Wainwright: Traditions favored as topics by high school's seniors.
By Victoria Barber
"I loved that the people of Wainwright came to watch the films. We sent the message that we want to learn more about our culture," said Larae Ahmaogak, a 12th-grade student who presented a film on whaling traditions.
The films are part of a new course called Inupiaq literature and composition, offered by the North Slope Borough School District and Ilisagvik College, which focuses on the importance of indigenous perspectives in written and oral literature. Taught by Jana Harcharek, the seniors earned both high school and college credit.
Harcharek said the students have been reviewing works written by Native people and discussing how the Inupiat are omitted from "traditional" literature and media. This led to an exploration of the ways that young people can influence how their culture is portrayed in the mainstream media.
Billions of people choose what to believe or buy based on something they see or read (from the Bible to billboards). But movies, TV shows, and books don't influence people?! Ridiculous.
For more on the subject, see Native Documentaries and News.