Now showing items 1-20 of 34

    • Diaries of Archaeological Expeditions to Alaska with the Smithsonian's Aleš Hrdlička in 1936, 1937, and 1938

      Veltre, Douglas W.; May, Alan G. (2021-01)
      For three summers in the late 1930s, Dr. Aleš Hrdlička, the preeminent physical anthropologist in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, led expeditions to southwestern Alaska to investigate the earliest peopling of that region. Curator of Physical Anthropology at the U.S. National Museum at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the acknowledged “founding father” of physical anthropology in the United States sailed north with small crews of young men—whom he called his “boys”—in the summers of 1936, 1937, and 1938 to probe ancient villages, camps, and burial places on Kodiak Island and throughout the Aleutian Islands. Only one member of his crews took part in all three of these expeditions—Alan G. May. While nearly everyone who knew Hrdlička recognized him to be a kind and often generous scientist of world renown, albeit an elite and difficult taskmaster, May developed an affection for him and an interest in Alaskan archaeology that brought him back on each summer’s venture. For his part, Hrdlička considered May to be his “best man.” Most important, unlike Hrdlička’s other crew members, May kept detailed and lengthy diaries of each summer’s thoughts and experiences. Those documents, presented here, offer insights into both May’s own character as well as his personal perspective on—as Aleš Hrdlička has recently been called—“a most peculiar man.” May’s diaries have been transcribed, edited, and made available through Archives and Special Collections, University of Alaska Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University Consortium Library (henceforth, the Archives), with the support of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, the not-for-profit Alaska Native Corporation for the region. In this introduction, I offer some brief historical context to those diaries. I begin with background on Hrdlička, including his place in the discipline of American anthropology and his interest in Alaska studies. Next, I outline the significance of the Kodiak Island and Aleutian Islands region to Hrdlička. This is followed, based in part on my personal association with him, by notes about Alan May and his participation in Hrdlička’s research in Alaska. Following this, I outline the three expeditions and their participants. Finally, I offer observations on May’s diaries and the manner in which they are presented here. --Douglas W. Veltre, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of Alaska Anchorage
    • Young Adult Perceptions of Patient-Provider Interactions in Primary Care

      McCafferty, Kelcie; Howard, Veronica (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-09-24)
      The patient-provider relationship may significantly impact a variety of health-related factors, ranging from the experience of chronic pain. (Jonsdottir, Oskarsson, & Jonsdottir, 2016) to overall healthcare outcomes (Beach, Keruly, & Moore, 2006). Patient demographics and previous medical history can influence patient perceptions of providers (Marchland, Palis, & Oviedo-Jones, 2016; Dennison et al., 2019), with previous studies exploring differences in the patient experience as a function of race, ethnicity, gender, location, socioeconomic status, and experience of chronic pain. However, few studies have assessed the interaction of multiple demographic and medical factors with patient perceptions of their interactions with providers. This study evaluated whether young adult patients’ demographic, medical, and gender-related factors were associated with perceptions of their most recent Primary Care Provider (PCP) interaction. Participants were surveyed regarding their medical history, experience of chronic pain, patient trust in physicians, patient-provider depth of relationship, quality of interactions with their PCP, and view the overall healthcare experience. Results indicate that women and participants with chronic pain disorders, mental health disorders, and sexual health disorders reported lower levels of satisfaction with interactions with providers. Moreover, inconsistency between quantitative ratings of recent PCP relationship quality and open-ended qualitative responses indicate a potential lingering effect of prior poor provider interactions on participants’ perceptions of health care providers.
    • A Pilot Evaluation of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist for Assessing Employee Satisfaction and Support in Call Centers

      Kiester, Rebekah (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2020-04-13)
      Call center employees play a critical role in providing customer service, and directly influence customer satisfaction and retention (Slowiak, 2014). Determining what variables influence employee satisfaction and performance in call centers is crucial for organizations and businesses to support their employees. The Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) was developed to identify variables that influence employee performance (Austin, 2000). The PDC has been found to be effective in a variety of settings, but a review of the literature indicates it has not been used to assess employee support in financial institutions. This study aims to adapt the PDC for use with employees in a financial institution call center to systematically assess factors related to employee support throughout the department. Results of the study indicate overall high levels of employee support, but indicate the potential for improvement in communication of department performance indicators as well as monitoring and providing clear performance feedback.
    • Protecting the Right to Exist as a People: Intellectual Property as a Means to Protect Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous Culture

      Collin, Sean; Collin, Yvette; Koskey, Michael (2018)
      The dominant Western culture has created a legal system premised upon an individualistic and commercial foundation for intellectual property rights (IPR). This system necessarily excludes the protection of traditional knowledge and other components of Indigenous cultures, as well as concepts of communal responsibility for the keeping and transfer of such ideas and knowledge. These concepts are foundational to Indigenous knowledge systems in Alaska, as well as throughout the world. Today, a focus on this issue is critical to the preservation of indigenous cultures and their ways of knowing. We examine where national and international intellectual property rights systems are in addressing Indigenous cultural and intellectual property rights (Indigenous CIPR). We also examine opportunities for expansion of such rights in Alaska and around the world.
    • Dancing in the air, standing out at sea: An analysis of Nalukataq, the blanket toss

      Robinson, Elizabeth (2018)
      This paper is a movement analysis of the blanket toss (nalukataq), an event currently manifested at the World Eskimo Indian Olympics (WEIO). First, I examine the tradition’s history and development over time as portrayed in scholarly literature on the Iñupiat whale festival. Then, I examine the blanket toss as one of many Iñupiat and Alaska Native games sharing common characteristics. Finally, I investigate the blanket toss as a WEIO competitive event, now shifted from its original site specificity and traditional context. In particular, I look at the essential components of a successful toss as defined by WEIO criteria, employing a phenomenological approach in my analysis in order to focus on the primacy of realization and reveal the ways in which aspects of the modern competitive performance may embody traditional Alaska Native cultures and values.
    • It’s more than just dollars: Problematizing salary as the sole mechanism for recruiting and retaining teachers in rural Alaska

      DeFeo, Dayna; Hirshberg, Diane; Hill, Alexandra (2018)
      Staffing rural Alaska schools with a stable workforce of qualified teachers has been perennially challenging, and the failure to do so harms student achievement. In the spring of 2014, the Alaska Department of Administration contracted with the Center for Alaska Education Policy Research to produce a uniform salary schedule and community cost differentials with the objective of attracting and retaining highly-qualified teachers to Alaskan communities. In this paper, we summarize the findings of that study, including opportunities for significant teacher salary increases. However, we discuss the role of salary in teachers’ decisions to stay or leave rural communities, noting that other working conditions are stronger predictors of teacher attrition. We argue that salaries alone will not ensure a stable and qualified teacher workforce, instead positing that efforts to improve Alaska’s rural schools and teacher retention outcomes will require both adequate compensation and attention to the working conditions.
    • Quality of Life Research and Methodology: Developing a Measure for Alaska Native Peoples

      Crouch, Maria (2017)
      Quality of life (QOL) is often complicated by global measures that ignore the uniqueness of culture and context. The research is inundated with Western influence and colonized approaches, and indigenous ways of knowing are often overlooked and devalued. Diverse methodologies are a first step in stakeholder collaboration; mixed-methods research and Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) are a means of capturing the lived realities and worldviews of indigenous populations. These approaches allow for Alaska Native (AN) voice to be present in all aspects of the research process. A culturally relevant and sound measure of QOL for AN peoples must incorporate the voice of the stakeholders and the indigenous knowledge and traditional values that contribute to the beautiful and invaluable cultures of AN peoples.
    • Blackfish Lessons on Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Indigenous Culture

      Swensen, Thomas (2017-09-11)
      This essay, “Blackfish Lessons on Environmental Sustainability, Food, and Indigenous Culture,” examines Yup’ik interventions into understanding the place of human-nonhuman animal relations in regard to ecological sustainability. In lending consideration to Indigenous culture, the first part of the essay explicates the Yup’ik way of living, the Yuuyaraq, and its relationship to the environment. Then the essay turns toward two Yup’ik stories about blackfish, John Active’s “Why Subsistence is a Matter of Cultural Survival: A Yup’ik Point of View” (2001) and Emily Johnson’s “Blackfish,” taken from The Thank-You Bar recorded performance (Johnson, 2009), that speak to the imbrications of Indigenous culture and the environment.
    • English Studies as a Site for Healing: A Conversation about Place-Based and Indigenous Pedagogies in the English Classroom

      Stone, Jennifer; Brook Adams, Heather; Snoddy, Tayler; Mack, Samantha; Nicolet-Lloyd, Hailey; Nasruk Davis, Arlo (2017-09-11)
      This article summarizes a roundtable discussion from the 2016 Alaska Native Studies Conference among professors and students from two English Studies courses at the University of Alaska Anchorage: History of the English Language and History of Rhetoric. Jennifer and Heather discuss how the courses are traditionally taught and how they redesigned the courses to incorporate place-based and indigenous pedagogies. Then, Tayler, Samantha, Hailey, and Arlo--students from a range of backgrounds who took one or both of the classes--describe how the courses encouraged them to develop critical perspectives, build new knowledge through undergraduate research, and experience personal and professional transformations that led to advocacy. The dialogue provides a range of pedagogical perspectives and considers English Studies as a potential site for cultural and historical healing.
    • Using Dual-Language Books to Preserve Language & Culture in Alaska Native Communities

      Ohle, Kathryn; Bartles, Jonathan (2016-09-11)
      “Children learn their language on their mother’s lap.” This conventional wisdom from a Cup’ik Elder describes the approach used by many Alaska Native peoples to promote native language acquisition. Presumably, the children learn by listening to stories and tales from a trusted parent or caregiver. However, what happens when the caregiver does not speak the native language? This chapter describes an effort to address this issue while also promoting better educational outcomes by providing access to diverse dual-language books in Alaska Native languages through the use of a digital children’s library. Potential benefits from these efforts include an increase in resources for schools, a revitalization of Indigenous languages, and an increase in access, with hopes that future work will show evidence that using these dual-language books encourage greater parent support and involvement in education, support second language acquisition, and promote a strong sense of identity. Implications and future efforts follow.
    • Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Cross-Cultural Research

      Barnhardt, Ray (2015-03-06)
      The initiatives outlined in this article are intended to advance our understanding of cultural processes as they occur in diverse community contexts, as well as contribute to the further conceptualization, critique, and development of indigenous knowledge systems in their own right. Just as those same initiatives have drawn from the experiences of indigenous peoples from around the world, the organizations and personnel associated with this article have played a lead role in developing the emerging theoretical and evidentiary underpinnings on which the associated research is based. The expansion of the knowledge base that is associated with the interaction between western science and indigenous knowledge systems will contribute to an emerging body of scholarly work regarding the critical role that local observations and indigenous knowledge can play in deepening our understanding of human and ecological processes, particularly in reference to the experiences of indigenous peoples. This article addresses issues of relevance to underserved populations in Alaska and other geographic regions inhabited by indigenous peoples. It provides a much-needed impetus toward organizing research and education support structures that contribute to the broadening of an infrastructure fostering the use of multiple knowledge systems and diverse approaches to research. The international scope of the initiatives described provides multiple benefits derived from the economies of scale associated with linking numerous small-scale populations, as well as increased applicability of outcomes associated with the extensive opportunities for cross-cultural comparison.
    • Why Did They Do That? An exploration of explanations as to why Europeans behave as they have towards Native People

      Kaliss, Tony (2015-03-06)
      The purpose of this paper is to encourage deeper understanding of the Native- European interaction by focusing on the question of Why Europeans acted as they did towards Native peoples. I encourage this because I'm not satisfied with the answers I have seen to this question, because answering it is central to understanding the Native- European interaction, and, lastly, because exploring and answering this Why has become timely and essential. Being dissatisfied, it follows I provide my own Why answer--and I do so below. However, it became clear in developing this paper that just as important, perhaps even more so for encouraging a deeper understanding, is an exploration of the process of how this basic question has been approached. This led me to several other Why questions: Why hasn't the basic issue of European motivations been more fully explored, considering the enormous amount that has been said and written about the Native- European interaction? Why have so few writers, Native or non-Native, even asked Why? Why do people begin to ask Why at a certain point in time and not another? And why are the Why's offered inadequate--in my opinion? All this led me to structure the paper as follows. First are some comments about levels of knowledge. Second, I report on a survey of the works of 14 writers in which it might be expected that the Why question would be taken up, which means discussing both the absence and the presence of Why answers. Third, I critique the several Whys I did find. Fourth, I give my own Why answer. And Fifth, I suggest some reasons why the Why question has not been more asked or explored.
    • Cooperative Cross-Cultural Instruction: The Value of Multi-cultural Collaboration in the Coteaching of Topics of Worldview, Knowledge Traditions, and Epistemologies

      Arevgaq, Theresa John; Koskey, Michael (2016-03-06)
      For four years (2011, 2013, 2014, 2015) two faculty members of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Center for Cross-cultural Studies have collaborated to co-teach a course entitled Traditional Ecological Knowledge (CCS 612). This course examines the acquisition and utilization of knowledge associated with the long-term habitation of particular ecological systems and the adaptations that arise from the accumulation of such knowledge. Intimate knowledge of place—culturally, spiritually, nutritionally, and economically for viability—is traditional ecological knowledge, and this perspective is combined with the needs of an Indigenous research method to better understand and more effectively explore the proper role of traditional knowledge in academic, cross-cultural research. This presentation and paper explores the strategies tested and lessons learned from teaching students from a wide variety of academic and cultural backgrounds including the social and life sciences, and the humanities, and from Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultural origins. The instructors, too—and most importantly for this endeavor—come from an Indigenous (John) and non-Indigenous (Koskey) background, and though hailing from very different cultures and upbringings work collaboratively and with genuine mutual respect to enable an understanding of variations of traditions of knowledge and their application to academic research.
    • Alaska Native Studies 2015 Foreword

      Topkok, Sean Asiqłuq (2015-03-06)
      The 2014 Alaska Native Studies Council (ANSC) Conference was held in March in Fairbanks, Alaska. There were approximately 300 conference participants from local, statewide, and national attendees. The participants were scholars, Elders, students, and organizations who promote a deeper and more sustained commitment to integrating Indigenous perspectives into a variety of educational settings. The Alaska Native Studies Council’s mission is to identify, develop, and implement Native‐focused curricula, to promote and publish Alaska Nativerelated research and pedagogical strategies, and to develop a strategic plan to help us attain these goals.
    • 2015 Alaska Native Studies Conference Program

      Alaska Native Studies Conference Organizing Committee (2015-03-06)
    • Understory 2012

      Giraldo, Shelley; Morse, Cheyenne; Kolzoff, William; Duong, Quoc; Farmer, Robin; Rychetnik, Julie; Magly, Michelle; Diesher, Rebecca; Perry, Kylie; Obermarck, Philip; et al. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012-05-01)
      Understory’s roots dig back to 1986, where a small creative arts journal titled Inklings began in the Anchorage Community College. Since then, the process of this journal’s production has evolved in many ways. Understory 2012 was in danger of going unpublished until many UAA students volunteered their time and support. Volunteer commitment to the preservation of such an important creative outlet to UAA students made this journal possible. It fills us with such gratification and happiness to see undergraduates, graduates, and faculty working together across disciplines to produce a creative work. Understory received a multitude of submissions this year, over 160 individual works of art, poetry, and prose. Such numbers always prove that Understory remains a valuable and important part of an undergraduate’s time here at UAA. Though all submissions this year stood out in some way, a few shone through as achievements of mastery. We wish to acknowledge and thank Caitlin Smith, whose work “Lantern Head” won the Understory Cover Award and Shelley Giraldo, whose piece, “Leda” won the Turnagain Arts Award. We would like to acknowledge the life and death of Hayden Carruth (1921 - 2008). In 1998, Hayden Carruth donated his poem “Springtime, 1998” to Inklings as “a gesture of thanks” to the community. This began the long tradition of the Hayden Carruth Award, an annual poetry prize given to one student featured in the journal. This year, the Hayden Carruth Award goes to Quoc Duong for his poem “Writer’s Complex.” We also wish to acknowledge Cheyenne Morse, whose short story “Gypsy Glass” received the Understory Literary Award. We wish to apologize to UAA alumni John Kendall, whose story “Son of a Thousand Fathers” was sadly missed in Understory 2011. This year, we have featured his story at the closing of this issue. We want to thank all the volunteers who sacrificed their mornings, afternoons, and evenings to help assemble Understory 2012. This journal would not exist without their dedication. — The Editors
    • Understory 2013

      Rychetnik, Julie; Duong, Quoc; Klusewitz, Chelsea; Selmont, Joseph; Morgan, Danielle; Addington, Jessica; Murakami, Julia; Deisher, Rebecca; Roosdett, Jenna; Dowdy, Brianna; et al. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2013-05-01)
      Understory is an annual publication sponsored by the Department of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The journal showcases literary and artistic works by undergraduates, provides students with practical experience in producing a literary journal, and fosters relationships between Graduate and Undergraduate students and faculty.
    • Alaska Native-focused Teacher Preparation Programs: What have we learned?

      Tetpon, Bernice; Hirshberg, Diane; Leary, Audrey; Hill, Alexandra (2015-08-20)