Paul Berg — Article Reflection

This article raised several of issues that the Western methods of education has implicated on Native Alaskan cultures, especially with the comment about Social Darwinism. It is true that there is a lot of social erasure that happens when the culturally dominant “colonizers” invade the area to inculcate the native inhabitants, and it is unfortunate to see their cultures be discounted. The white-American concern for the Native Alaskan may be concealing, still, the dark truth of their dominance and a clandestine control.

What a breath of fresh air, though, to see that some steps have been taken to re=orient the educational system for Native Alaskans to their needs, not only academically but also culturally. For a student to learn, especially in their adolescent years, it is crucial for them to really learn their culture because that can bring group solidarity, secure identity, and new insight to share in Western classrooms. I think that it would be awesome to see how a purely Native Alaskan educational system would be, and I would attempt being a student in it! Yes, it will take a long time for it to reach that ideal equilibrium, especially that the tradition of the dominant American school system has been established for centuries. But it never hurts to hope.