Authentic Alaska: Voices of Its Native Writers

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Susan B. Andrews, John Creed
U of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 1998 - History - 177 pages
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"These are gritty, forthright narratives about late-twentieth-century life in remote Alaska. . . . A wonderful collection indeed!"-Julie Cruikshank, author of The Social Life of Stories: Narrative and Knowledge in the Yukon Territory (Nebraska 1998) and Life Lived Like a Story: Life Stories of Three Yukon Native Elders (Nebraska 1991). "These stories add a new dimension to the genre of Native American literature."-Robin Ridington, coauthor of Blessing for a Long Time: The Sacred Pole of the Omaha Tribe (Nebraska 1997). In this lively and sometimes poignant collection of essays and autobiographies, nearly fifty Alaska Native writers tell of their unique way of life and bear witness to the sweeping cultural changes occurring in their lifetimes. They explore a range of experiences and issues, including skinning a polar bear; traditional domestic and subsistence practices; marriage customs; alcoholism; the challenges and opportunities of modern education; balancing traditional and contemporary demands; discrimination; adapting to urban life; the treatment of Native peoples in school textbooks; and the social realities of speaking standard and "village" English. With its fresh perspectives and unfailingly authentic voices, this collection is essential for an understanding of Alaska Native peoples today. Susan B. Andrews and John Creed are award-winning journalists and associate professors in the humanities at the Chukchi campus of the University of Alaska in Kotzebue.
 

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Authentic Alaska: voices of its native writers

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"Cutting a polar bear is very easy, just like saying the alphabet for counting ones, twos, threes, and so on," states Siberian Yup'ik Linda Akeya in her essay on skinning a polar bear. Akeya's native ... Read full review

Contents

Aerial view of Kiana
13
Early Lessons Learned jrom Grandparents
14
RURAL ALASKA LIFE
27
Twelveyearold girl preparing seal
29
How to Skin a Polar Bear
31
Tundra plants are used for medicine
43
How to Make Seal Oil
45
Reggie Joule on the blanket toss
59
Truck delivering water to homes in Kotzebue
79
Inupiaq Relates Hard Times in Elementary School in the 19505
88
Village English Spoken by Young and Old in Rural Alaska
104
Death a Part of life
119
A Tradition of My People
125
Defending Inupiaq Traditions on Many Fronts
140
Glossary
155
About Chukchi News and Information Service
169

STORIES OF THE NORTH
61
Geese Hunting Provides Valuable Lesson
73

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About the author (1998)

Susan B. Andrews and John Creed are award-winning journalists and associate professors°in the humanities at the Chukchi campus of the University of Alaska in Kotzebue.

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