• Methodology paper transmitting Yup'ik knowledge through the art of skin sewing

      Fritze, Annie; Davis, Michael E.; Ducharme, JoAnn; Koskey, Michael (2014-04)
    • Natural histories of Yup'ik memoirs

      Crecelius, Caroline R.; Shoaps, Robin; Charles, Walkie; Plattet, Patrick (2017-12)
      This thesis explores how cultural knowledge is committed to textual form and circulated within and outside of linguistically marginalized communities. Working within a Central Yup'ik context, I have focused my research on collections of Yup'ik elders' memoirs housed within the Alaska Native Language Archive. Published Yup'ik elders' memoirs offer rich descriptions of Yup'ik cultural histories, epistemologies and statements about language, the expression and inclusion of which varies based on the interactional contexts, participant frameworks and funding institutions through which they were produced. This study incorporates both Indigenous and non-Indigenous theoretical frameworks related to the process of entextualization, or text creation, and the transmission of cultural knowledge. Drawing from archival materials and interviews with participants involved in their production and circulation, I identify the relevant linguistic ideologies and participant frameworks involved in the creation of these publications or "text artifacts" and frame my analysis with respect to the following research questions: How have published memoirs of Yup'ik elders emerged as a culturally salient genre of text? Who are the primary participants in the production, publication and circulation of Yup'ik memoirs? How do issues of identity, agency, authenticity and essentialism shape the form, thematic content and circulation of Yup'ik memoirs in Alaska? This thesis seeks to identify the primary participants and ideologies contributing to the publication of Yup'ik elders' memoirs, as well as the visibility or erasure of these actors within the published text of the memoirs. I further explore the specific ways in which individual voices, tribal, political and academic institutions and their ideological goals presuppose and contribute to broader cultural processes and shape the linguistic structure and content of textual artifacts produced. Although the documentation, description and analysis of Yup'ik language and culture has received sustained attention both within and outside the academy, this project is the first to investigate the processes and participant frameworks through which traditional Yup'ik cultural knowledge is entextualized and circulated as contemporary published text. This research offers significant insights into the collaborative efforts of Native and non-Native participants in the production of Yup'ik textual materials, while also contributing to a broader understanding of ideological goals and obstacles relative to processes of entextualization within communities facing marginalization or language endangerment within, and outside of, the circumpolar north. An analysis of the participants and ideologies shaping the production and circulation of Yup'ik memoirs provides and empirical framework for understanding the relationship between text artifacts and ongoing cultural processes, and contributes to an increasingly reflexive approach to anthropological and sociolinguistic research concerning identity, authenticity and the entextualization of traditional knowledge.
    • Traditional knowledge and fish biology: a study of Bering cisco in the Yukon River Delta, Alaska

      Runfola, David Michael; Sutton, Trent; Carothers, Courtney; Norton, David W.; Schneider, William (2011-05)
      Relatively little is known about the biology of whitefishes (subfamily Coregoninae) in Alaska. To address this shortcoming, I combined social and biological science methods to examine whitefish in the Yukon River delta, Alaska. This study had two objectives: (1) to collaborate with Yup'ik subsistence fishers in sharing their knowledge of whitefish; and (2) to describe the life history of Bering cisco Coregonus laurettae. In August 2004, interview participants discussed Yup'ik traditional knowledge of whitefish. Participants shared knowledge of Bering cisco and other whitefish species. Interviews demonstrated the need for greater awareness of traditional knowledge, and the importance of communicating this knowledge with scientists. In addition, 120 Bering ciscoes were collected in August 2005 and 2006 with gill nets in the Yukon River delta, Alaska. Bering ciscoes ranged in fork length from 146 to 490 mm (mean = 321 mm) and in weight from 32 to 735 g (mean = 304 g). Fish ranged in age from 0 to 6, with one age-11 individual observed. Diet analysis showed that Bering ciscoes fed primarily on sticklebacks. My study records important social and biological data regarding Bering cisco, linking ethnography and fish biology as a means of investigating this poorly understood species.
    • Tua'll (and then) I used math to tell a story: Using think alouds to enhance agency and problem solving in an indigenous high school mathematics class

      Boyd, Jennifer Ayaginaar; Patterson, Leslie; Martelle, Wendy; Siekmann, Sabine (2019-12)
      This paper examines action research in a high school math classroom with a focus on student discourse and agency. Students' use of language to explain their problem-solving processes was documented and analyzed. Specifically, the focus was on variations in student language and how the teacher responded to students during the problem-solving process. The following questions guided the analysis of what happened in the classroom: 1) How do my students talk about their math process? 2) How do I mediate their problem solving? One of the teacher researcher's earliest realizations was that she interfered in students' opportunities to problem solve on their own. Additionally, the students' explanations of their "problem-solving process" included more narration than justification or explanation of the process. On reflection, the teacher researcher decided to return to the research process to look further into these interactions while students were problem-solving. The second phase of research focused on student agency and how teachers can mediate for their students. Over a four-week period, the teacher researcher looked at the influences of multiple levels of assistance while each student was talking through his or her problem-solving process. Data sources include field notes, student artifacts, videos of student think aloud videos, and transcriptions of group work from the teacher researcher's classroom. The findings provide detailed insights into how these high school students approach math problems and how they describe and explain their problem-solving processes. The teacher researcher explores implications for teacher actions, insights into how students work together, and observations of students discussing their problem solving. Specifically, the teacher researcher noticed a need for language focus in mathematics instruction. In addition, teachers should problem solve with their students, rather than for their students; and allow students to mediate with each other to develop student agency.