Equal Access to Education
Traditional education was embedded in the lifestyle of Alaska Native peoples, as our very survival depended on it. Listening, following instruction, and mentorship were all highly prioritized skills. However, territorial boarding schools were introduced and designed to eliminate rather than nurture Alaska Native cultures, knowledges, and languages. As a result, Alaska Natives continue to face challenges in all levels of education in western settings. Even through multiple studies show that fostering Native peoples’ cultural identity in school results in academic success, this is not happening in Alaska.
- From preschool to college, curriculum must include Alaska Native history, peoples, cultures and languages - including the true history not the hallmark greeting card version of history.
- We ask the Alaska state legislature to fully fund education for all Alaskans no matter where they live and to hold harmless the student minimum count.
- We support policies and candidates who seek to increase the amount of Alaskan and Alaska Native teachers, and to retain rural teachers, principals and administrators.
- We seek to engage citizen participation in school district elections and to run candidates and get out the vote for leaders at all levels who support strong public education.
- We support self-determination over education and urge the Governor and Commissioner Johnson to move in this direction.
Organizations To Support
There are numerous organizations and initiatives in Alaska who are dedicated to youth education work. We encourage you to check out these organizations:
First Alaskans Institute
Alaska Native Heritage Center
The Resource Basket
Take Wing Tengluni - Alaska Humanities Forum and Calista Education & Culture Inc.
Tanana Chiefs Conference Youth Programs
Actions You Can Take
How are you going to ensure that our language and Indigenous education is serving our Alaska Native youth? There are several ways of service that you can contribute to:
Alaska School Boards - run for a school board seat!
Alaska PTA board - run for a seat on a PTA committee!