• A Parent's Choice

      Hoffman, Jill; Marlow, Patrick (2010)
      In one rural Alaska school district, parents have a choice to place their child in an English only school or a Yup'ik immersion school. In the English only school, all subjects are taught in English. In the dual immersion school, English is introduced at third grade and progressively increases with each grade level until the sixth grade, when students exit the program. The researcher will seek to find why parents choose to place their child in the English only school or in the Yup'ik Immersion School. This inquiry is to help the researcher understand the thoughts and perceptions that are being held by parents and members in the community about each of the schools. The study will use qualitative research methodology that includes questionnaires and personal interviews to find out the thoughts and feelings that are being held by the parents. This research seeks to find the reasons why parents choose one school over the other. After reviewing the questionnaires, the researcher will select five parents from each school with various backgrounds to interview. The researcher will conduct ethnographic interviews designed to elicit more in-depth information. The interviews will be coded and emergent themes identified. Through data analysis, the researcher hopes to discover the reasons why parents are choosing each of the schools.
    • Agentive And Patientive Verb Bases In North Alaskan Inupiaq

      Nagai, Tadataka; Kaplan, Lawrence D. (2006)
      This dissertation is concerned with North Alaskan Inupiaq Eskimo. It has two goals: (i) to provide a grammatical sketch of the Upper Kobuk dialect of this language; (ii) to investigate agentive and patientive verb bases. Chapter 2 is a grammatical sketch of the Upper Kobuk dialect of North Alaskan Inupiaq. Chapter through 5 deal with two types of verb bases in this language, called agentive and patientive. As we see in Chapter 3, agentive and patientive verb bases are verb bases that can inflect either intransitively or transitively, and they differ in the following ways: (i) prototypical agentive bases have the intransitive subject corresponding with the transitive subject, and do not require a half-transitive postbase to become antipassive; (ii) prototypical patientive bases have the intransitive subject corresponding with the transitive object, and require a half-transitive postbase to become antipassive. In Chapter 4, I present the polarity---the property of being agentive or patientive---of all the verb bases that can inflect either intransitively or transitively, sorted by meaning, in order to uncover semantic features that characterize agentive and patientive bases. I identify 13 semantic features, such as indicating the agent's process for agentive bases and the lack of agent control for patientive bases. All these semantic features are related with the saliency of the agent or patient. In Chapter 5, I investigate several pieces of evidence that show that the dividing line between the agentive and patientive classes is not rigid: (i) There are verb bases that can have the intransitive subject corresponding with either the transitive subject or object. (ii) Some verb bases may or may not take a half-transitive postbase to become antipassive. (iii) Certain postbases or a certain verb mood turn agentive bases into patientive or patientive bases into agentive. Although two classes of verbs similar to the agentive and patientive classes in Inupiaq are found in many languages, such phenomena as described in this chapter are seldom studied. This chapter purports to be the fast coherent study of its kind. The appendices contain two Inupiaq texts.
    • Aleut Settlement Patterns In The Western Aleutian Islands, Alaska.

      Corbett, Debra Garland (1991)
      This thesis presents a settlement pattern analysis of prehistoric midden sites in the Near Islands, Alaska. It represents the only such study to date, which focuses on an entire island group inhabited by a distinct social/political entity. This is also one of the few settlement pattern studies to address maritime hunting-fishing people. Aerial photography was an important part of the analysis. Coupled with other site inventories, photographs were used to "survey" the Near Islands. A total of 106 sites, including 91 middens were located, with the middens forming the basis of the analysis. Site sizes and locations were correlated with a range of environmental and social factors, and functions and seasons of use proposed for about half the sites analyzed. Further elaboration of resource distributions could extend these predictions to more sites. <p>
    • Authentic Assessment For Yuuyaraq Middle School Students Based On The Yuuyaraq Curriculum

      Nicholai, Rachel Cikigaq; Cole-Ritchie, Marilee (2010)
      This study examines how the Yuuyaraq curriculum is being applied in the context of a middle school classroom in a small Yup'ik village in Alaska, specifically focusing on how to better assess the outcomes of the curriculum. In the early 1980s, the Yuuyaraq curriculum (YC) was revised to include the seasonal activities of the region, but lacked alignment with the assessments. By using the Participatory Action Research methodology, the researcher identified a problem, observed the situation, analyzed and interpreted the data, and developed an action plan. Data revealed that authentic assessments used in the Yuuyaraq curriculum can be assess Indigenous knowledge, how teachers' indigenous knowledge contributed to a classroom, and how rubrics are in need in a classroom to monitor student progress. The conclusions include various forms of authentic assessments used in the YC, how teacher's knowledge and practice contributed to a classroom that focused on her students' culture and identity and engaged them in a culturally relevant curriculum through the frameworks of sociocultural theory and Indigenous knowledge systems.
    • Authentic Assessment In Action: The Challenges, Success, And Discoveries Made In A 5Th Grade Classroom

      Hendrickson, Kristen I.; Coles-Ritchie, Marilee (2010)
      This research study focuses on the success, challenges, and the discoveries I made implementing authentic assessment in my 5th grade classroom of Alaska Native, English Language Learners (ELLS). The primary goals of this study are to provide students, parents, and education professionals with a more accurate picture of students' academic and language knowledge and skills; and to share my own experience implementing authentic assessments into my classroom. Standardized assessment scores, authentic assessment results, interviews, observations, and my research journal provided the bulk of the data that was analyzed. Two learner profiles were constructed for each participant. The first profile was constructed based on the student's standardized test scores. The second learner profile was constructed from the information obtained about the learner through authentic assessments. This study concludes with my reflections and recommendations regarding the feasibility of implementing authentic assessments in a classroom.
    • Barriers To Ahtna Athabascans Becoming Public School Educators

      Johnson, Michael A.; Jacobsen, Gary; Barnhardt, Ray; Elliott, James W.; Richey, Jean A. (2012)
      Using a mixed-method phenomenological approach, this cross-cultural study utilizes a non-formalized survey and interviews. Data was gathered and presented in a manner consistent with Ahtna cultural norms and values. Survey data set was analyzed by statistical description. Interview transcripts were analyzed thematically through axial coding. The review of literature and data gathered from Ahtna Athabascan participants identified barriers common to other minorities groups evidenced in Ahtna-specific ways. Through a thematic analysis, the data showed barriers, consequences, benefits, and solutions to Ahtna Athabascans becoming public school educators. Through this study, Ahtna Athabascans expressed an overwhelming desire to see more Ahtna Athabascans teachers in public schools. Among the policy and practical implications identified in the study are the need to improve the quality of K-12 educational experiences for Ahtna youth and improved guidance counseling services. The analysis of the data set provides pathways for future Ahtna-specific research and Ahtna-specific solutions for increasing the number of Ahtna Athabascan teachers in local public schools.
    • Becoming Aware As A Parent, Schoolteacher And Community Member

      Angaiak-Bond, Anna (2010)
      The researcher uses autoethnography to understand whether a parent can act to maintain and reinvigorate Yup'ik at home after the child has already become English dominant. The research takes place in the village of Tununak, where the mother/researcher, a fluent Yup'ik speaker, lives with her son. The Tununak school has a Yup'ik First Language Program (YFL). Under this program, the first three years of school are taught in Yup'ik, their children's first language. The fourth year is a transition period in which English is introduced. After exiting the YFL program, English becomes the primary language of instruction. Eventually, the majority of the students become English dominant. The researcher's child attended the YFL program and is now 15 years old. At the beginning of this research he spoke Yup'ik minimally. English was his dominant language He was considered Limited English Proficient when he entered school. He has been designated as fully English proficient since 6 th grade. His Yup'ik proficiency improved during the course of the research as he began to speak more phrases/sentences than he did at the beginning. The researcher seeks to learn if her role as a parent can reinvigorate her child's first language, Yup'ik, after he has already become English dominant. The research provided insights into one parent's attempts to strengthen the usage of Yup'ik at home. Data analysis focused on identifying factors that facilitated and/or hindered the process of speaking Yup'ik dominantly at home.
    • 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.
    • Changing Winds: National Politics And Its Role In Funding For Rural Development In Alaska

      Langenberg-Miller, Edwina C.; Pullar, Gordon; Knecht, Rick (2010)
      The combination of the election of Senator Mark Begich in 2008, an increased emphasis on transparency, and a growing movement away from congressionally-directed spending (earmarks) and toward competitively-awarded and formula-based funding has the potential to drastically reduce federal funding for rural development in Alaska. Alaska's basic needs for infrastructure remain equivalent to those of some of the least developed nations of the world. Rural development projects in Alaska, however, fight an uphill battle for federal funding because rural populations are low in numbers and remote, costs of rural development in Alaska far exceed similar projects in the "lower 48," and changes in the U.S. Congress have drastically reduced Alaskans' ability to circumvent formula-based and competitively-awarded funding avenues. This thesis is an analysis of recent changes that affect rural development funding in Alaska, and it hypothesizes how rural development funding for Alaska may continue to change.
    • 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.
    • Cultural Significance Of The 14(H) (1) Historic Sites Of Southeast Alaska

      Debaluz, Gail Marie; Wright, Miranda; Pullar, Gordon; Dayo, Dixie (2010)
      The study provides a literary review of first person accounts regarding section 14 (h) (1) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). This subsection is the legal mechanism for Alaska Native Corporations (ANC's) to obtain title to historic sites. Historic sites include villages, seasonal camps and cemeteries. The 14 (h) (1) collection is a nationally unique library and invaluable resource for tribal members to enhance the understanding of indigenous knowledge. It offers a profound appreciation of our ancestor's fortitude in challenging circumstances, instilling strength toward maintaining our identity as a dynamic, living, culture. The dissertation imparts the conceptual framework for tribal members to utilize the repository at their regional corporate office. The study seeks to understand Tlingit philosophy, inter-generational concepts, indigenous land stewardship, resource management, customary food practices, and cultural mores. It is complimented with an examination of local, state and national policy resulting from implementing ANCSA.
    • Deg Xinag Oral Traditions: Reconnecting Indigenous Language And Education Through Traditional Narratives

      Leonard, Beth R.; Barnhardt, Raymond J. (2007)
      "Deg Xinag," literally 'local language' is the westernmost of the Athabascan 1 languages. The language area is also referred to as "Deg Hit'an," literally, 'local people'. The Deg Hit'an are often referred to inappropriately in anthropological and linguistic literature as "Ingalik," a Yup'ik word meaning 'lice-infested'. There are currently three villages in western, interior Alaska where this language is spoken and about 20 fluent speakers of this language remaining. As I proceeded through my graduate research I came to understand the significance of indigenous language revitalization in relation to its potential contributions to indigenous and cross-cultural education. These contributions include establishing and enhancing self-identity and self-esteem for indigenous students, as well as contributing in-depth knowledge about local environments thereby enhancing place-based and funds of knowledge educational models (Bamhardt and Kawagley 2005: 15; Moll 1990). This dissertation presents an interdisciplinary analysis of a complex, cosmological Deg Hit'an narrative entitled "Nil oqay Ni'idaxin" or "The Man and Wife" told in the Deg Xinag language by the late Belle Deacon of Grayling Alaska (1987b). Deacon also told her own English version and titled this "The Old Man Who Came Down From Above the Second Layer of the World" (1987c). Underlying structures and meanings used in the contexts of Deg Xinag oral traditions are currently lacking in most published materials for this language, making it difficult to learn and consequently, develop culturally-appropriate language learning programs and curriculum. This analysis encompasses the fields of Alaska Native/indigenous studies, anthropology, and folklore/oral traditions using philosophical and pedagogical frameworks established by indigenous scholars including Gregory Cajete, Oscar Kawagley, and Greg Sarris. 1The term "Athabascan" has varied spellings within the literature, including "Athapaskan" and "Athabaskan." In 1997, Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), the interior Alaska tribal consortium adopted a resolution stating their tribes' preference of the spelling using "b" and "c."
    • Differences Between Frequency Of Diagnosis, Diagnosis Extremity, And Global Assessment Of Functioning Score In A Euro-American And Alaskan Native Client

      Niles, Britton Ann; Morotti, Allan; Lewis, Jordan; Strange, Anthony; Sheppard, Dani (2011)
      This research answers the question, given identical client information, history, and presenting issues, but variation in ethnicity, does diagnosis frequency, diagnosis extremity, or Global Assessment of Functioning score differ for an Euro-American male versus an Alaska Native male mental health client. Graduate counseling students, six males and six females, ranging in age from 22--59, currently enrolled at either the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or Alaska Pacific University, volunteered to participate in the present study. Participants were randomly assigned to view either a Euro-American or Alaska Native client's mock intake session. The mock videos were identical in script and environment; the only difference in the videos is that one male actor is Euro-American and the other actor is Alaska Native. Completed mental health intake forms were compared and evaluated through both quantitative and qualitative methods. Qualitatively, Strauss and Corbin's (1990) three step analytic process, grounded theory, was used to analyze the descriptive part of the intake form. Axis I, II, III, IV and V, of the DSM-IV-TR (APA, 2000), multi-axial system, were quantitatively, assessed to determine diagnosis differences between the Euro-American and Alaska Native client. Results identify that counseling students in training view the Alaska Native client as overall more maladaptive versus the Euro-American client. Counselors-in-training expressed this tendency through more frequent diagnosis and lower Global Assessment of Functioning scores for the Alaska Native client. These results support the need for future research and counselor training programs to be aware of these tendencies of counselors-in-training.
    • Focus On Form In Writing In A Third Grade Yugtun Classroom

      Moses, Catherine; Siekmann, Sabine (2010)
      This present research attempts to discover the effectiveness of focus on form in a Yugtun First Language third grade classroom. The procedures for this particular research included two series of tasks, each focusing students' attention on a particular grammatical structure. The series includes a pretest, a discovery phase, a teacher guided mini lesson, a paired task, an individual post task and a delayed post task. Data include students' scores on the pre, post and delayed post test as well as video recordings of whole class activities, and audio recordings of student dyads as they work on the collaborative task. In my research I found how I, as a Yugtun classroom teacher, could help my students focus on areas of language features they seem to have trouble with. I learned I could use focus on form through feedback and questions. I also found that the Yugtun word endings mun/nun were rather difficult for the Yugtun third graders. As a result I encourage all Yugtun teachers as well as other language teachers to attend workshop or training on language acquisition in order to get a better understanding of what it means as they endeavor to help their students learn effectively.
    • Focus On Form Through Singing In A First Grade Yugtun Immersion Classroom

      Oulton, Carol S.; Siekmann, Sabine (2010)
      This study examines the impacts of singing as a focus on form in the Yugtun genitive endings. Genitive case endings refer to the case of ownership, such as in the sentence "My mother's eyes." The belief of this research is that singing will help the students to focus on form in the oral performance of the first grade second language learners of Yugtun. All the students in the classroom participated in the study. Their accuracy and progression were measured prior to teaching two songs with a pretest interview. After teaching of the songs, the students composed couple songs where the genitive forms were examined. A posttest and a delayed test were administered after the instructions of the songs. The results support the previous studies that focus on form can provide accuracy to second language development.
    • Highland Hunters: Prehistoric Resource Use In The Yukon-Tanana Uplands

      Smith, Gerad M.; Potter, Ben (2012)
      The purpose of this study was to conduct a first approximation of explorations and excavations throughout the White Mountain and Steese Conservation areas during the summer field seasons of 2010 and 2011 in the Yukon Tanana Uplands. An analysis of the lithic artifacts from five site excavations (the Big Bend, Bachelor Creek, Bear Creek, US Creek and Cripple Creek) was then undertaken. These assemblages were then examined and modeled using risk-assessments, optimal resource use, and behavior processes in order to explore the interdependence of environment, ecology, and material culture that drove prehistoric subsistence cycles in this area. This archaeological research will supplement ethnographies to indicate patterns of change in landscape value, trade networks, and local economic strategies.
    • Indigenous Emotional Economies In Alaska: Surviving Youth In The Village

      Rasmus, Stacy Michelle; Morrow, Phyllis (2008)
      According to the Status of Alaska Natives Report 2004 produced by the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, Native youth in rural Alaska experience significant mental health disparity. Suicide rates for Alaska Native youth are the highest in the nation, and substance abuse, social misconduct and teenage pregnancy rates are also much higher among the rural, indigenous population in Alaska. These disparate rates have caused many to ask; what is going on with the youth in the villages today? This dissertation reports on research conducted to help answer that question, and identify local intervention strategies for youth growing up today in the villages. The research for this dissertation was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (1R34MH073601-01), and supported by the University of Alaska Fairbanks at the Center for Alaska Native Health Research, Institute of Arctic Biology. The study used a community-based participatory research approach and ethnographic methods to explore the affective lives of youth in Athabascan villages in Alaska. This dissertation is a contemporary ethnography of life in "the vill" from a youth perspective. Findings from the research demonstrate a model of Athabascan mental health based on the concept of an indigenous emotional economy. Athabascan survival has always required both technical skills to provide for the material necessities of life and emotional skills to support social life. In that sense the economy has also always been an emotional economy. As the balance between the need for technical and emotional survival skills shifted, the lives of young people have become increasingly focused on their relationships in the village. The contemporary social problems that youth experience growing up in the village reflect the changed and changing nature of their emotional decision-making in the context of the relationships that contribute most directly to their social status and survival. In an emotional economy individuals must adapt strategies for surviving feelings. This study provides information that could be used to create or tailor intervention strategies in the rural villages to the local models of emotion, behavior and mental health.
    • Investigating A Yup'Ik Immersion Program: What Determines Success?

      Green, Jean Renee; Coles-Ritchie, Marilee (2010)
      This research stems from my connectedness to a particular village, which will be referred to as Naparyaraq1. Unlike the majority of research on Alaska Native language issues, which primarily are from the point of view from an outsider, this research is unique in that my role as a community member has allows me an insider perspective of our Yup'ik Immersion Program. When dealing with Indigenous language issues, it is important that the impetus for change and improvements come from the local people. The primary goal of the Naparyaraq Immersion Program resulted from the communities desire to create change Community members wanted to keep the Yup'ik language alive. Growing up in Naparyaraq and my familiarity with the language issues has also driven me to be a personal participant in this change. Using focus groups, interviews, classroom observations, and field notes, the main goal of this Master's thesis is to inform the teachers and school community of the Naparyaraq Yup'ik Immersion Program in order to continue to help make improvements. Some of the issues which are addressed in this research include information related to: language use, success, training, language use at home, support, success, quality staff, assessment, need for teacher collaboration, and curriculum. 1Naparyaraq is a pseudonym. All names and places in the thesis are pseudonyms.
    • Kuiggluk Speech Community

      Amos-Andrew, Barbara; Marlow, Patrick (2010)
      This thesis explores language shift in the Kuiggluk speech community through interviews, observation, and surveys. Kuiggluk is a Yup'ik community in Southwestern, Alaska that is undergoing language shift from the indigenous language, Yugtun, to English. The interviews examine four mothers and their daughters' speech patterns and their schooling and cultural history. The observations reflect the four girls' speech patterns and their daily conversations. The surveys examine the Kuiggluk youth's speech patterns and goals for Yugtun more broadly.