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Spotlight Archives

Smithsonian Institution creates useful learning tool for future generations of Arctic indigenous peoples

WalesWinton Weyapuk, Jr. was eleven years old when he started hunting with his father’s crew in his home village of Wales, Alaska. When he began hunting all communication was in Inupiaq, more specifically it was in Kinikmiut, the Wales dialect of the Inupiaq language. But in Winton’s grade school classroom, the Inupiaq language was forbidden and English was spoken in school. MORE...

Muskoxen - the Ice Age Survivalists

Wet MuskoxenWhen we think of muskoxen, our mind immediately conjures up images of the frozen and desolate Arctic environment they inhabit. Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) are one of the still living Pleistocene megafauna that migrated from Asia to North America across the Bering land bridge between 200,000 and 90,000 years ago. A contemporary of the wooly mammoth this Arctic mammal is one of the survivors of the Ice Age in North America along with the bison and the pronghorn. MORE...

Bringing Beringia to Life through Skype

Whale beeing pulled by a tractorAs a 5th grader living in Maine, you don't usually go to town hall to dance with your parents & grandparents on a typical Saturday night. But in Savoonga, Alaska, that's your only choice. The differences in the two lifestyles could not be more pronounced, and as part of a learning unit on Beringia, students in Maine were able to literally see some of these cultural contrasts. And they were fascinated. MORE...

Exchanges Unites Land Managers in Beringia

Vsevolod StepanitskiyThis past September, three groups of land managers and researchers working in protected areas across the Russian Federation visited Alaska parks, refuges, and the National Park Service (NPS) Regional Office to get a sense of how public land is administered and managed in the United States. The three groups were hosted by the Shared Beringian Heritage Program while at the regional office in Anchorage. MORE...

Beringia Program Helps Youth Win Prestigious Award at 2012 AFN Convention

Jacob Martin at 2012 AFN ConferenceJacob Martin, who helped to organize and lead the 2011 Beringia Days Youth Forum and steer the subsequent initiatives, won the coveted Roger Lang Youth Leadership Presidential Award at the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) 2012 Conference. Jacob, the son of Beringia Panel member Guy Martin from Nome, was nominated for the award by the Bering Straits Native Corporation with assistance from the National Park Service’s Shared Beringian Heritage Program. MORE...

Arctic Teens Speak Out: The Lost Dances

Sivulliq Youth Media GroupKotzebue youth forge their way into society with seven years of professional media experience and deepened connection to Native relatives across Bering Strait. "The project has most profoundly helped the youth to understand the importance of connecting to their Iñupiat culture," says D'Anne Hamilton. MORE...

Tribute to Charlie Johnson, Alaska Native Leader

Charles JohnsonOn Friday April 13, 2012, the Beringia program lost a true friend and valued partner, Charlie Johnson of Nome. He was a father, a grandfather, a mentor, a friend, a partner, and countless other things to those who now remember and pay tribute to him. Everyone that has worked with him has a favorite Charlie story, saying, or has shared a laugh with him. He will be remembered fondly by all who had the pleasure of knowing or working with him. MORE...

Seventeen-year-old Siberian Yup'ik Cherishes Her Endangered Heritage

Tiffany ImminganAs an exceptionally determined and outgoing 17-year-old, Tiffany Immingan has much to say about the changes she sees in her hometown of Savoonga, Alaska. Tiffany, who is Siberian Yup'ik, has seen her family and her community struggle with the detrimental effects of climate change on sea ice and weather patterns and the loss of cultural continuity and traditions. MORE...

Steller's Curse

Bones of Steller's sea cow on a beachNaturalist and physician Georg Steller was part of Vitus Bering's famous 1741 expedition to Alaska from Russia. While he recorded hundreds of species and saved the crew from shipwreck and scurvy. MORE...

Beringia Days 2011 Photo Report

Beringia Days 2011 logoThe 2011 Beringia Days Conference took place in Nome, Alaska on September 9 and 10. The Shared Beringian Heritage Program sponsored this year's conference in partnership with Institute of the North. The conference brought together 250 Russian and American Native peoples, scholars, environmentalists, and representatives of government and non government organizations. MORE...

Twenty Years of Collaborative Research

Front cover of Spanning the Bering Strait brochureIn August of 2011 the Shared Beringian Heritage Program published Spanning the Bering Strait: 20 Years of Collaborative Research. The brochure gives an overview of the program's projects over the past 20 years. Since its creation in 1991, the program has funded over 130 projects, with 12-20 active projects each year. MORE...

2012 Beringia Calendars

2012 Beringia Calendar front cover2012 Beringia Calendars distributed at the 2011 Beringia Days were a great hit. No more printed copies are available at this time. You can access a digital copy of the calendar by clicking here.

Russian Version of Beringia Website Goes Live

Screen view of the link that swithes from English into RussianOn April 12, the Shared Beringian Heritage Program (Beringia Program) launched the Russian mirror version of its website. The Beringia Program website is the first one in the NPS system to provide a complete translation of the entire website into the Russian language. MORE...

Nome and St. Lawrence Island Students Visit Provideniya and New Chaplino, July 2010

Nome youth in Novoe Chaplino, ChukotkaThe Nome Community Center in cooperation with the National Park Service and Park Beringia in Provideniya, provided a 7 day international experience for 12 students and 5 adults (including a translator), during the summer of 2010. This completes the Cultural and Environmental Youth Exchange project with the Nome Community Center, begun in 2007. MORE...

Beringia Program Staff Changes

The Shared Beringian Heritage Program welcomes Elizabeth Shea, introduces Shelley Wesser, and says thank you to Rebecca Talbott for her service over the last year and a half. MORE...

Living with Old Things: Inupiat Stories, Bering Strait Histories

John Goodwin, Faye Ongtowasruk, and Ron Senungetuk examining artifactsThis is the final report for the project: Inupiaq Artifacts, Bering Strait History - Sharing Knowledge Between Inupiaq Communities, the British Museum and the Provideniya Museum. MORE...

Call for translation suggestions

Image of a number of Beringia Program publicationsThe Shared Beringia Heritage Program (SBHP) has run its translation publication series since 1997. The translation publication series was started to bring results of Beringian research to a broader readership. MORE...
Last Updated: March 10, 2014