Uvvatuq Naluallangniaqtugut (I Humbly Hope We Run Into Game): An Iñupiaq Research Process

Sean Asiqłuq Topkok, Hannah Paniyavluk Loon

Abstract


Uvvatuq naluallangniaqtugut (I humbly hope we run into game) is a phrase an Iñupiaq person would say before going out hunting in the Selawik dialect. We believe all things have a spirit, including animals. If a hunter announces they are going out hunting, the animal spirits will hear that and the hunter may have bad luck. Another phrase said in English is “I am going out for a ride.” The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation. The name of the project is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Teaching in Rural Areas using Cultural Knowledge Systems (TRACKS). The UAF team, known as the UAF Development Team, is working with the Northwest Arctic Borough School District to develop STEM lessons utilizing Iñupiaq knowledge systems and university research for middle school-age students in three villages. The UAF participating programs humbly reached out to local community members to establish a TRACKS Team. However, the UAF participating programs wanted the TRACKS Team to identify what is important to teach their children. The community were the ones to identify the research topic, utilizing an analogy Uvvatuq naluallangniaqtugut (I humbly hope we run into game) for an Iñupiaq research process.


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