• Liitukut Sugpiat'Stun (We Are Learning How To Be Real People): Exploring Kodiak Alutiiq Literature Through Core Values

      Drabek, Alisha Susana; Barnhardt, Ray (2012)
      The decline of Kodiak Alutiiq oral tradition practices and limited awareness or understanding of archived stories has kept them from being integrated into school curriculum. This study catalogs an anthology of archived Alutiiq literature documented since 1804, and provides an historical and values-based analysis of Alutiiq literature, focused on the educational significance of stories as tools for individual and community wellbeing. The study offers an exploration of values, worldview and knowledge embedded in Alutiiq stories. It also provides a history of colonial impacts on Alutiiq education and an in-depth study of the early colonial observers and ethnographers who collected Alutiiq oral literature, clarifying the context in which the stories have been retold or framed. Collections of traditional Indigenous literatures are valuable on many levels. This collection is of historical and personal significance for local Kodiak Alutiiq tribal members' identity as it makes these resources more accessible for community members and educators, and therefore accessible to younger and future generations. The conclusion also provides recommendations for next steps for developing curriculum and revitalizing Alutiiq oral traditions. The book is intended to contribute to an understanding of the evolution of cultural traditions in Alaska, and to serve as a model for similar cultural reclamation and education efforts.
    • LingitX Haa Sateeyi, We Who Are Tlingit: Contemporary Tlingit Identity And The Ancestral Relationship To The Landscape

      Martindale, Vivian F.; Barnhardt, Ray (2008)
      Divergent views on the Tlingit ancestral relationship to the landscape of Southeast Alaska often leads to conflicts between Western-orientated government agencies, public entities, and the Tlingit people themselves. To better understand this subject, I collected nine personal narratives from research participants from within the Tlingit nation. The narratives provide insight into the dynamics at the intersection of conflicting worldviews, and the role this plays in shaping contemporary Tlingit identity. The results of exploring these diverging worldviews has illuminated three factors influencing contemporary Tlingit identity: the loss and struggle with maintaining the Lingit language, implementation of subsistence regulations and resultant conflicts, and diminishment of the ceremony called a koo.eex' (a memorial party). In addition, within the Tlingit worldviews there are oral histories, traditional values, and concepts such as balance, respect, and at.oow, which define ancestral relationships and identity. These findings also reveal that the means of imparting cultural knowledge and worldviews have changed. The narratives are organized into themes reflecting common factors: Residing in the ancestral landscape, Lingit language and thinking, the Tlingit artist and the ancestral relationship to the landscape, and contemporary Tlingit identity. The results demonstrate the significance of identity markers, such as the Lingit language, as a means for healing social trauma. Moreover, the lives of the Tlingit artists illustrate that maintaining an ancestral relationship utilizes both traditional and contemporary methods. In addition, the narratives provide documentation concerning the changes in a subsistence lifestyle that affect the social lives of the Tlingit in contemporary society.
    • The Akulmiut: Territorial dimensions of a Yup'ik Eskimo society

      Andrews, Elizabeth Frances; Ellanna, Linda J. (1989)
      This monograph is an ethnohistoric and ethnographic study of 19th and 20th century land and resource use of the Akulmiut, a Yup'ik-speaking Eskimo society that occupied the inland tundra region between the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers of western Alaska. The study examines the relationship between the patterns of spatial organization and wild resource utilization and resource distribution. Ethnographic studies have shown there is considerable variability in socioterritorial organization, which according to one recent theory, applied to this study, can be accounted for by examining the distribution of critical food resources in terms of density and predictability. The Akulmiut were selected for this study because of their unique situation among Alaskan Eskimos in terms of their subsistence economy and geographic location. With an economy based on fishing, utilizing non-salmon species of the low, marshy moist and wet tundra ecosystems, the adaptation of the Akulmiut is distinct among Alaskan Eskimos. Using data for the Akulmiut, this study tests the hypothesis that a territorial system occurs under conditions of high density and predictability (in time and space) of critical resources. Between groups or societies, the Akulmiut exhibited a territorial system of land use and occupancy as predicted when critical resources are dense and predictable. The study found that the key resource species of whitefish (Coregonus sp.) and northern pike (Esox lucius) exhibited resource distribution parameters characterized as predictable in time and location and were abundant or dense. Spatial organization showed that all primary villages and storage and processing facilities were situated where pike and whitefish could be readily intercepted during their annual migrations. The Akulmiut maintained exclusive use through overt defense, but also by means of cultural principles of land and resource use, ceremonial activities, and naming conventions. Dispersion of the population at other times ensured maintenance of a broader area for use in harvesting another key resource, blackfish (Dallia pectoralis). Dispersion was an efficient means of signaling areas used by the group, but also served to monitor incursions throughout the territory. This type of analysis was found to hold promise for explaining the diversity of socioterritorial organization among Alaskan Eskimos.