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Cultural values help Alaska Native people cope with stress and trauma

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Fairbanks, AK, February 11, 2013

Denis Shelden left his Yup’ik family to go to school when he was 10 years old.   He was 19 when he returned home, Western education completed.

Yet he knew little about being Yup’ik, something he needed to know if he was going to live in Alakanuk. Friends and family made sure he learned.

“Other people in our community invited me to go along with them when they went hunting and trapping,” recalled Shelden, now 68. “They taught me about the animals, where to hunt them, where to catch them and how to take care of them. I was 10 when I left, and I was still 10 as a Yup’ik when I came back.”