a suite of initiatives that are potentially more responsive and inclusive of Alaskan native and Indigenous students on the one hand and responsive to wider Alaskan native community (ies) learning needs and aspirations on the other. The transformative model that is being used responds on two planes - a vertical axis (indigenous needs focus) and a horizontal axis (the institution as a whole focus). Both elements need to be developed simultaneously with mutual regard of each others interests and adhering to an overarching concern to build an excellent research University site that is responsive and inclusive of its obligations to the State of Alaska as a whole.

There are several assumptions upon which this Report is predicated. There is a need to;

  1. embrace an approach to transformation that is alluded to in the refrain from the movie ‘The Field of Dreams’. It neatly encapsulates what needs to occur in many institutional environments including UAF. Thus the saying - ‘build it and they will come’; has resonance with the fact that if an institution creates an environment, courses and pathways that are relevant, culturally affirming, and genuinely excite indigenous students; indigenous students will come. If Faculties or individuals create innovative and outstanding indigenous initiatives that have relevance, funding will find the projects – but there is a need to first build something and if the idea is good enough it will attract funding support. An institution often needs to consider making a commitment to investing at the front end as well and not always waiting and raising funds on ‘intentions’ and ‘promises’. This is a call to also get proactive with some initiatives and not wait for external funding – you can also ‘back – fill’ with external funding.
  2. move from a reactive mode to a more proactive and development mode
  3. encourage the development of a State wide policy forum on Native higher education given the need to co-ordinate more efficiently the few resources available across the State; this might come from a statewide indigenous group such as AFN or it could come from the First Alaskans Institute or both.
  4. ‘risk-manage’[1] the institutional processes given the current back-lash against affirmative action and race based programming.
  5. Pre-empt through a planning process the strategic growth of Native students at undergraduate and masters levels across the Faculties
  6. employ multiple strategies for transformation in multiple sites and to move beyond the ‘one size fits all’ assumption
  7. initiate a ‘whole of institution’ response; that is, initiate a shift away from the traditional institutional models designed to respond to Native interests which create ‘single departments’ and ‘one of’ initiatives and which sometimes have the effect of putting indigenous interests into a ‘corner’ of the institution. The new approach that is being taken up by the most successful institutions in responding to indigenous developments is the move to a ‘whole of institution’ approach. This requires everyone and every sector in the institution to be responsive and inclusive of indigenous needs.
  8. assume that institutional leaders will lead; the transformation expectations are delegated down the leadership chain. In University institutions, because resources are usually decentralized to Faculties, senior Management will need to require Deans and Faculties to move proactively in these areas.
  9. presume that many of the proposed strategies for the redevelopment of Indigenous success in UAF can be achieved without new funding through a re-configuration of existing resources and priorities. However, there will also be a need for some additional funding either from internal or external funding sources – although it is anticipated that many of the proposed initiatives can be simply enacted through policy inclusion and accountability.
  10. acknowledge the necessity in the UAF to “grow our own” doctoral graduates. This strategy has two thrusts; First; taking institutional responsibility to grow Native graduates within the University of Alaska (and not necessarily exporting all of them elsewhere); Second; enhancing the credentials of the existing Native Faculty base into doctoral qualifications where and as appropriate. (The institution should simultaneously (by asking Deans to move proactively in increasing their capacity and capabilities in respect of Alaskan Native research and teaching, and to move proactively to also attract new staffing in these areas, including more Native Faculty from outside the institution who are appropriately qualified)

2. The Aims of this Report

This Report is made to the Chair of the CACNE. The Chair has undertaken to continue the consultation process as required, to continue to build the formal response, and to promulgate various components to the required committees and individuals.

  1. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of the existing approaches to Native graduate development at UAF and where appropriate to suggest strategies for improving the responsiveness of UAF. (to be developed through the Chancellor and the Provost)
  2. Provide a critical overview and potential strategies to enable a specific Doctoral pathway to be developed that will focus on producing transformative outcomes for Native Education. (to be taken through the Dean of Graduate Studies when ready)
  3. Develop an integrated approach across the UA system and across the various institutions to Native Higher Education in general and to Native graduate development in particular. (to be developed through the Chancellor and the Provost and State wide committee structure)

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Traditional Values of Alaska PosterTraditional Values of Alaska Poster

(produced by Association of Alaska School Boards)

The cultural belief and traditional value systems that helped educate and mold generations of Alaska Natives years ago are just as valid and relevant today. The values listed - simple, genuine and insightful - illustrate the core beliefs of the diverse cultural groups that make up our great state. More than that, by collecting the traditional values of each tribe and presenting them in one place, we highlight the common ground and humanity that ties them together.

Price: Free
For ordering information, go to:
http://www.aasb.org/Bookstore/BooksA_B.html

 

 

 

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13th Annual Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium


2006 SILS Conference Theme
"And Together Our Minds Are One"

Buffalo State College
State University of New York
1300 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, New York USA
May 18-21, 2006

Information may be found at:
http://www.buffalostate.edu/elementaryeducation/sils.xml

 

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UAF Cross-Cultural Studies Summer Classes

Field Study Research Methods
CCS F603 - F41 3 credits
CRN 50709 Staff
8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., MTWRF, U Park 150 June 26 - July 14
Focus on considerations and techniques for conducting field research in a cross-cultural setting, with particular attention to participatory approaches and naturalistic research designs. Students must have access to a field setting in which to conduct a research project. Prerequisite: ED 601. Crosslist: ED F603-F41.

Indigenous Knowledge Systems
CCS F608 - F41 3 credits
CRN 50708 Kawagley
8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., MTWRF, U Park 102 June 26 - July 14
Comparative survey and analysis of the epistemological properties, world views and modes of transmission associated with various indigenous knowledge systems. Emphasis on knowledge systems practiced in Alaska. One day field trip to Athabascan Elder Howard Luke’s Gaalee’ya Spirit Camp on the Tanana River. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. $41 field trip fee.

Education and Cultural Processes
CCS F610 - F31 3 credits
CRN 50711 R. Barnhardt
9 a.m. - 12 p.m., MTWRF, U Park 150 June 5 - 23
Advanced study of the function of education as a cultural process and its relationship to other aspects of a cultural system. Prepare a study and examination of some aspect of education in a particular cultural context.
Note: Meets State of Alaska initial teaching certificate requirement in multicultural/cross-cultural communication. Crosslist: ED F610-F31.

For more information, visit the UAF Cross-Cultural Studies website at:
http://www.uaf.edu/cxcs/

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New CD-ROM "Creating a Community Elder's Calendar"

New CD-ROM "Creating a Community Elder's Calendar"Cheryl Pratt Silcox provides a teacher resource manual for documenting Indigenous Knowledge and integrating respect in place-based education. The chapters include:

I Teaching with Tradition
II Making Sense of Place
III Positive Protocols
IV Reliable Resources
V Enriching with Elders
VI Creating Comfort
VII Putting it All Together

The CD-ROM is available through the Alaska Native Knowledge Network Publications Department <publications@ankn.uaf.edu> -- (907) 474-1902. Cost for each CD is US$1 plus shipping, covering the cost to reproduce this resource.

 

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ANKN Curriculum Corner

Arctic climate curriculum geared for rural students

by Amy Hartley, Geophysical Institute
http://www.uaf.edu/news/featured/06/acmp/

"Sea ice cover is decreasing, lakes are drying up, ecosystems are changing and thawing permafrost is creating changes in water supply. For residents living in Northwestern Alaska, life has become quite different from what it was years ago.

"The Arctic Climate Modeling Program [http://www.arcticclimatemodeling.com/], a teacher training and curriculum development project designed at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, aims to equip 1,700 students from the region with the math, science and technology skills they need to better understand their changing surroundings. The project offers a progression of learning for K-12 students, helping 165 teachers in the Bering Straits School District guide them to think like scientists, learn the basics of arctic climate and then ultimately analyze the data and work with current research in the field of climate change.

"The innovative curriculum is brand new, but already teachers and developers say that ACMP's format works well for rural students. Hands-on activities, practical use of equipment and involvement with one's own community provide a curriculum finely tailored to village life."


UAF Science Education Outreach Network:

http://www.uaf.edu/outreach/clearinghouse/index.html

"The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers much more than academic degree programs and scientific research.

"UAF science departments and research units at UAF sponsor education outreach programs or activities that range from providing judges and school tours of research facilities, to K-12 curriculum development to college-bridging programs and science camps, to free workshops provided in communities across Alaska, and more.

"Until now, these efforts have occurred independently of each other. No overall list of activities existed, and little coordination among departments occurred. With support from science departments and research units across campus, the UAF Science Education Outreach Network was developed to unite these efforts.

"The UAF Science Education Outreach Network is a searchable database of the science education outreach programs and resources available through UAF. K-12 students and teachers, UAF college students and community members around the state can search the database for activities and resources available. Programs are searchable by categories such as calendar date, science discipline, Alaska region and Alaska Native culture.

"Please take time to browse through the UAF Science Education Outreach Network and let us know what you think."

For more information, you may contact the UAF Science Education Outreach Network Coordinator at 907-474-7999 or scienceoutreach@uaf.edu.

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

  • Native Language Resources
  • Reports for Alaska Native Educator Associations
  • 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 156
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