Blog 3 Alaska Natives and Their Future

The future of Alaska Natives is on the precipice of a major change, at least we can all hope.  There have been many cultures that have gone down this road before and Alaska Natives should follow in their footsteps yet down their own path.  In Anchorage it is apparent that some Native Alaskans struggle with adapting to social norms and this article sheds light on that fact with excellent reasons.  The native people are lashing out against the a dominant culture that has forced them to suppress their own views.  The indigenous people in other countries have gone down the same road struggling to find their place within the dominant culture and eventually creating a place with like minded people who are upset and a-cultural or without culture.  This article made me think about the future of rural education and see it under a new light.  I have always been for a more proactive Alaskan Native education system that uses their way of life to teach the younger generations, in fact I believe all Alaska residence would benefit from this type of education.  Who to better teach the ways of Alaska then the people who originally settled it and thrived without modern technology.  Unfortunately an education that exclusive to survival and tribal knowledge does not prepare young adults to leave their village and find work or prosper outside within the dominant culture.  There needs to be a fine line to walk so that the culture of Alaska is not lost into the melting pot that is American society yet the young Alaskan Natives are not weaponless if they choose to move into urban environments and seek employment within the dominant culture.  People are always talking about how great and important that Place Based Education is and I agree it should be a part in every subject but elementary and secondary education’s job is to prepare young people for their future whether that be college, career, or child raising in whatever environment they choose to inhabit.  I understand the importance of cultural curriculum and not only the protection of but the proliferation of all cultures.  If we as educators and more importantly as human beings will learn to accept others and appreciate what they have to bring to the conversation then I think we will be pleasantly surprised by the future.

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