Minto Mapping Project:
A Curriculum to Preserve
Generations of Knowledge
written by Bill Pfisterer, Linda Pfisterer
and Paula Elmes
In an ever changing world, it is important to record
the past in an attempt to understand the present. What was once an oral
tradition of passing along such information, is now being recorded with
emerging technologies. These efforts will help young people recognize
how and why cultures change over time and enable them to identify who
they are and their place in the world.
Minto Mapping Project began several years ago with the intent of recording
indigenous place names of traditional and contemporary land sites used
by the people of Interior Alaskas Minto Flats. This collaborative
effort was done by the Cultural Heritage and Education Institute, Alaska
Rural Systemic Initiative/Alaska Native Knowledge Network, and the Minto
High School Students.
The idea for the Minto Mapping Project originated at
the Summer Cultural Camp in Old Minto. The Elders expressed a need for
their young people to learn the locations and the importance of several
historical places before they were physically unable to show and tell
about the sites. They felt this information needed to be handed down
to their children and grandchildren so they would understand some of
the life-style and historical events from times past, and the role the
countryside where they lived, played in their daily lives.
It is the intent of this curriculum to continue with
the ongoing Minto Mapping Project by involving the High School Students
of Minto as they use the latest technology to begin the process of creating
a cultural atlas. As the High School Students of Minto become the culture
bearers, it is important that they visit the historical sights, learn
their place names and locations, and be a part of recording the events
and stories the Elders want preserved.
- It is a goal of this project to work with the school
and community to develop a plan to accomplish the mission of preserving
is a goal of this project to travel to historical sites with the Elders
and youth of Minto to gather data. Audio tapes and photographs will
be used to record information. Students will write up the information
and stories at a later date.
- It is a goal of this project that students transfer
knowledge gained from Elders about historical locations to a computer
generated web site. It is important that place names for the locations
be put down in their indigenous language along with the English translation.
- It is a goal of this project that students embellish
their information with photographs, sketches and paintings.
This Project Has Four Segments
Bringing the community and school together to make a plan.
Using technology for putting together the information.
Expansion of illustrating skills through the visual arts.
A1, A3, E3,
B5, B12, C3, D1, D3
A1, B1, B2,
A1, A2, A3,
B2, E2, F3
A1, A2, A5,
B1, B3, C;1, C4, C5, D2, E1, E2, E4, F2, F3, F4
State Content Standards
B1, B3, C2, C45, D13
A1, A3, B1,
B37, C3, D12, D4, E5, F2
Government & Citizenship
E12, E4, E6
B1e, B34, C12, C4, D1, D5
Skills for a Healthy
B34, C56, D1, D6
B67, C4, D56, D8
C3, D13, E1, E68