Sunday, November 23, 2008

Family Tree

Relationships of languages can be modelled in some form of hierarchy status or in a family tree. This particular tree is divided into each of the language groups within the Alaskan native culture. it shows the relationships between which languages are alike or stand on common grounds. Some share certain features with neighboring languages while others may not share any features at all. This may cause some confusion as to arguing about which is closely related to who. For example, the tree shows the Eyak and Athabascan language sharing common features, but the Eyak language also shares them with the Tlingit language while the Athabascan doesn't. Overall, this particular language tree analyzes the relationships clearly for us ti understand.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Integrating Traditional Native Knowledge and Science

Stephens, S. (2000). Culturally Responsive Science Curriculum. Fairbanks: Alaska Science Consortium.

In this article, Sidney Stephens provides examples of how people, educators, and science agree or disagree about intergrating traditional native knowledge into westeren knowledge. She begins by saying people have a tendency to believe what they want to believe rather than understanding the truth and facts because of the similarities and differences involved in these two concepts. For example, Stephens indicates that a native educator would perceive the culturally responsive science curriculum as a way of introducing their cultural values and languages as the most important element in the educational system. They want to present science in such a way that engulfs that culture and at the same time reflecting it's scientific standards as well. As opposed to an educator thats not so enthused by their culture would view the culturally responsive science curriculum as presenting western science into education as what people value in life and what they should know about modern culture. It's more of connecting science to culture and how that induces people to view culture as scientific knowledge instead of traditionally.


The Alutiiq Language: History, Study, and Survival

Counceller L. April, (2008). The Alutiiq Language: History, Study, and Survival: Kodiak: Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Repository.

April L. Counceller explains that the Aluutiq language has made it's presence to the local medias of the Kodiak communities. the Aluutiq Word of the Week program is a program providing information about the language to the world. it's purpose is to raise awareness to outside communities of the Aluutiq language and so far, has become a success in appearing in the Aluutiq museum and public radios. However, the knowledge of tha language itself is vague Many names have been used to refer to the Aluutiq people such as Aleut, Sugpiaq, or Qiq'rtarmiuq (island dweller). While one would be more popular in another area, these terms are interchangebly used throughout the regions. Although some may consider them to be equally varied, all agree that it's name is more meaningful than just a term, a group, a background, but is personal and needs to remain unjudgmental by outsiders.


Friday, November 21, 2008


"Repatriation is unfinished business. It’s something we have amoral obligation to do. It’s not the most critical issue facing our people, but its not an either or. Since there was such a violation against our people it needs to be taken care of."

Dr. Gordon Pullar – Woody Island Tribal Council

Repatriation is in fact unfinished business in terms of returning Alaskan Native cultural objects back to their origins. Such as the Aluutiq Sugpiaq masks. They've been found and traced back to the 1800's originally taken from Kodiak, but are no longer owned by Alaska. Instead, they're home is in a small museum in France. The process of attempting to bring them back home for good is quite complicated due to the repatriation and ownership issues involved. Dr. Pullar emphasizes that repatriation is an obligation because of the violation against the Alaskan Native peoples. His beliefs are strong and is very legitimate because in a way, the masks were technically stolen. They weren't given voluntarily or taken with permission. The masks were simply taken in as objects and art out of free will. it would solve the problem if Alaskan and France commission members agreed on a solution to give them back out of a cultural respect basis, but unfortunately, it's not that simple. Hopefuly in the near future, the Alaskan Native people will get to see these sacred items brought back to the tribal communities once and for all.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Aluutiq / Sugpiaq Language

Alaska Native Language Center, (2005). Alaska Native Languages: Fairbanks: University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Many Alaskan Native languages are spoken throughout Alaska. Displayed in this language map are the regions in which the language is spoken. Specifically the Aluutiq language, which is along the Aleution Chain, is spoken in two dialects from the Peninsula and Prince William Sound. Only about 400 of about 3,000 Aluutiq people still speak the language. Originally, the people called themselves Sugpiaq."Sug," meaning "person," and "Piaq," meaning real. However, the name Aluutiq, was adopted by Russian invaders who applied the name to the people of the Attu and Kodiak islands. Herman and Gideon, who were Russian Orthodox monks, were the first people to begin literacy work on the Aluutiq language. Although not much of their work has survived, others have attempted to continue their progression, but have been unsuccesful because their work lasted only until about 1807. it wasn't until the early 1960's when the first modern Allutiq linguistics have been produced by Irene Reed and continued by Jeff Leer in 1973 whose been successful in producing grammar and dictionary resources of the Aluutiq / Sugpiaq language.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do Alaska Native People Get Free Medical Care?

Roderick, L. (2008). Do Alaska Native People Get Free Medical Care? Anchorage: University of Alaska Anchorage.

There are a few things people often question about the issue of Alaskan Natives, such as their benefits and the advantages they have within Alaska. One major frequently asked question is displayed as the title of this book. Do Alaska Native People Get Free Medical Care? if you look closely, the answer is at the bottom of the book, "No, they paid in advance." There's the truth behind this question and within this book is much more information defining the issues in Alaskan Native culture. Their identities, subsistence, tribal government, and what lies ahead in the future are all discussed including additional information about education and colonialism. This book is just one of the many resources available to the public and can somewhat help find the demise of stereotypes targeting the Alaskan native cultures as well.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Alaska Science: Camps, Fairs and Experiments

Dick, A. (2004). Alaska Science: Camps, Fairs and Experiments. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

The significane of this chapter in Alaska Science: Camps, Fairs and Experiments explains the methods used to teach students about Alaskan native cultures involoving extensive interactions and hands-on projects. Rather than assigning a relevant book related to the subject, instructors have developed learning environments outside of a classroom setting. These settings are set up as camps throughout the region inviting and accepting students who want to learn actual first-hand traditonal experiences. There are 3 types of camps, Immersion camps in which the Native language is only and prodominately spoken. Language camps, instructors and elders teaching the Native language. English-Speaking camps, which is basically self-explanatory, involves the English language because of the diversity and dialects represented in the camp. Although not much is said in this portion of the book, it is quite thoughtful for someone to dwell on the subject of education of indigenous knowledge.