OwnVoices Bilingual Education Vision Picture Book

Culturally Integrated Education, Decolonized Education, Tribal Education Compact, Educational Tribal Sovereignty. What these terms even mean are a matter of much discussion. To come to a shared vision of these ideas seems even harder to reach. 

One unfortunate outcome of the current Western educational system is that indigenous populations are forgetting how  learning took place before colonization.  I hear and read many conversations of village elders, educators, culture bearers, and others who feel that the direction the education of their young people is going is not the best way. However, pointing out what’s wrong is only the first step. What would it look like if we could bring traditional ways of learning into the current educational ecosystem? Here is a radical - but obtainable - vision for that future. This work is not intended to be a plan, or The Answer. But maybe this work can be a point of departure. A place where people can start the conversation, and take the first steps, toward something that reconnects the education of young people back to the Land, the Community, and the Values of the Real People.

The idea for this work came when I first saw the artwork of Apay'uq Moore . She's a fantastic artist and activist. She recently completed artwork for a coloring book for the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation that made everything that was swimming in my head snap intro place. Of course! We need to see this vision through the eyes of a child. The format for the book allows for Yup'ik readers, English readers, and non-readers to all participate in the conversation. 

Here's some samples of Apay'uq's coloring book art. This is the kind of artwork we want to use for the this work.

We've already started on a draft of the book. This is still very much a draft, but you can see the idea for the story and layout. Come back to this link often, as we continue to flesh out the wordy part of the work.

DRAFT of Vision Document 

For the vision part (the wordy bits) we will be reaching out to a few key people to help craft and refine what's here into something specific enough to address the key issues of indigenous education in Alaska, but general enough to apply to different cultures and places.

The child's story will be from the hands and heart of Apay'uq.

I'm fortunate enough to live in a village with many fluent Yup'ik speakers, so the translation of both of these elements to Yugtun will hopefully not be too hard.

So, here is the ask:

Apay'uq has agreed to give a month of her time to this project. She figures her "salary" for the month to be $5000.

Once the work is completed, we'll print enough copies to give some to each of our $100+ donors, to the members of the school board of the Yupiit School District, and to a few of those out there that should have one.

We need $2500 as soon as possible to allow Apay'uq to start the work. 

Our goal is to get this whole thing completed and printed by mid December!

Please help support an amazing artist, and maybe help push the conversation about what a de-colonized education might look like. 

Thank you for your support.


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Fundraising team (3)

Matthew Turner 
Raised $100 from 1 donation
Sitka, AK
OwnVoices Bilingual Education Vision 

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