Cultural Identity

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Historical Acknowledgement

Our staff is aware of the historical relationship between schools and Alaska Native populations and the theories of how this has impacted Alaska Native populations generationally.  Staff and students have opportunities to learn about this history and theories on generational impacts.

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Open Discussions

Our school has a culture in which we openly discuss school practices that may be anchored in colonization or assimilation.  We routinely reflect on these tendencies, challenge each other in our thinking, and invite other viewpoints and/or ways of practice.  

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Cultural Code Shifting

Our school avoids presenting Western culture as the “right way” and seeks out opportunities in which Indigenous ways of being are valued and invited into classroom activities. Cultural code-shifting is when a student shifts between cultural expectations based on their surroundings. We help students think about when this might be helpful, yet also encourage them to think about when it can be enriching to share their Indigenous ways of being. 

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Cultural Identity as Assistive Factor

In our school, a well-developed cultural identity is viewed as an assistive factor in college readiness and persistence.  Students are guided in developing this as part of their college preparation. We not only encourage students to include culture in applications and scholarship essays, we also help them understand how cultural identity is a strength for success in an unfamiliar college setting

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Practice Self-Identity

In our school classroom instruction includes helping students explore self-identity.  Students have opportunities to practice how they may articulate the cultural part of themselves.  We provide students time to consider skills they could use in environments where they may confront cultural assumptions.  

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Indigenous Spaces

Our school provides Indigenous spaces*.  These are times and places in which Indigenous culture is the expected culture.  Native language, traditions, foods, customs are part of the environment.

 

*Examples include a culture room, Native student services, dance groups, Native Language learning etc.

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