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Education for Cultural Survival

BY KRISTINA RIZGA, THE ATLANTIC. Josephine Tatauq Bourdon on integrating Indigenous knowledge and language into Western curriculum. Life in the village of Wales, Alaska—located about 55 miles from the Siberian coastline—can be hard. Here, roughly 150 Indigenous Inupiaq residents live in one of the coldest climates on Earth. All store-bought food must be either flown in or brought in by boat, and the harsh weather and winds can shut down schools or connections with the outside world for days. Most of the Indigenous people of Wales depend on gathering berries and greens in the tundra, as well as hunting whales, seals, and other sea life for survival. This means that access to traditional Inupiaq education—how to read the weather to avoid a life-threatening blizzard, how to hunt in a way that doesn’t disturb the delicate balance of nature, sharing, and cooperation—can be a matter of life or death. READ MORE HERE.

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