What if Our learning systems reflected Our community and culture?

What if
  • education were oriented toward the collective well-being of Our Peoples?
  • Our community values were reflected in Our teachers and administrators?
  • everyone were taught and understood the history of Our Peoples from a local Indigenous perspective?
  • we thought of ourselves as one People?
  • the future we seek is the past Our Ancestors had?
  • we could all speak, think and dream in Our own languages?
  • schools were a place where Alaska Native youth and families felt safe and welcome?
  • Our Alaska Native languages, knowledge systems and ceremonies were the foundation of a comprehensive learning model?
  • technology honored Our values and reflected Our culture?
  • Our learning systems were multi-generational?
  • local communities defined when and where learning takes place?
  • every child were culturally grounded and felt affirmed in their learning environment?
  • the future of education is Indigenous?
  • Our food systems were integrated into Our learning?
  • Our learning reaffirmed Our connection to the land and water?

Participants from communities across the state of Alaska are joining together to collectively build a world, one that describes a radically inclusive future of learning. Some communities throughout the state have participated in kalakas: using storytelling as a tool, the community kalaka, or joint voluntary work, gathers ideas, stories and dreams of Our People across Alaska as a way to inspire new models of education for Alaska Native and American Indian youth by way of sharing stories and writing new ones together.

Now, through this site, you are invited to join this movement and help envision a desired future that we are creating together, through our connection to Our Ancestors, Peoples, lands and ways of life. By imagining and inhabiting this future, we are building a new vision for the youth in Our communities and reimagining the pathways from the past and present to Our future.

This is a world where we will collectively inspire change through the stories we remember and the new stories we create. Here we can share, dream and empower each other through Our stories in order to imagine and put into action a new learning model for Our future Ancestors.


The formal education system in Alaska has been harmful and traumatic to many Alaska Native people throughout the state. We respectfully acknowledge this history as we intentionally and creatively explore the future of education in order to bring a new pathway of light and learning to Our current and future generations.

As we look to the future, the strengthening of Native languages continues to be central to Our education, lands and Peoples. We invite you to engage in this project in the languages in which you feel most comfortable, and hope that it becomes a place where all Native languages of Alaska are recognized and celebrated.

The language regions used on the map are drawn from Native Land Digital, a vast resource of Indigenous territories, languages and treaties. It does not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. Please visit Native Land Digital for more information.

This project is a partnership between Cook Inlet Tribal Council and the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, produced by Experimental Design.