Conference endeavors to preserve Native traditions

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Native arts, music and language were featured across campus for this year’s Alaska Native Studies Conference. The conference seeks to preserve Alaskan Native culture.

In one demonstration on campus, art student Joel Isaak exhibited the fish skinning process, as well as its uses. He allowed participants participate in a hands-on experience in skinning the fish so that they can learn how to do it and apply it to their traditional lifestyle. Isaak was one of the participants who held demonstrations at the Fine Arts Building on Friday, April 7.

Isaak has a family history of preparing fish, however his inspiration to learn how to use fish skins came from seeing a fish skin bowl at the Museum of the North.

“I’ve been learning how to cut fish since I was young,” Isaak said.

This year’s conference had participants looking to learn about similar traditional values and expand their knowledge. For the fish skinning demonstration in particular, they could learn to create shoes, jackets, dresses and many other useful items.

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