• Can I tell you what really happened?: learning to make decisions in response to indigenous student voice in a high school language arts classroom

      Rushman, Alyssa M.; Patterson, Leslie; Siekmann, Sabine; Martelle, Wendy (2019-05)
      This study focuses on engaging high school students in reading and the decisions I make to sustain that engagement. I learned that one way to enhance the engagement in my classroom is to listen to my students' stories and to incorporate culturally relevant texts. All of the students in this study were previously in our school's language intervention program: Read 180. While teaching this intervention-based class, I noticed this class was a behavior management nightmare. The students' challenging behavior led me to question the intervention program's ability to sustain my students' engagement through the prescribed texts. This study aims to describe my observations in a 10th grade Language Arts II class in Chefornak, Alaska. Specifically, this thesis describes my findings and analysis as it relates to how students show engagement and how I make (and revise) decisions in response to my students' voices. I used teacher action research (TAR) to research the events in my classroom. During an 11-week period, I collected audio recordings, student work samples, and teacher action research journal entries. At the end of the research, I also wrote memos about the data. I used constructive grounded theory (CGT) to make sense of the story the data tells and to see what kind of patterns were present. This research is important to me because it helps me to understand the weaknesses and the strengths in my own instructional planning as well as how I interpret students' participation in class. After this research, I am convinced that learning outcomes are preceded by learner engagement, and that learner engagement is complex.
    • Can We Remain Yup'ik In These Contemporary Times? A Conversation Of Three Yugtun-Speaking Mothers

      Michael, Veronica E.; Marlow, P. (2010)
      The Yup'ik people of southwestern Alaska are experiencing language shift from Yugtun to English. This study is a conversation between three Yugtun speaking mothers who are trying to understand this shift and wondering if they can maintain their identity, and that of their children, in this changing world. The study takes place in the village of Kuiggluk. Data collection included a research journal and focus group discussions. In this study, I have tried to paint a picture of who we are as Yup'ik mothers in our contemporary lives. Qayaruaq, Mikngayaq and I carry with us our own mothers' teachings, while at the same time we face different situations in school and schooling. Through our discussions we sought to understand the reasons for language loss/shift -- a shift that seems to be driving us away from our culture.
    • Caries differences among Sub-Saharan Africans

      Carter, Fawn; Irish, Joel D.; Clark, Jamie; Hoover, Kara (2014-08)
      Teeth are a vital source of data for interpreting ancient lifestyles because of their high preservation potential and direct association with food. Understanding dental pathologies such as dental caries (cavities), can provide valuable information regarding diet and health. The objective of the present study is to compare caries prevalence among sub-Saharan African populations to determine whether any significant differences exist through space, time, economy, and between the sexes. A few small-scale dental pathology studies have been undertaken on specific populations and regions, but until now none have encompassed the entirety of sub-Saharan Africa from the Late Stone Age through modern times. Data on caries counts and severity from 1963 individuals comprising 44 sub-Saharan samples are compared using Mann-Whitney U and factorial ANOVA statistics. Results suggest: 1) major changes in diet related to widespread movement of people caused a general increase in caries; 2) there is no statistically significant difference in the frequency of caries between males and females; 3) people living in the savanna have more caries because of their dependence on high carbohydrate foods; and 4) subsistence strategy plays a role in caries frequencies. These findings reveal that global trends in caries susceptibility as described by other researchers do not always apply and that each population should be considered in turn.
    • Caries prevalence in ancient Egyptians and Nubians

      Triambelas, Konstantine; Irish, Joel; Hoover, Kara; Clark, Jamie (2014-08)
      This thesis presents an expanded bioarchaeological perspective to quantitative analyses of dental caries in the remains of 1842 ancient Egyptians and Nubians. The skeletal samples from 17 Egyptian and 15 Nubian cemeteries are represented by both sexes, and span a period from 14000 BCE-1450 CE. Considering that a skeletal population of this size has never been previously evaluated for dental caries, this thesis can make a considerable contribution to a better understanding of the variability encountered in dental caries patterns over time, as these are manifested within the bio/cultural/ecological context of the Nile Valley. Dental caries are the decomposition of tooth enamel resulting from the chemical breakdown of dietary carbohydrates by oral bacteria. In archaeological populations, increasing rates of dental caries have been positively correlated with consumption of agriculturally-based cereals such as wheat and barley. Dental caries rates thus provide a reliable indicator of human biocultural transitions to agriculture, as well as information on diet, general oral health, and social organization of the group. In the context of ancient Egypt and Nubia, dental caries frequencies have been previously used to evaluate regional variability in dietary practices, as well differential access to resources based on sex and social class/status. This thesis reevaluates much of the above information using a larger and more statistically-representative sample. Quantitative analyses based on both non-parametric and parametric statistical techniques were used to assess intra- and inter-sample differences in mean tooth caries, mean individual caries, and mean ante mortem tooth loss (AMTL). These variables were compared across samples by region, time period, economic organization, sex, and social status. Results for Egypt were in agreement with previous research showing overall low caries prevalence increasing through time. Significant regional and inter-cemetery differences existed between Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt, as well as between late Dynastic samples and earlier ones. In Nubia, significant differences according to region and sex were shown to exist in the prehistoric/preagricultural component of the study. In contrast with previous findings, Nubian dental caries were higher in the earlier phases and declined during the agriculturally-intensive periods of later Nubian history. The exception to this last finding was the Christian period when both dental caries and AMTL experienced considerable increases.
    • Carpenters daughter

      Osier, Jill N. (2000-05)
      Carpenter's Daughter reveals the construction and reconstruction a woman understands her life to be. Acknowledging the creation of identity through the tools of history, memory, dream, and imagination, it further explores where these worlds converge at different points along the path from child to girl to woman. The poems are equally concerned with dynamics beyond a sense of self--particularly how things come together and come apart. In both the realm of nature and that of human emotion, the speakers are confronted by tenuous connections and surprising holds, moved by the frailties lying beneath solid foundations and the grace witnessed in failing frames. Though several poems use formal patterns of line or stanza, most work in free verse and are driven by narrative, image, or voice. These also provide thematic links throughout the collection, their echoes serving to fully present ideas as well as celebrate sound.
    • Change of heart among aboriginal Canadians toward the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Project, 1970-2003

      Kirsanova, Galina V. (2004-05)
      The last three decades witnessed an astonishing change of heart among the Mackenzie Valley and Delta's aboriginal groups toward the reemerged Mackenzie Valley Pipeline project and associated industrial development. Vehement confrontation between indigenous residents of the northern Homelands and proponents of a new industrial Frontier has given way to mutually beneficial cooperation. This thesis examines the factors of this attitudinal change. First, the Berger Report and aboriginal testimonies are used to reveal the roots of the previous native opposition to the project, i.e., lack of control, inadequate capacities, and possible threats to subsistence. Next is the analysis of the current aboriginal support of industrial development, particularly anticipated revenues, business and employment opportunities, and the prospect of effective resource co-management, which are ensured by various aboriginal-industrial-governmental agreements, as well as by modem needs of the indigenous societies. This longitudinal analysis leads to the emergence of the factors which have prompted native people to change their attitudes (demographic and cultural changes) and empowered them to undertake the proposed development for the sake of their own sustainability (native legal, political, economic and informational capacity-building). The findings suggest that these same factors could contribute to a similar evolution in other Homeland- Wilderness-Frontier regions.
    • The changing vista of the northern Northwest Coast Indian Deer Ritual

      Austin, Kenneth Frank (1999-08)
      From time immemorial until the start of the 20th century, when disputing Tlingits decided to end a conflict, Tlingit clan leaders and elders met in council and negotiated an equitable peace settlement. After reaching a satisfactory negotiation, a peace dance took place to validate the settlement. Besides the Tlingits, the neighboring Indian groups in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia practiced this custom. When the European and Western powers assumed governance, the deer ritual--a judicial function of the Pacific Northwest Coast Indians--was modified, and new forms appeared. Presently, while elders know their regional history, many do not remember the protocol and formalities of the rite that was performed. This thesis undertakes a step into the past when the rite had an active and viable purpose in settling disputes and validating agreements
    • Cheechako Teacher: Narratives Of First -Year Teachers In Rural Alaska

      Carter, Stephen Ruben; Bird, Roy (2006)
      Seventy percent of teachers in rural Alaska come from the lower 48, most having little to no introduction to the culture they are entering or what will be asked of them as teachers. The turnover rate of teachers in rural Alaska far outstrips the national average; in some rural districts turnover is nearly 100 percent each year. This leads us to conclude that the first year of teaching in rural Alaska must be highly charged experience. Though many studies have been done on first-year teachers in rural Alaska, none has focused on the teachers' personal writings produced while in the midst of their experience. This study is a narrative inquiry into the first-person accounts of first-year teachers in rural Alaska from 1896 to 2006. The study constructs "plot points" (meaning events and tensions that drive the teachers' narratives) that delimit the structure of the average first-year Alaskan teacher story. The accounts are divided into two sections: historical accounts and contemporary accounts. Each of these sections is divided according to a series of plot points, namely: (1) the decision, (2) the arrival, (3) the first day of school, (4) collisions, (5) integration, and (6) effectiveness (historical section only), and (7) the final decision (contemporary teachers only). The study points out the similarities and contrasts between historical accounts and contemporary accounts and seeks to bring these into dialogue with Alaska-specific pedagogical theories. The study concludes that the utility of first year teachers' writings is not derived from their prescriptions, but their descriptions. Thus, the study recommends (1) that more first-person written narratives be gathered from first-year teachers in rural Alaska to facilitate a more in depth study, (2) that new teachers in Alaska avail themselves of the written narratives of their professional forebears, (3) that Alaska's public education system create room for first-year teachers to tell their stories in non judgmental settings, and (4) that future study also focus on perceptions of first-year teachers by their students and village.
    • The child soldier experience in Uzodinma Iweala's "Beasts of no nation"

      Gurley, Nicole (2007-05)
      Uzodinma Iweala's Beasts of No Nation plays an integral role in raising awareness of the child soldier epidemic. It portrays this global issue through the eyes of Agu, the child narrator. This thesis attempts to understand the extent to which Agu's experiences with the rebel group as well as his participation in war affect him. Agu struggles to maintain his identity during his exposure to and forced involvement in rape, thievery, and murder. His age leaves him particularly vulnerable to the ravages of war, and although Agu succeeds in maintaining some of his identity, he is eventually alienated from himself and others. Nevertheless, Agu's enthusiasm and resilience show him capable of reintegration, despite the rehabilitation center's inadequacies. He faces the challenges of rejoining normal society, overcoming his guilt, and reclaiming his identity, but his healing is restricted through the center's emphasis on Western methods of healing. Other rebels like Luftenant, Griot, and Rambo are also victimized. Their ruthless barbarity partially results from their sense of powerlessness in a chaotic world. Yet their humanity appears in small demonstrations of restraint and helplessness, thus indicating the hope for all child soldiers' capacity for rehabilitation.
    • Circle peacemaking in Kake, Alaska: a case study of indigenous planning and dispute systems design

      Hylsop, Polly E.; Leonard, Beth; Jarrett, Brian; DeCaro, Peter; Wexler, David (2018-05)
      Peacemaking is both a way of life and a process to address wrongdoing in the community. The process, Circle Peacemaking is a restorative practice designed by the community members in Kake, Alaska, a Tlingit community located in the southeast part of the state. Based on local values, ancient laws and traditional knowledge, Circle Peacemaking has been effective in lowering the recidivism rate for wrongdoers in the community and pays close attention to the needs of the victims. This study adds to the growing field of Indigenous Dispute Systems Design derived from the principles and steps used in the practice of Indigenous Planning (IP) and Dispute Systems Design (DSD). DSD is a discipline practiced by attorneys and mediators when designing dispute resolution systems, such as mediation and arbitration, within organizations and communities. Despite hidden pressures and open challenges, the local design of Circle Peacemaking, both as a way of life and process, ensure that local design for bringing balance back into a community can succeed and sustain itself long-term. This study explores the resurgence of traditional knowledge and practice as a foundation for community wellness in Kake. This case study is a tribute to the people of Kake and Yukon Territory, Canada for their hard work, perseverance and dedication to the well-being of their communities. This study is a contribution of their work that they will pass down to the following generations of Peacemakers.
    • Co-Constructed Interpersonal Perceptions Of Self: Meaning-Making In The Astrological Consultation

      Richey, Jean Alice; Brown, J.; McWherter, P.; Leipzig, J. (2001)
      This research study employs qualitative narrative analysis in order to develop an understanding of co-constructed meaning of self-identity within the astrological practitioner-client relationship. The literature review includes theoretical perspectives from interpersonal communication, the social construction of reality and of self-identity, and transpersonal studies. Three emergent themes from six narrative interviews are discussed in regard to co-constructed constitutive interpretations of self-identity: (1) cultural stranger/insider standpoint, (2) worldview metaphors, (3) and recognition of a socially embedded self. The consultation narrative illustrates the constitution of identity in interaction with an other who is afforded the status of "professional" regarding the interaction itself. Like therapeutic interactions between self and health care practitioners, the interaction between consultant and the astrological information seeker is a context unusually sensitive to the information that makes self visible to the evolution of identity. Such interaction carries a cultural expectation of the constitutive nature and power of communication. <p>
    • Cognitive learning in the presence of immediacy: an exploratory study of the relationship between perceived and actual cognitive learning and nonverbal immediacy

      McGee, Keli Hite; McWherter, Pamela; Brown, Jin; Arundale, Robert (2000-05)
      The immediacy construct continues to be a hot topic in Instructional Communication. It is shown repeatedly to positively affect student perceptions of the classroom. Although student perceptions of the classroom are important for a more conducive learning environment, increasing student learning is also important. The effects of teacher immediacy on cognitive learning are still unclear due largely in part to the inability to consistently and accurately assess actual learning. Many studies relate cognitive learning to immediacy, but the primary use of student self-reports to measure cognitive learning limits the interpretation to student perceptions of their learning rather than necessarily actual learning. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between perceived cognitive learning and actual cognitive learning. Although the data of this study supports previous findings that perceived student learning relates to teacher nonverbal immediacy, this study found no relationship between perceived and actual cognitive learning.
    • Come On Ugzruk, Let Me Win: Experience, Relationality, And Knowing In Kigiqtaamiut Hunting And Ethnography

      Wisniewski, Josh; Schweitzer, Peter (2010)
      This ethnography of marine mammal hunting explores linkages between personal experiences and shared understandings of ecological phenomena among a group of Kigiqtaamiut hunters in Shishmaref, Alaska. Specifically it examines the relationships between Kigiqtaamiut hunters' experiences in the world and means by which the experienced world is brought into being through hunters' ways knowing. This work is informed by three spring hunting seasons spent as a member of a familial marine mammal hunting crew and over 20 months of fieldwork. It addresses hunters' ways of learning, knowing and directly experiencing the reality of the phenomenal world. Exploring a multiplicity of modes and facets of experience connected to the relationships between hunters' processual way of knowing bearded seals (Eringathus barbatus) through an experiential ethnographic investigation, I empirically examine the practices of hunting and the ethnography of hunting as linked, reflexive, and ultimately inseparable processes of coming to know. Considering the plausibility that a more rigorous presentation of a way of knowing can be realized through highlighting the reflexive and experiential interactions that shape these two concurrent phenomenological inquiries, this work suggests an "ethnography of knowing" to engage these multiple-linked processes of knowledge construction. It is suggested that separating hunters' ways of being and knowing misconstrues the depth and complexity of local knowledge as actualized in pragmatic decision-making processes in context of hunting. By examining Kigiqtaamiut/bearded seal relations, the set of hunting practices that most significantly shape the hunting mode of being in Shishmaref are explored. Collapsed into this ethnographic and phenomenological analysis of human/bearded seal ecology are the connections between hunters' ways of knowing, local pedagogy, the structure and usage of hunting narratives and topical lexicon to convey information and the significance of place and local histories. Analysis of these intersecting and mutually informative themes highlights how hunters' means of learning and knowing as a continuous process of experience both shape and are shaped by socioculturally mediated experiences with natural phenomena. This work speaks to dimensions of hunters' ways of knowing both manifest in and shaping lived experiences. In doing so, this work furthers regional ethnography, the anthropology of knowledge studies, human environmental relations and understandings of the human condition of being-in-the-world.
    • Coming out of the foodshed: change and innovation in rural Alaskan food systems

      Loring, Philip A. (2007-05)
      This thesis is a combined volume containing three individual research papers, each written for submission to a different peer-reviewed journal. Each to some extent investigates community resiliency and vulnerability as they manifest in the past and present of Alaska Native foodways. The first paper, 'Outpost Gardening in Interior Alaska' examines the historical dimensions of cropping by Athabascan peoples as a part of local food system development and innovation; the second introduces the 'Services-oriented Architecture' as a framework for describing ecosystem services, with the rural Alaskan model as an example; the third, from which the title of this thesis was taken, presents the process and outcomes of contemporary food system change for the Athabascan village of Minto, AK, as they 'come out of their foodshed'. The three of these papers together introduce a language and a set of frameworks for considering local food systems within a context of development and global change that are applicable throughout Alaska and indeed to cases world-wide.
    • The common good: salmon science, the conservation crisis, and the shaping of Alaskan political culture

      Robinson, Matthew J.; Di Stefano, Diana; Rosenberg, Jonathan; Ehrlander, Mary (2015-08)
      Without a doubt, the salmon fishery in Alaska has been at the forefront of natural resource debates and has served as an example of ineffective, misunderstood, and controversial policies, as well as many missed opportunities to better understand the resource. Management of Alaska's longest lasting natural resource industry is contingent upon an evolving scientific understanding of salmon. At the same time, policy has been shaped by political, economic, cultural, and social phenomena. Considering these parts of the historical narrative of the Alaska salmon industry demonstrates the fundamental challenges of fisheries management: reconciling biological limitation, economic demands, and cultural practices. This study contextualizes modern salmon management in Alaska by analyzing early- to mid-twentieth century conservation efforts within these constraints. To begin, some fundamental questions arise in the analysis of salmon management: why did managers make the decisions they did? What were limits faced by managers and the science they relied on? Also, how did political, economic, and cultural forces impact these decisions? By addressing these questions in a historical analysis, a fuller understanding of modern salmon management in Alaska is found. Answering these questions shapes this thesis and supports the argument that economic, political, and cultural factors often influenced changing policies as much as technological advances and ecological understanding did. In particular, Alaska's unique transition to statehood in the mid-twentieth century - a period when huge advances in ecology were underway - highlights how science often took a backseat to other concerns.
    • Communicating stroke: a narrative inquiry

      Gelinas, Mary F. (2008-05)
      This narrative research in communication addresses the lived experience of individuals who have suffered stroke. Specifically, I examine how the realities people create and the relationships they enact contribute to their sense of identity after the occurrence of a stroke. Health crises are times of reconstitution of self and relationships (Lorber, 1997). The present research has been conducted from a human science perspective, employing the epistemology of constructionism, the theory of social construction of reality, and narrative inquiry and conversational interviewing to produce an understanding of the experience of life after stroke. In this study, stroke survivors are considered active interpreters, managers, and creators of the meaning of their health and illness.
    • Communicating to persuade: the effects of language power and nonverbal immediacy on the efficacy of persuasion

      Gadzhiyeva, Natavan M.; Sager, Kevin; Richey, Jean; Decaro, Peter (2012-05)
      The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of powerful speech and nonverbal immediacy on the efficacy of persuasion in a hypothetical sales presentation. Language power and nonverbal immediacy were hypothesized to affect persuasiveness through the potentially powerful nature of both, and to have an interaction effect on persuasiveness. A sample of 211 undergraduate students at a Northwestern University voluntarily completed an online survey, which contained a video clip of a sales presentation. Each participant randomly viewed one of four video clips, which differed in terms of language power (high vs low) and nonverbal immediacy (high vs low). A two way ANOVA indicated that language power had a main effect on the extent of persuasion. However, there was no main effect for nonverbal immediacy, and no interaction effect between language power and nonverbal immediacy. The findings of this study suggested that in a sales presentation, the power of language is an important factor for determining the persuasiveness of a salesperson.
    • Communication apprehension: a narrative analysis of the PRCA-24

      VanDeventer, Karri C. (2002-12)
      This exploratory study examined individuals' lived experience with communication apprehension (CA). CA has been explored extensively over the past 35 years by researchers seeking psychological explanations for communication phenomenon and employing the premise that CA exists as a "trait-like" characteristic of personality or as a relatively permanent behavioral disposition. Grounded in a constructionist epistemology, this study presumes that meaning is created, maintained, and transformed through communication with others. From this perspective, CA is an individual's evaluation of anticipated or occurring communication events, based upon his/her prior experiences interacting with others in specific situations. Though CA researchers acknowledge this situational basis of communication apprehension, it has been largely overlooked in past research given the reliance on the "trait-like" perspective. To gain insight into people's actual experiences when filling out the PRCA-24, this research utilizes in-depth conversational interviews to examine the situational specificity of the most popular CA measurement instrument, the Personal Record of Communication Apprehension-24 (PRCA-24).
    • Communication between Russian teaching assistants and American undergraduate students

      Popov, Aleksey Sergeyevich (2004-05)
      This research employs qualitative narrative analysis in order to better understand the lived experience of American undergraduate students' interactive relationships with Russian Teaching Assistants particularly in Communication courses 13lx 'Fundamentals of Oral Communication - Group Context' and 141x 'Fundamentals of Oral Communication - Public Speaking' at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Narrative interviews revealed several emergent themes. They are: assertiveness in the classroom, language barrier, grading difficulties, Russian TAs' enthusiasm, and getting used to the classroom environment.