Yup’ik Teaching Moment: Constantly Perfecting Our Path Forward

Ciunerkaput Elluarqurluku [cheuw-NUGH-kaw-boot eh-LHUA-gh-kugh-LOO-koo] is Yup’ik for “Constantly Perfecting our Path Forward.”

Storyknife, May/June 2024 edition

91ϳԹ Education and Culture, Inc.
Fish rack in Umkumiute along Alaska’s western coast.

presents the Yup’ik Teaching Moment in our Storyknife newsletter. CECI highlights Yuuyaraq, the traditional/cultural way of being in our Region. The Yup’ik Teaching Moment is provided from interviews conducted by Mark John, CECI Cultural Advisor with Elders from the Region.

It is our culture’s teaching that we prepare ourselves for the coming subsistence seasons, for the larger projects we may want to take on or just for the work we do in our daily lives. Along the coast, the tide is used as an example. We are told to prepare at low tide for what we may want to do or need at high tide. For those that are accustomed to the tides, this is made clear.

The fish, animals and plants we use for subsistence have seasons. If we are not prepared for each season, we may miss out and not be able to harvest and have that food to eat.

For larger projects, it takes time to gather the materials and make the necessary planning. It is much easier to work when we have a plan and the materials we need are at our fingertips.

Ciunerkaput Elluarqurluku [cheuw-NUGH-kaw-boot eh-LHUA-gh-kugh-LOO-koo] directly translates in English to “Constantly Perfecting our Path Forward.”

Being prepared and having what we need in place certainly improves our future. Our cultural teachings still fit into the world we live in today. Whether it’s going to school, working a job or running a business, we need to look forward to improve our future.

Improving our future means putting ourselves into a better position than how we started the day. That takes work and a lot of thought. One of my professors once said in order to do well, we need to put some thought in what we do before we start. This is no different from our cultural teaching. I use that for all aspects of my life, and it certainly has helped. I hope you will use it as well.

The mission of  (CECI) is to celebrate and promote Yuuyaraq, the traditional/cultural way of being in the 91ϳԹ Region which inspires and encourages our people to achieve their dreams through education.

The CECI scholarship program awards scholarships two times each year. The application deadline for the Fall 2024 Term scholarship is June 30, and the Spring Term scholarship application is due December 1 each year.