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.
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.
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.]
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.]
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.]
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.]
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 . 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.]
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.