December 16, 2004
I took these last few around 3pm. Below is the edge of the river near school. All fall it has been cracking and refreezing with the ebb and flow of the tides. It's pretty much solid now. Thoughts about these sorts of things- like the interplay of tidal and seasonal forces- have been consuming me less lately as I've been thinking more about visiting home. I leave for Philadelphia tomorrow.
MOVIE CLIP 1, Blizzard on Election Day: [.mov for Mac] or [.avi for PC]
MOVIE CLIP 2, Blizzard from House: [.mov for Mac] or [.avi for PC]
Posted by David M. Miller at Thursday, December 16, 2004
December 13, 2004
Here's an Elder giving a talk to the middle and high school. His words are being understood in three different languages simultaneously.
Most of the students are hearing him speak in Yupik. Sophie translates in to English so that the American Sign Language interpreter (via satellite in Seattle),
Posted by David M. Miller at Monday, December 13, 2004
December 08, 2004
Thanksgiving at the Moravian Church. Everyone was invited.
Ryan Kuehlthar is my partner in crime who teaches on the other side of the room divider from me. He's also my guest photographer for this entry.
Posted by David M. Miller at Wednesday, December 08, 2004
November 14, 2004
November 07, 2004
This is the third 8th Grade Pizza fundraiser for the Jr. Alaska Close Up trip to Juneau in January. It's a state program designed to give students a look at state government from the inside. It costs a lot to travel by plane, so we need to fundraise.
Posted by David M. Miller at Sunday, November 07, 2004
November 02, 2004
Today was a hard day to be a voter in Tunt. Center Tunt, From Livingroom. The blizzard got even worse later in the day.
Posted by David M. Miller at Tuesday, November 02, 2004
October 30, 2004
Henry Lupie, 56, has been a resident of Tuntutuliak for almost his entire life. In 8th grade he decided to do something different from most of his classmates. He decided to graduate from high school. Since most of his peers weren’t graduating from high school (there was no high school in the village at that time), he knew his only option for a decent education would be to leave everything familiar to him and head far away to a vocational school in an altogether different land. After graduating from Chemawa Boarding School in Oregon, he headed back to Tuntutuliak an educated man.
He remembers parts of what school was like in Tunt when he was a student here. There were none of the luxuries that we have today- like no heated stoves or electricity. Parents were told that their children needed to be educated, but they were busy with the subsistence lifestyle that people here had been busy with for thousands of years before. Every fall and spring, kids were sent with the adults to “Fall Camp” and “Spring Camp” in order to gather food other necessities from the water and land. This was fundamental to survival then, so it is understandable why that was more of a priority for most people than being in a classroom. Even with all of this, Henry could still appreciate the potential value of a good education.
In 2000, Tuntutuliak had an unemployment rate of15%, although 45% were not in the work force. There are very few opportunities for work here; the school or one of the three stores in town employs most people. In the 80’s, the government attempted to phase out a welfare system that had been in place for thirty years. The program was intended to get people off welfare and working within five years. Mr. Lupie wonders how the government could expect to undo thirty years worth of
The first thing I though about when Mr. Lupie mentioned the thirty-year plan was how much more it would have cost than the five-year plan. When it sunk in, I realized that the five-year plan would have defiantly been a more costly endeavor. In ten years from now, the thirty-year plan would have been finished- and had it been carefully implemented, it probably would have worked.
There is much more to this story, and I’ve just barely scratched the surface of what Mr. Lupie has to say. One of the biggest challenges seems to be finding a way to establish an economic base in a community that has been starved of one for so many years. There is great economic hardship in cities like Philadelphia, but the challenge of establishing an economic base from square one is unique to the people of extremely isolated communities.
Posted by David M. Miller at Saturday, October 30, 2004
October 26, 2004
Our flight to Bethel gives us perspective. This land is crowded with lakes... if there were any more lakes, I'd be hard pressed calling it land.
Every trip to Bethel begins with catching a plane. Ryan (right) teaches on the other side of a room divider from me in a big hallway/room.
Posted by David M. Miller at Tuesday, October 26, 2004