Issue 1 | June 2017

New features added to the Yup'ik Environmental Knowledge Project Atlas

Pools of water collect on the coastal plain of the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta, south of Scammon Bay, 2003. Photo Credit: Jeff Foley

In February 2017, Calista Education and Culture, the University of Alaska Fairbanks—Kuskokwim Campus, and ELOKA partnered to convene a three-day workshop in Bethel, Alaska, to explore data sharing ideas and issues, and to further develop the Yup’ik Environmental Knowledge Project’s digital atlas. The Atlas has been used for several years to share Yup’ik knowledge, place names, and stories. The workshop brought together professionals such as teachers, curriculum specialists, museum personnel, and those already involved in knowledge documentation and heritage preservation. ELOKA has partnered with this project to help develop a knowledge, information, and data management strategy to ensure sharing in ways that are meaningful to the communities involved. This project is funded in part by the National Science Foundation. New features and media have been added to the Yup'ik Environmental Knowledge Project Atlas, enhancing the atlas for communities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta region in Southwest Alaska.

Turning a book into a website

This image is the cover for The Northern Bering Sea: Our Way of Life book.

In partnership with the Bering Sea Elders Group, we released an online version of the beautiful book The Northern Bering Sea: Our Way of Life that describes the ecological importance of the region and how it supports the way of life for the people who live there.

ELOKA team members participate at the International Data Week conference in Denver, CO

Peter Pulsifer attends the Indigenous Data and Information Sovereignty session at the Research Data Alliance Plenary in Denver, CO. Photo credit: Unknown

ELOKA staff gave multiple presentations during the International Data Week (IDW) in September 2016, speaking to the importance of recognizing Indigenous Knowledge when considering all types of data. For more information on this idea, visit Arctic Horizons.

ELOKA members meet Finland's ambassador to the United States

Finland's ambassador to the United States speaks at the University of Colorado Boulder. Photo credit: Heidi McCann

In April 2017, Chris McNeave, Colleen Strawhacker, and Heidi McCann had the honor of meeting Finland's ambassador to the United States, Kirsti Kauppi, who visited the University of Colorado Boulder campus, our home institution, and discussed the importance of Indigenous Knowledge, education, and the Arctic Council. Finland will now chair the Arctic Council for the 2017 to 2019 period.

Colleen Strawhacker visits Russia

In Siberia, Russia, two Indigenous women prepare freshly caught sturgeon for a meal. Photo credit: Tero Mustonen

ELOKA Co-PI Colleen Strawhacker visited the Snowchange team in Russia earlier this year, resulting in additional information for the Snowchange website on fisheries in the Lower Kolyma region of Siberia.

ELOKA releases a prototype application for Greenland communities

Collaborating with Greenlandic communities, ELOKA released a prototype application for online community-based monitoring of important animal species in Greenland. The Piniakkanik Sumiiffinni Nalunaarsuineq (PISUNA) project that collects these observations was revealed and elaborated upon at the April 2017 Sixteenth United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

Moving on to Phase IV

In February 2017, the third phase of ELOKA came to a successful completion and we have entered the fourth phase of ELOKA under renewed funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this new phase, we will continue past efforts while:

  • Continuing to foster partnerships with Indigenous communities and organizations to promote and enhance self-determination, data, and information sovereignty
  • Co-developing education and training materials
  • Enhancing interoperability between information systems and continuing to develop new ways of representing and sharing information
  • Maintaining, updating, and expanding our online applications and services through the ELOKA website
  • Organizing and contributing to community-building activities


ELOKA fosters collaboration between resident Arctic experts and visiting researchers to facilitate the collection, preservation, exchange, and use of local observations and Indigenous knowledge of the Arctic. ELOKA provides data management and user support to Indigenous communities to ensure their data and knowledge are managed, visualized, and shared in an ethical manner in order to work toward information and data sovereignty for Arctic residents.

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Last Updated: 
Thu, 03/01/2018