Place and Time: A Comparison of Tlingit Worldview through Oral History and Place Names with Archaeological “Evidence”

Theme 4. Education
Session Name 4.10 Preserving memory - Arctic worldviews in education: stories, participative projects and knowledge in comparison
Datetime Sep 07, 2018 09:30 AM - 09:50 AM (UTC +3)
Location Auditorium XIII
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter Judith Ramos
Author(s) Judith Ramos (University of Alaska Fairbanks, USA)
Abstract text

From 2011 to 2014, the Arctic Studies Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, with a National Science Foundation Grant, sponsored a multi-disciplinary study of the interaction between people, seals, and glaciers at Yakutat Bay, Alaska.


            Indigenous knowledge, combined with the archaeology and glacial studies describes the changing physical and cultural landscape of Yakutat Bay. The time period begins with the retreat of Hubbard Glacier from the mouth of Yakutat Bay at the end of the Neoglacial Period about 900 years ago. This was followed by the arrival of different indigenous groups to Yakutat.


            As a Senior Research, my research focus was documenting Indigenous understanding of place through oral tradition and place names. The other part of my research is documenting Indigenous Knowledge of Seal Hunting. I used knowledge documented by previous research along with interviews of my parents and current Tlingit language fluent elders. The elders were video documented, and the interviews were transcribed.


            I am working with the Arctic Studies Center, the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe and the Sealaska Heritage Foundation to develop an archive where this information can be used for future research and for curriculum development. I presented this research at the Sealaska Heritage Foundations “Culturally Responsive Education Conference 2017”. This research will also be used for my Indigenous Studies PhD at University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

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