ERIC Number: ED433984
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996
Place of the Pretend People: Gifts from a Yup'ik Eskimo Village.
In 1986, Colorado native Carolyn Kremers accepted an invitation to teach music and English at a school in Tununak, a remote Yup'ik Eskimo village on Nelson Island, Alaska. This memoir recounts her experiences as a teacher, and also her reflections on music, the outdoors, teaching, Alaska, and how she came to understand Yup'ik and Inupiat Eskimo culture and social traditions. Her reflections on the similarities between the 85-student school in Tununak and the 2,000-student school in inner-city Chicago, where she had previously taught, offer a penetrating look at American education. The dominant culture feeds non-white students with white teachers, white values, and white goals, resulting in time wasted, and spontaneity and creative energy snuffed out. Yet, some students learn, some interests are sparked, and some opportunities are provided that otherwise would not have been. One chapter is named "I Hate Schools," but it concludes with Carolyn's confession that she loves to teach. Similar counterpoints are woven throughout the book as she describes her developing understanding of Eskimo culture and worldview, friendships and other relationships, and eventual acceptance by the townspeople. Nineteen related readings are listed. (TD)
Descriptors: Alaska Natives, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Maintenance, Culturally Relevant Education, Eskimos, Geographic Isolation, Oral Tradition, Personal Narratives, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, Secondary Education, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Experience, World Views, Yupik
Alaska Northwest Books, P.O. Box 10306, Portland, OR 97210; Tel: 800-452-3032 (Toll Free) ($22.95).
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alaska