• Qikertarmiut nunat apertaarait anirturluki: preserving the indigenous place names of the Kodiak Archipelago

      Schmidt-Chya, Dehrich A.; Ramos, Judith; Black, Jessica C.; Kaplan, Lawrence D. (2020-05)
      This project explores Indigenous place names from the Kodiak Archipelago toward the goals of exhibiting Indigenous identity, increasing pride in Indigineity, and to document Indigenous knowledge. Sugpiaq/Alutiiq people have lived on Kodiak Island for at least 7500 years, while the first foreign contact didn’t come until about 260 years ago, in either 1761 or 1763. Within the past 257 years, Qikertarmiut (Kodiak Alutiiq) place names have been in a continuous state of jeopardy due to the linguistic and cultural assimilation of Indigenous people into Western cultures. In order to preserve the place names of the Kodiak Archipelago, I compiled and documented place names from prior researchers, historic maps, and Elders to create an interactive place names resource that is accessible to community members available on ArcGIS. Using Indigenous names instead of the English alternatives helps to reclaim Indigenous land stewardship, document Indigenous knowledge, and exhibits local Indigenous identity. I compiled and documented 289 place names from around the Kodiak Archipelago from various sources.
    • Research methodology: community input regarding air-quality curriculum for rural Alaska

      Hnilicka, Julia Autumn; Black, Jessica; Meckel, Kathleen; Mao, Jingqiu (2020-05)
      During the summer months in rural Alaska, poor air-quality due to wildfire smoke and gravel road dust can have negative impacts on respiratory health, disproportionately affecting Elders and youth who have weakened respiratory systems. After conducting initial research during the summer of 2019, after visiting twenty-nine communities in the Interior and Southcentral regions of Alaska, the research found that more community involvement is needed to bolster engagement in understanding the impacts of air-quality and implementing steps to mitigate those impacts. This research was in response to those findings, targeting schools and the educational system to drive community engagement and interest in air-quality. Qualitative research was conducted in five communities, employing face-to-face interviews and thematic analysis. The results illustrate the complex and unique relationships that communities, schools, and educators have in rural Alaska. The conclusion of this research finds that integrating air-quality as an important curriculum component will take long-term dedication from educators and the communities alike.
    • Resilient spirits

      Apok, Charlene Renee; Brooks, Cathy; Carroll, Jennifer L. L.; Jones, Jenny Bell; Carothers, Courtney; Ramos, Judith (2016-05)
      The following is a report of a project, "Resilient Spirits", which took place in Nome, Alaska. This project aimed to highlight stories of healing through survivorship. This work focuses on the assets within Alaska Native culture, community, and people. Development of strategies to address violence need to include healing. The project selected a mixed methodology of talking circles and photovoice to highlight the themes of healing, strength, and resilience. These methods served to engage participants in a culturally appropriate manner, in a safe space, and could be utilized at their comfort level. The first phase of the project was the introductory talking circle. It was used to discuss the themes and set up the photo activity. The second phase, photovoice, was chosen as a project activity to assist in sharing stories. Participants used digital cameras in their everyday lives to represent what healing and strength looked like from their perspective. The final third phase was another talking circle. It was a time to reflect on the first talking circle and the process of photovoice. From the unique combination of talking circles and photovoice, stories emerged on healing where there is often silence. Photographs provided a rich illustration of a sense of holistic healing and strength. Knowledge on healing and strength can be found within our Alaska Native communities. Healing is a renewable resource and experienced inter-generationally.
    • Scoping study of culturally relevant alcohol misuse treatment options in Alaska

      Davenport, Christine; Black, Jessica; Sekaquaptewa, Patricia; Ramos, Judith; Lewis, Jordan (2020-05)
      This project is intended to centralize information on alcohol and substance misuse treatment available in the State of Alaska. This document will be publicly available online for use by interested parties, including court referral agencies, counselors, and people seeking help. The data was collected from multiple websites and is in the process of being sent to the programs listed for verification of contact details, with a request for more details on treatment modalities offered. This resource guide includes a brief description of wellness strategies that are considered culturally relevant to Alaska Native and rural communities. These were findings from interviews conducted with participants in the field of alcohol treatment and individuals with personal experience overcoming alcohol misuse in Alaska. This resource guide includes a brief description of wellness strategies that are considered culturally relevant to Alaska Native and rural communities, based on the population sample for this Master's Research Study.
    • Strengthening cultural identity through Iļisaġvik College's Iñupiaq studies program: reconstruction and the Iñupiaq studies framework

      Aamodt, Jerica S.; Ramos, Judith D.; Stern, Charlene B.; Kaplan, Lawrence D. (2019-05)
      This program proposal is for the Iñupiaq Studies Program at Iḷisaġvik College. Iḷisaġvik College is located in Utqiaġvik, the northernmost village on the North Slope of Alaska. This proposal is intended to guide the future restructuring of the Iñupiaq Studies Program. The project was informed by interviews conducted with seventeen key individuals as well as the Iñupiaq Learning Framework created by the North Slope Borough School District. The proposal includes a mission, words of wisdom for the Iñupiaq Studies Framework, revised Iñupiaq Studies program outcomes, course descriptions, certificate and degree proposals, study plans, a sample course syllabus, and a sample course origination form.
    • Taking Back the Knife: The Ulu as an Expression of Inuit Women's Strength

      Gillam, Patricia Hansen (2009-12)
      The ulu is an enduring object in the lives of Inuit women which has multiple meanings as both a tool and symbol of traditional subsistence activity. While it continues to be recognized as a symbol of identity for Inuit women across the Arctic, it has received little attention by Western scientists and academics. Following the twists and turns of both de-colonizing and engendering the ulu encourages a comprehension of the profoundly symbolic meaning of the ulu with respect to Inuit women's identity. The collecting phase of the Smithsonian in Alaska and the classifying impulse of archaeological reports are examined for their underlying rules of practice, conventions of representation and dynamics of scientific authority. Then in reaction to this 'objectification' of the ulu, the knife is taken back in a multitude of actions and expressions which seek to reclaim the ulu and restore its significance as a cultural item
    • When Uŋalaqłiq danced: stories of strength, suppression & hope

      Qassataq, Ayyu; Stern, Charlene B.; Black, Jessica C.; John-Shields, Agatha (2020-05)
      In the late 1800’s, Uŋalaqłiq (Unalakleet), a predominantly Iñupiaq community along the Norton Sound in Western Alaska, was missionized by the Evangelical Covenant Church. Missionaries were integral in establishing a localized education system under the direction of General Agent of Education, Sheldon Jackson, in the early 1900’s. By 1915, the community was no longer engaging in ancestral practices such as deliberating, teaching and hosting ceremonies within the qargi. Nor were they uplifting shared history and relationships between villages or expressing gratitude for the bounty of the lands through traditional songs, dances, or celebrations such as the Kivgiq Messenger Feast. This research outlines events that occurred in Uŋalaqłiq around the turn of the 20th century and analyzes how those events influenced the formation of the education system and its ongoing impacts to Native peoples and communities today. The intent of this research is to help grow a shared understanding of how this history continues to shape our lived experience as modern day Native peoples and to lay a foundation to promote healing and strength through the potential revival of ancestral traditions that have kept us healthy and strong for thousands of years.