Education | Environment

KCAW: Alaska Native students learn about each other's culture





"A group of students from Sitka are in Kodiak this week for the second half of an exchange with the Woody Island tribe. Like many exchange programs, this one aims to foster better understanding between two cultures. But it also could help preserve traditions lost to either side, and foster healing between two cultures with a difficult history.

A group of students is walking down the trail at Sitka National Historical Park, learning about the totem poles that line it. They’re preparing for a visit to Kodiak, as part of a cultural exchange program run by the park.

Becky Latanich is chief of interpretation and education at the park. She says sending the Tlingit youth to Kodiak is the second half of the exchange program, which began last summer.

“The first year when they came over the Kodiak people, who are Alutiiq or Aleut or Sugpiaq, came here to learn about a series of dances called the Aleut series or the Alutiiq series that, over a period of time, was lost to them, but preserved in the Tlingit culture," Latanich said.'

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Sitka students head to Kodiak for cultural exchange (KCAW 8/17)