First Advisor

Shirley M. Kennedy

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology






Eskimos -- Education -- Alaska, Multicultural education



Physical Description

1 online resource, digitized manuscript.


This paper is a description and examination of an Academic Enrichment Program for students from a Bureau of Indian Affairs Day School in Stebbins, Alaska. Sixty Eskimo students travelled to Beaverton, Oregon in the winter of 1975, accompanied by their teachers and by village representatives. They were enrolled in Beaverton schools for a six-week period, and participated in a program designed to acquaint them with aspects of American culture previously known to them only through their textbooks.

The major emphasis here is on description of the interface between two cultural systems. While there is an attempt to identify the problems inherent in a program of this sort, this is not an evaluation of the program.

The data reported here was obtained by participant observation in many aspects of the program. Students were observed in the classroom, on field trips, in play situations, and in the homes in which they stayed during their visit. Background information is included on the cultural milieus of the two participating communities.

Students in the program encountered several types of problems during the course of the program. Areas where differing cultural orientations contributed to misunderstandings between the Alaskan students and their hosts included the following: 1) perception of time 2) perception of spatial boundaries 3) discipline of children 4) communication styles 5) food sharing 6) sleeping habits.

In the final chapter, suggestions are offered for changes which might help to ease the problems of adjustment for participants in future programs.


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