News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Saturday November 25th 2017

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Inupiaq Days 2009 in Shishmaref

By Angie Alston, teacher, Shishmaref

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It was a fast-paced, fun-filled week during the fourth annual Inupiaq Days Celebration during the Shishmaref Spring Carnival. In addition to the packed-house basketball games and daily dog mushing races, Shishmaref School sponsored three days of cultural activities. Students divided into multi-age groups to participate in hands-on project-based learning. Community members, teachers, and student volunteered their time and skills to teach and facilitate activities.

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Highlights on the elementary side included soap carving, beading, ornament sewing, native youth Olympic games, Eskimo dancing, and Tlingit hats. CAMP, the local VPSO, Cold Water Safety, and the Shishmaref Environment Program were also on hand to make presentations.

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Junior High and high school students contributed to the Inupiaq dictionary, prepared food, carved ice fishing hooks, sang translated songs in Inupiaq, made kuspuks, and assisted elementary students in compiling an Inupiaq Days memory book. The students also listened to presentation by Northwest Campus, Kawerak’s Anti-Tobacco representative, and community elders.

A culminating event was the elder’s feast prepared by the students and community members. Elders were invited to the school to enjoy a variety of stew, meat, and desserts. Community members and visitors have already expressed anticipation of next year’s events.

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