Nunamta Ellamta-llu Ayuqucia/What Our Land & World are Like

The Calista Elders Council (CEC) is a non-profit organization representing the 1,300 Yup'ik tradition bearers of the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta in southwest Alaska. It is the major research organization for the region and is active in documenting the traditional knowledge of the Yup'ik people. Since 2000, these documentation efforts, supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation and guided by a nine-member board of elders, have resulted in ten major publications, a museum exhibit, and many public presentations. More important, CEC has developed a collaborative approach that continues to allow non-Native researchers and Yup'ik community members to work together both documenting and sharing knowledge in new ways.

Locator mapThis website is, for CEC, an exciting new way to share what we have been learning. CEC developed the site in collaboration with ELOKA (Exchange of Local Observations and Knowledge in the Arctic) as a way to make available the results of our work with elders and community members in Bering Sea coastal communities. CEC's board of elders continually reminds us that it is our responsibility to share what they teach us. We hope this site helps visitors understand and gain new respect for the wisdom and traditional knowledge of Yup'ik people.

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The Yup'ik Atlas

Over the last ten years CEC staff has worked with elders from Bering Sea coastal communities to document Yup'ik place names. Elders have been eager to teach young people their rich history and named places of their homeland, including camp and settlement sites, rivers, sloughs, rocks, ponds, even sandbars and underwater channels. More than 3,000 names have been identified.