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Alaska Native Studies welcomes elders

Submitted by Graehl Brooks
Phone: 474-7181

09/19/05

A Cultural Knowledge of Native Elders class at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is bringing Alaska Native elders to campus this fall. The Alaska Native Studies Department, sponsor of the program, welcomes Delbert "Del" Hayward as the first Alaska Native elder. Hayward is Tsimshian and originally from Metlakatla, Alaska.

"Del is a good person to give students great perspective on what it was like growing up in Metlakatla," says Oscar Kawagley, instructor of the class. The Metlakatla Indian Community is located on Annette Island Reserve, the state's only federally recognized Indian reservation.

The next Alaska Native elder to visit will be Edith Nageak, an Inupiaq woman from Barrow, where she was raised traditionally. Nageak will share many of the Inupiaq stories, songs and dances she was taught by her parents and grandparents. The last Elder-In-Residence will be Nick Alokli, an Alutiiq man from Kodiak Island. Nick, who has helped bring back the Alutiiq language, now works with language students in a master-apprentice program. Nick is also a well-known mask carver.

CONTACT: UAF Alaska Native Studies Department, Professor Oscar Kawagley at (907) 474-6604 or frok@uaf.edu, or administrative assistant Graehl Brooks at (907) 474-7181.

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