Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hunting Tradition in a Changing World: Yup'ik Lives in Alaska Today

Fienup-Riordan, A. (2000). Hunting Tradition in a Changing World: Yup'ik Lives in Alaska Today. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

This book shows changes the Yupiit went through in their hunting experiences. They are connecting their communities with the larger world. By that I mean that the Alaska Natives are working around the environment changes to keep hunting. It’s hard work to subsistence hunt and fish, including the rules and regulations everyone has to follow. Fienup-Riordan mixes her essays and individual Yupiit narratives in this book to show experienced hunters and their view of the hunting traditions. Some examples in this book are hunters teaching themselves and others about their past and present lives; how they maintain their cultural identity, even when they move away from native villages; and working with museums to show the exhibition of Yup’ik ceremonial masks. Ann Fienup-Riordan has lived and written about the Yupiit for twenty-five years. She knows a lot about the Yup’ik history and oral tradition. After reading her articles it influenced me to know more about the traditions and cultures in Alaska.

Alaska Native Ways: What the Elders Have Taught Us

Natives of Alaska, (2002). Alaska Native Ways: What the Elders Have Taught Us. Portland, OR: Graphic Arts Center Publishing Company.

The Alaska Native Ways book is about Natives who realize that the traditional values and practices have maintained their cultures for over 1000 years. It shows respect to the first Alaskans and their old values they needed for survival. Today, Natives of all ages know they have connections to their origin. It will interpret a new character in the next century. This book will give the viewer a peek into the cultural life of Alaska Natives. It announces the cultures are living and the traditions are growing. Some of the values include show respect to others, see connections, honor your elders, accept what life brings, have patience, pray for guidance, live carefully, take care of others, share what you have, and know who you are. This book is powerful because it is written by many Alaskan Natives who believe in their culture and traditions. Understanding of your ethnicity and background is important.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Politics of Wilderness Preservation

Allin, C.W. (2008). The Politics of Wilderness Preservation. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press.

Craig W. Allin explored the history of wilderness preservation politics in the United States. Preservation politics in America have stories that can be further developed in American history. Allin has very good points and facts to support his arguments. The wilderness was seen by the Americans, as an enemy to destroy. In the 1900s, there was a drop in resources and the American citizens saw the wilderness as a valuable and vanishing resource. They seen their mistake to want to destroy it, so they created environmental policies. Public policy is what we value as a society. The policies have a significant political and economic impact. Allin explores their status today and their uncertain future. This book helps people to see the importance of our wilderness, just as the Alaska Natives see it. I am happy that there are policies that citizens have to follow; otherwise, our wilderness will be no more. This is a good book for environmentalists and policymakers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Alaska Native Art

Fair, S.W. (2006). Alaska Native Art. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press.

Susan W. Fair is an original, brilliant woman, who just did not bring artwork alive, but brought life to native artists, who were neglected to scholarly studies. She includes in her book the years of experience she had working with Alaska Native artists. She represents a particular contribution to our understanding of Alaska Native art. There are many great descriptions of the artwork and the artists. My relative, Ellen Savage is in this book, famous for her doll making. She was Deg Hit’an Athabascan from Holy Cross. Most everyone loved her dolls for their uniqueness. The dolls were used for play, but nowadays they are used for display. That is an example of what this book contains. This book has a lot of beautiful art that makes me want to read the whole thing. I have not seen or heard of many of the art that are included in this book.

Alaska Federation of Natives

The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) is the largest Native organization in Alaska. 178 villages participate in this convention. There are also 13 regional village corporations and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that run federal programs. AFN is supposed to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the Alaska Native community. The convention encourages culture, be satisfied with the government's decisions, help with Alaska Natives needs, protect the lands of Alaska Natives, and have programs to give natives pride and confidence.

Eskimos and the Real World

This image is of eskimos on the Bering Sea. This is pretty much what people out in the states think of all eskimos in Alaska. They see them as people, who wear fur and have round faces, live in igloos, run dogsleds, and ice fish. They don't see that Alaska is just like the other states, but colder. People who don't know about Alaska make a fool of themselves by making assumptions. They think that we are the humor, but we are really not. This is just some arguments that I have, and thoughts that I had when I saw this image. I would like Alaska to have a different image in peoples minds, instead of being all about eskimos.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Native Youth Olympics

Native Youth Olympics is about the spirit of our ancestors. Four-hundred youth from across Alaska compete in Anchorage to show their skills in traditional Native games. It first started in 1972, and it is based on Alaska's cultural heritage and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The events are games and life skills of past generations to test their hunting and survival skills. They also increase strength, endurance, activity, and balance the mind and body. Anyone who is 7th to 12th grade can participate even though they are not native. The games are called stick pull, one arm reach, wrist carry, foot high kick, kneel jump, scissors broad jump, seal hop, foot high kick, arm pull, and Alaskan high kick. These activities are easier if you really put your mind to it.