The Alaska Native Studies Council and UA hosted the event focusing on Alaska Native Studies research and activism of the past, present, and future.
X’unei Lance Twitchell asked: “How do we reform this entire system?” at the second annual Alaska Native Studies Conference, March 15-16 on the Juneau campus. The Alaska Native Studies and Languages faculty and program head was referring to Alaska’s education system. Growing Our Own: Indigenous Research, Scholars, & Education was the theme of this year’s conference. At the final session, Twitchell facilitated an informal discussion on incorporating “tradition bearers into academia.” He asked the audience for their ideas and “action items” for changing the way Alaska Native culture is taught in the state. Goldbelt Inc. and the Center for Research and Alaska Native Education have teamed up to create a new certification program for Alaska Native teachers. The initiative is to get more Alaska Native language-speaking teachers in K-12 schools.
Dr. Jo-Ann Archibald, Associate Dean for Indigenous Education, University of British Columbia Vancouver gave the Saturday Keynote speech. Archibald’s book Indigenous Storywork: "Education the Heart, Mind, Body, and Spirit" uses the metaphor of Indigenous basket weaving to introduce readers to Indigenous ways of understanding knowledge.
Jasper Nelson and friends perform an opening dance with Woosh.ji.een Dance Group for the Alaska Native Studies Conference at the Egan Lecture Hall, March 14, 2014.