Yup’ik Teaching Moment:

Pulasaraq [Boo-LAH-saw-UHK] is Yup’ik for a “path through the trees.”

Storyknife, November/December 2023 edition

Calista Education and Culture, Inc.
Nita Yurrliq Rearden (left) of Kotlik, with her daughter and two granddaughters.
Nita Yurrliq Rearden (left) of Kotlik, with her daughter and two granddaughters.

Calista Education & Culture, Inc. (CECI) presents the Yup’ik Teaching Moment in our Storyknife newsletter. CECI highlights Yuuyaraq, the traditional/cultural way of being in our Region. This Yup’ik Teaching Moment is provided from an interview with Nita Yurrliq Rearden, Calista Culture Bearer and AFN President’s Culture Bearer, and Calista Shareholder from of Kotlik.

Yurrliq has a career in education and is currently working on developing cultural lessons with the Lower Yukon School District (LYSD). Working with educators from LYSD, she is helping them to revitalize the Yup’ik language and cultural values across Lower Yukon communities. Her curriculum is based on Pulasaraq.

Pulasaraq [Boo-LAH-saw-UHK] literally translates to a “path through the trees.”

Pulasaraq is a trail that our ancestors made through the willows or on the tundra. Our ancestors needed to get from one village to another, and a hunter had to go from one part of the tundra to the other.

In our world today, our kids [our Descendants] are faced with violence, crime, suicide, drugs, and many bad behaviors in the modern world. Our students are guided by our Elders when they move through the path of their education. Our students grow as individuals in reading, writing, math and science, but they also grow in learning the traditional Yup’ik values of our people and our culture. They learn to listen very carefully to our Elders, correct their behaviors, think before they act, and become aware of their surroundings.

The mission of Calista Education & Culture, Inc. (CECI) is to celebrate and promote Yuuyaraq, the traditional/cultural way of being in the Calista 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. Apply today!