23 July 2016, Day 10
Blog post by Ben Brown, University of Missouri, USA, and Mikaёl Akimowicz, University of Toulouse, France
If there is one thing we have learned at ICRPS it is that no two days are the same and that each is a different topic. During our morning sessions we started with a panel discussion about the challenges facing rural Alaskan education. Local knowledge is crucial for remote communities, which face an extremely specific environment. Nevertheless their inclusion in the United States educational system requires curriculum to respect a certain standard; for which the conciliation of both is clearly a political challenge. Another interesting challenge for rural communities is the ability for citizens in low population density communities who wish to study advanced subjects. In recent years there has been a shift to online and digital instruction to meet the needs of these citizens. Several of our members brought up reasonable concerns with extended time in front computer screens and lack of interactive instruction.
The conversation about physical activity transitioned into our second morning topic of human migration. In today’s unstable world, we have all witnessed population movements happening for economic, security, educational, or even convenience reasons. A very important take away of this session is that we are all migrants in a certain perspective and understanding why people move is important for current and future research. During the afternoon, participants worked on their individual projects with fellow colleagues and faculty followed by individual working time.
The real treat of the evening was being able to attend the 2016 World Eskimo Indian Olympic games (WEIO). Finals were held in several Native events and medal presentations were presented to winners. Not only was it cool to witness an important historical part about the Alaska Native heritage, but several of our colleagues got to volunteer in different events. Two ICRPS champions, Bobby, the Georgian Peach, and Yassine, the awesome opossum, joined the ear lift contest to fight for our colors! There were also several crafts and Native goods on display and for sale.