Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Two Alaska Native sites to visit

Celtic Diva and I are going to meet, and she is mercifully going to help me with my sad lack of knowledge on most things to do with the Internet. Until then, I want to at least share two of my favorite – or at least most-used – sites on all things Alaska Native.

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

The Alaska Native Knowledge Network is a project of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Although Fairbanks is past the limit of what I am able to survive during the winter, UAF is a great supporter of Alaska Native people through education, research and publications. The school itself has an “Alaska Native studies” major, which even U of A Anchorage doesn’t have, as well as the Alaska Press. Many, many Alaska Native publications have been published this way, including many of my favorites (that’s a later post!)

The site is chock full of educational materials, essays, curriculum and more. It is a constant reference for me. The downside to the site is that I never know where I’m going. One things leads to another with no seeming rhyme or reason, and I don’t know how to get to half the stuff I stumble on, once I’ve left. But it is worth checking out, and if you have any interest in Alaska Native culture, issues, or even language, this is a great place to start.

Sealaska Heritage Institute

Yes, I’m biased. Sealaska is my “home” regional corporation, and I am an unabashed lover of all things Tlingit. But the Sealaska Heritage Institute Web site is a great resource, one I turn to again and again. It has all its publications for sale, Tlingit language books, Haida and Tsimshian gear.

But the best parts of the SHI site (I think) are in its “Language Resources” section. They post curriculum they are developing, interactive on-line language learning games, print-outs for language card games, and much more. It is a model for other Alaska Native corporations can be promoting (language!), and getting better all the time. As a Tlingit woman, it doesn’t affect me as much, but the biggest downside to the SHI site is that it is pretty much Tlingit-centric. They do have Haida and Tsimshian parts to it (the other two major Southeast groups), but it’s primarily Tlingit.


Morgan H said...

These are great sites to visit.

I read through your blog entries. I think you should research Stevens in regard to certain issues... NOLs, SBA 8(a) and ANCSA 7(i). His effect on Alaska Natives is profound.

I too, am a fan of "West Wing".

Dale said...

Thank you for those two links. I can tell already that they will keep me busy. This is the fun kind of learning!

Writing Raven said...

Thanks for the comments! They really are fun sites - I can go there to research something for work and get lost for longer than I should!

Morgan - I have researched Sen. Stevens, and having actually taken a class just on ANCSA, am pretty familiar with what he's done for Alaska Native people. In fact, I've voted for him in the past. But I really think his time is up. Although Alaska Native issues are a driving force in decisions I make politcally, they aren't everything. Taking into account so many other things Sen. Stevens has done (or not done), I am much less inclined to agree with what he does than two years ago. I also think it's the right time - Sen. Stevens simply can't make it too many more terms, and with Mayor Begich, we have an opportunity to have someone who may last just as long as Sen. Stevens.

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