Very enlightening article. Kind of wish I didn’t read it in case I end up teaching in a rural community after I get my initial license. I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m helping to perpetuate a practice of forcing natives to supplicate themselves before the white people who’ve taken it upon themselves to help them. I can totally believe Dr. Alberts’ assertions that social service programs intended to help Natives might have adverse effects such on their autonomy – it actually kind of reminds me of a Kenyan economist named James Shikwati who has spoken out against foreign aid to combat poverty in Africa on the grounds that it actually destroys their farming economy by making it impossible for local farmers to compete. White people can’t solve everything!
Hopefully the changes planned for the Alaska Native’s education system can accommodate all these non-Natives whose careers depend on the current system staying the way it is, because otherwise I feel like it’d be hard to make those changes. People are going to fight for those jobs. Cutting them out of the loop completely might make it hard for them to empathize with the Natives’ situation and support their goals, and that’s if all of these Alaska Native organizations actually can get politicians to go along with eliminating an entire industry in the first place.