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“Place-ased Educaiton\” Lecture Mike Martz 1

Mike Martz
Senior Producer, KYUK-TV, Bethel Broadcasting, Inc
Board member, the Alaska Historical Society, the Alaska
Moving Image Preservation Association

Sequence from \”To Show What We Know\”

I would like to show a part of video that I made in 1998. Mr. Barnhardt also was involved in this educational project as a co-director. This video shows children from northern area of Kodiak Island who participated in the summer camp learn science and culture together with teachers and elders.
Since Alaska is a huge state, there are various environment. You can see some part of such diversity through this video.

Narrator:
At a camp along a stretch of beach on Afognak Island north of Kodiak, a small group of young children and teachers gathered for a week of sharing and discovery. The beach is called Katenai (COT-TEN-KNEE). The camp, the Academy of Elders/AISES Science Camp, is a cooperative venture of the Kodiak Area Native Association, the Afognak Corporation and the Kodiak Island Borough School District.

Teri Schneider:
The purpose of this camp is first of all to bring together elders with other community members and educators, both teachers and teachers aides, new teachers and teachers that have been in Kodiak a long time along with students.
We bring them together in this outside setting that is so natural for our children to be in and very natural for many of our elders to be in to get that sense of community, of the community in which we live, the community we\’re a part of.
We also are providing the opportunity for the children as well as the teachers to learn first hand from elders and from other community members traditional ways of doing things and the values that go along with that… bringing together the values of our Native people with Western science and the exploration of science as we see it here in Kodiak. We\’d like to stimulate interest in the sciences and technology and mathematics among our kids and the way we do that is to explore our surroundings and explore traditional ways of doing things and show kids the science that in involved in traditional ways of thinking and doing things.

[We see students learning how to start fire with tinder and determining the insulating value of local furs through a temperature experiment.]

Teri Schneider:
We\’d like to be developing curriculum that integrates indigenous ways of doing things, indigenous knowledge, into the current of western science as we know it today.

[We see a student learning the waterproof stitch using seal gut.]

Teri Schneider:
And ultimately we\’d like to explore the rich culture and heritage of the Alutiq people [indigenous people of the Kodiak area] both from the past and also in the present.

[We see a montage of activities from the camp.]

Narrator:
The camp shared the facilities of the Afognak Native Corporation\’s \”Dig Afognak\” archaeological project. This presented the children with an opportunity to see first hand what archaeologists do by actually participating in the excavation work at the dig site.

[We see boys working at the dig site; children working in the \”lab tent\”, a girl using a microscope and a girl working on learning the waterproof stitch with several adults.]

Teri Schneider:
It\’s our desire that the students who leave this camp leave with a framework or even a completed science project so that they will go back to their home village and be able to share that with other students and their own families. Ultimately we want the kids to enter their projects into the rural science fair which will take place here around the district in November [1998]. Everyone I\’ve spoken to here has said that it\’s worth doing. It\’s worth doing at this time of year, during the summer, when we don\’t think of school going on.

[We see children and elders on the beach, doing science project work, checking a fish net, dancing and playing, elders looking on and smiling.]

Teri Schneider:
It\’s worth doing here on a beach like Katenai. It\’s worth doing when we look at the archaeology going on and the science applications that are going on. And when I speak with the elders they say they are very proud of what\’s happening here both as a community building experience and also educationally to see how much their children know. It makes them very proud.

[We see the entire camp group in a large circle dancing.]

Original of this video is for 26 minutes. Students who participated in this camp presented what they have learned in the camp in the Exhibition of Science project. There are several other summer camps and some of them are held in the inland area.

Reply from Alaska

442-lSince there were not enough time for Q&A in the Tokyo seminar, the speakers from Alaska replied to the questions which participatns asked in the questionnaire.

1. How do you reconcile the difference in speed between knowledge transfer by elders and societal changes?

This is a significant problem because the accelerating societal changes brought about by outside influences have disrupted the natural knowledge transfer processes between Elders and the younger generations. This breakdown is compounded by bureaucratic structures that seek short-term solutions to long-term problems that are cross-generational in nature, and thus often exacerbate the problems. Thus much of our effort has been focused on facilitating communication across the generation gap and getting Elders engaged in ways where they can bring their influence to bear on the educational processes in the schools and in the communities. (Ray Barnhardt)

To us it has become imperative that we speed up our efforts due to the negative social changes. (Tacuk)
2. How long does it take to conduct Yaaveskaniryaraq Project?

It usually takes one year, and the students continue their living it themselves. It is a lifelong learning process, though. When students learn, they usually apply it to their everyday living. (Tacuk)
3. Do you record elders� knowledge in a film?

443-lYes, we have recorded elders� knowledge on videotape. Our TV station has about 40 hours of elder recordings on videotape and another 20 hours on audiotape. There is an elder that hosts a radio talk show in the Yup段k language once a week. Teachers have used the recordings and some have been used in the Yaaaveskaniryaraq program. (Mike Martz)

Elder痴 knowledge is being recorded on video in many communities, including getting students in the schools involved in conducting interviews and producing documentaries of traditional knowledge and skills. See the following web sites for examples: http://www.babiche.org/about.html and http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/NPE/oral.html.
(Ray Barnhardt)

4. What are the issues and problems in conducting the Yaaves program?

The travel and weather, elders are dying very fast, students are very busy, we are very busy, funding, and other problems, but even so we do it despite all these. (Tacuk)
5. What are you seeking as an ideal result by what you are doing?

The ideal result of this work will be when Native people are in a position to make all the political and professional decisions that impact their communities and the education of their children. (Ray Barnhardt)
6. Better people, reinstituting our good values (which are sorely needed in today痴 society), overall better living socially. (Tacuk)
7. If there is a goal in 兎ducation�, what is the goal for you?

The over-arching goal of this work is to put control of education back in the hands of the people for whom it is intended � in this case, the Native people whose traditional knowledge systems are still intact and have an adaptive integrity of their own, but have been largely ignored by the schools for the past 100 years. (Ray Barnhardt)

Native education痴 goal is good human beings. (Tacuk)
8. Why do the youth leave villages?

While some youth have left their home communities to pursue education and job opportunities elsewhere, they are increasingly returning to put their knowledge and skills to work in ways that are compatible with village life, including starting cottage industries and taking on jobs such as teaching which have historically been held by outsiders. (Ray Barnhardt)

I think youth leave villages in Alaska for some of the same reasons that youth leave rural areas of Japan: They are looking for more opportunities for employment than can be found in villages where there are virtually no opportunities for full time or even part time employment. They池e also influenced by what they see on television and from their attendance at schools outside their home communities. (Mike Martz)

They think living the American dream of high paying jobs, material goods, good times, are better in cities than villages. Once they get older and wiser, they realize otherwise! (Tacuk)
9. I heard that it is increasingly difficult to protect the nature in Alaska in Bush administration. Does this have any influence in the life of native people?

Large scale industrial development (e.g., mining and oil development) and related climate changes have been a major source of concern for Native people because of its adverse impact on the natural environment on which much of their livelihood depends. There continues to be on-going tension between subsistence, commercial and sport uses of natural resources, with many cultural, political and economic issues at stake. It remains to be seen what impact the recent shift in the U.S. political landscape will have on realigning policy priorities in these areas. (Ray Barnhardt)

The Bush administration has pushed for more development, as has the majority party in the Alaska legislature especially in an attempt to open the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and mineral exploration. There has also been a recent scandal involving pipeline corrosion on the oil fields of the North Slope. This all does have an influence on the lives of Native Alaskans as there is more pressure on Native people near potential reserves of coal, gold and other minerals, oil and gas deposits, to allow development on their lands. This results in difficult and often divisive debates in Native communities with some people supporting development because of the job and economic opportunities development will offer while others oppose development because of the potential environmental damage and the loss of their subsistence lifestyle and cultural values that can result from resource development. (Mike Martz)
10. Do you think it is meaningful to learn about other places outside of your own?

It deepens our understanding of our own place by learning about similarities and differences with other places. It also broadens and deepens our understanding of other places by having a deep understanding of our own place. (Ray Barnhardt)

Definitely. It makes you really appreciate who you are because that is where you are the most comfortable. It also makes your knowledge of the world more real and broad. (Tacuk)

It痴 always meaningful to learn about other places outside one痴 own. Our travels in Japan were a wonderful opportunity to see how other people in a different part of the world live. It痴 then possible to compare that new experience with our own lives at home. (Mike Martz)
11. What do you feel lacking in environmental education and place-based education in Japan?

One of the issues that came up several times during our visit is the policy of rotating teachers from school to school, which inhibits the opportunities for acquiring a deep understanding of a particular place and integrating that understanding into the curriculum. The frequent turnover of educational personnel limits the application of place-based education strategies. (Ray Barnhardt)
12. Culture changes. How do you view the culture and what is your approach to teaching it? Do you teach the culture cores which do not change or as way of thinking?

Culture defines a way of life and shapes the identity of a people, and it is learned primarily through direct participation in the living culture. That is why it is so important for Native people to have control over their schools, so they can bring their own cultural perspective into the educational experiences of their children. It is also why place-based education strategies are well suited to inculcating indigenous cultural knowledge into the next generation. (Ray Barnhardt)
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The good things of the culture like the values, dance, songs, beliefs, etc are some of the things that should be taught in a culture class. The most difficult are the abstract concepts. (Tacuk)
13. Japanese school education attempts to raise the students� motivation by competition, which I believe is a mistake. Do you make much of 田ooperation� in Alaska?

Cooperation and sharing are among the most universal of cultural values embraced by Native peoples in Alaska, so we are encouraging schools to minimize competitive strategies and incorporate cooperation and sharing into their teaching practices as much as possible. (Ray Barnhardt)
14. Please give me a hint what we can count on in a place where we lost things which should have been protected.

Indigenous peoples around the world are seeking to recover knowledge, skills, language and traditions that were discontinued or lost under colonial domination. However, such recovery work must be initiated by the people themselves, not by someone external to the society that has been impacted. In this way, many indigenous peoples from the Maori to the Sami are recovering their language and cultural traditions. (Ray Barnhardt)
15. What are the problems that westernized Alaska Natives face?

One of the biggest challenges that Native people face in the exercise of self-determination is finding ways to reconcile traditional cultural practices with the demands of the bureaucratic institutional structures (e.g., schools) that have been put in place in their communities. (Ray Barnhardt)

Alcoholism, drug addiction, family dysfunction and disintegration due to a loss of core traditional values, a loss of 澱elonging�, an uncertainty about their cultural identity. Many do overcome these problems but it takes a long time. It involves a return to their core traditional values. (Mike Martz)
16. How do you define 菟lace� in place-based education?

撤lace� in place-based education is intended to encompass the whole of the physical, cultural and community environment in which people live their lives. Place-based education grounds learning in a deep understanding of the local 菟lace� as a foundation for learning about and engaging with the rest of the world (i.e., think globally, act locally). (Ray Barnhardt)
17. How would you interpret and explain why Japanese and Alaska natives have similar way of thinking and viewing the nature?

The more people depend on maintaining a respectful relationship with the environment to sustain their way of life, the more common their way of thinking about the environment is likely to be. The laws of nature in Japan are the same as those in Alaska. (Ray Barnhardt)
18. I have an impression that Yaaveskaniryaraq takes a method of story telling. Do you do other activities and discussion programs in Yaaves?

Much, much more. We discuss our world views, values, dance/song, seasons, child rearing, science, sociology, math. We cram as much as we can into it with elders taking the lead. (Tacuk)

18. Are there many female elders?

Tacuk is a leading example . . . (Ray Barnhardt)

Most of my ancestors were female elders. (Tacuk)
19. What do you think about the wealth in the western concept?

The western definition of wealth is based on a misplaced emphasis on the accumulation of material goods with a concomitant disregard for cultural and spiritual well-being. As Oscar Kawagley puts it, western society (including schooling) places the emphasis on making a living as opposed to making a life for ones self. (Ray Barnhardt)
20. Has the efforts to keep native痴 culture been done as volunteer bases?

While some limited external resources have been available for cultural revitalization efforts, the most important and successful efforts have been those that originated from the communities themselves and are sustained by volunteer community effort. (Ray Barnhardt)
21. What is an important thing for human beings in life?

To live their precious cultural lives. (Tacuk)
22. How is story telling maintained?

Mostly in Yaaveskaniryaraq and in the schools. It used to be every family would have story times like at bedtimes. Many people don稚 know the stories anymore so they have to be reintroduced. (Tacuk)

Village of terraced rice paddies

Traditional rice harvesting work was done and rice was drying naturally in traditional way. This is set for high scholl students from city but most part of the work was done by local elders.
Traditional rice harvesting work was done and rice was drying naturally in traditional way. This is set for high scholl students from city but most part of the work was done by local elders.

Tochikubo has a beautiful scenery looking down entire Minamiuonuma area over its own terraced rice paddies.

Opposite side of the valley from Shimizu, over 60 families are living in this mountainous village.

At this elementary school, only 10 children are being taught by 7 teachers. This place is also covered by over 4 meter of snow.

Next to the village, there are skying slopes and close to the town, many villagers commute to their work place. Rice paddies are continuously spreading along the slope of the hills and people use snow-free season fully for rice growing.

Rice under \"hasa\" or drying rudder. \'The taste is definitely better than modern machine technique,\' villagers say.
Rice under \”hasa\” or drying rudder. \’The taste is definitely better than modern machine technique,\’ villagers say.

Beech forest are covering the mountains and mountain goats and endangered butterflies are easily observed. Salamanders are found in fresh streams.

Number of children is decreasing and aging of the community is proceeding, so villagers are wondering about the future of their community.

Village of hardness and beauty

In September, fresh green colors are covering mountains and valleys where is covered by snow sometimes more than 4-5 meters in winter.
In September, fresh green colors are covering mountains and valleys where is covered by snow sometimes more than 4-5 meters in winter.

Shimizu is the last village to the mount Makihata which is acclaimed one of the best 100 mountains in Japan.

At shimizu, Less than 20 households are living calmly surrounded by beautiful forest.

There was a pass way connecting Echigo and Kanto area through Shimizu village and this village saw some tycoons and their samurais moving toward Kanto area for their battle.

Shimizu is the one of the place which has the heaviest snow falls in this snowy area. People need to fight with the snow for surviving.
Shimizu is the one of the place which has the heaviest snow falls in this snowy area. People need to fight with the snow for surviving.

Elevation is around 600 meters and in the winter season easily over 4 meter of snow covers the village.

The blanch school had closed 20 years ago and very limited number of children are living here.

Aged 20 families are just staying here. Slopes are steep so that rice paddies are not easy to set.
Lumbering business is dying away pressed by cheap imported materials. Maintenance work for high voltage power lines which had been supporting the village economy is shrinking hard because of advancement of remote monitoring technology. The future of the village is really on the edge.

On the other hand, nature of the mountain is still health. Mountain goats, monkeys and bears are walking around the village. Villagers keep their own way of life collecting mountain vegetables in the spring and variety of mushrooms in the fall.

ECOPLUS Participation in Global Village of EXPO 2005, Aichi, Japan

A woman from Nagaland, India showing Naga\'s traditional weaving at EXPO 2005.
A woman from Nagaland, India showing Naga\’s traditional weaving at EXPO 2005.

Read ECOPLUS direct interactions with 15,000 visitors and the spotlight attention on the indigenous people from Alaska and India at EXPO 2005.

For 45 days from mid March to end April 2005, ECOPLUS participated in the Global Village of EXPO 2005 held in Aichi, Japan. ECOPLUS participation in the EXPO started at the begining of the exhibition and was a \”top batter\” in one of the five mobile mini-pavilions at the Global Village. The mobile mini-pavilions rotated their positions around the Global Village every month. Units in the village\’s pavilions were co-hosted by NGOs and NPOs from Japan and overseas.

With the help of volunteers primarily from local Aichi Prefecture, ECOPLUS was able to have direct contact with approximately 15,000 people, conversing with them about nature experiences and environmental education activities, as well as recording \”Earth Messages” for the future.

Indigenous people – Yupik from Russian Mission, Alaska and Naga from Nagaland, a mountainous region in Northeast India – joined ECOPLUS\’ pavilion.

The Yupik students and their teacher, Mike Hull, livened up the opening ceremony at the Global Village with their song & dance performances. Accompanied by music from round drums and slow rhythm singing, their dances, which articulate nature and their daily lives became a symbol of the Global Village. It even appeared on national television news. The Yupik students’ photography presentations on Yupik lifestyle and Mike Hull’s talk on education and the environment in Alaska were also greeted with praises from fellow participants in the village.

The group from Nagaland, Northeast India, which joined ECOPLUS in late April included youths from mountain villages situated at 1,500 meters above sea level and Amba Jamir from the Missing Link (an NGO which supports such mountain villagers). Though broadly referred to as Naga, each of these participants belongs to their own tribe, such as Ao. The women exhibited their traditional weaving skills, while the men exhibited crafts made from bamboo along side a showcase on Nagaland mountainous tribes’ farming method. Their traditional method of farming which involves burning and a cyclical slash as the only tool is carried out in accordance to, and in perfect harmony with, nature’s rhythm They use one plot of forest for two years and let it rest for the next 17 years.

Units participated in the Global Village in April were unique in that they were involved in activities during the EXPO’s preview, prior to the opening of the EXPO. However, things did not get off to a smooth start at the beginning. Seasonally, it was still cold enough for snow, the EXPO management was still in a trial and error phrase and the media focused coverage only on main attractions like the robots and mammoth, resulting in few visitors to the Global Village.

The low number of 200 daily visitors at the beginning gradually increased to 500 towards the second half and soon volunteers were getting very busy attending to them. Over 40 ECOPLUS’ volunteers participated and helped out at ECOPLUS’ pavilion with YAMAZAKI Madoka participated for the entire EXPO as a live-in volunteer. Members of Tokai Bank\’s alumni group rotated to fill positions and made use of their communication skills acquired from various experiences. Many young volunteers took their hats off to one another and congratulated themselves for the experiences they have gained from participating in the exhibition.

*Apology
The hard disk of the computer hosting the special EXPO web site set up for ECOPLUS\’ participation in the Global Village of EXPO 2005, Aichi, crashed at the end of April. Incessant attempts to recover the hard disc by specialists in both Japan and USA were, unfortunately, met without any success. Due to serious damages to the surface of the disc, the specialists rendered the hard disk irrecoverable. Though ECOPLUS has replaced broken parts, restored the functions of the site and re-entered data that is replaceable, data from the nearly 300 messages left by visitors at the expo was not able to be recovered. We sincerely apologize for our inability to handling data properly.