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Encyclopedia > Alan Boraas

Alan Boraas is a professor of anthropology at Kenai Peninsula College in Alaska.[1] He is known for his research into the culture, history, and archaeology of the peoples of the Cook Inlet area of Alaska, and in particular has worked closely with the Dena'ina people of the Kenai Peninsula. He is an adopted member of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe,[2] and is helping the tribe develop a program to teach the Dena'ina language. Kenai Peninsula College is a unit of the University of Alaska Anchorage, and is one of four community campuses. ... Official language(s) English Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi (1,717,855 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ... Dena’ina (also Tanaina) is the Athabaskan language of the Cook Inlet area of Alaska, with four dialects located: Kenai Peninsula southcentral Alaska Upper Cook Inlet north of Anchorage, Alaska Coastal west side of the Cook Inlet Inland areas of the west side of the Cook Inlet Dena&#8217... The Kenai Peninsula in Alaska The Kenai Peninsula is a large peninsula jutting from the southern coast of Alaska in the United States. ... Denaina (also Tanaina) is the Athabaskan language of Eklutna, Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. ...


With James Kari of the Alaska Native Language Center, Boraas coedited the book Dena’ina Legacy — K’tl’egh’i Sukdu: The Collected Writings of Peter Kalifornsky by Peter Kalifornsky.[3] Boraas also wrote the biography of Kalifornsky included in the volume.[4] Peter Kalifornsky a self-taught writer and scholar of Kenai, Alaska, who wrote and compiled traditional stories, poems and language lessons in the Denaina Athabaskan language of Lower Cook Inlet for nearly 20 years. ...

Contents

Education

  • Oregon State University, Ph.D. (1983), Anthropology
  • University of Toronto, M.A. (1971), Anthropology
  • University of Minnesota, B.A. (1969), Anthropology; minor in Geology[1][5]

Biography

B.A. and M.A.

Boraas was raised on a wheat farm in Minnesota. After high school he attended University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. On a whim, he took a class in anthropology in his freshman, and loved it so much that he sought out a summer position as an archaeological helper, though normally the school hired only graduate students. His persistence paid off and he was offered work at an archaeological dig at Mille Lacs, Minnesota, where his farm background came in handy, as he was one of the few students who could operate the heavy equipment used to move dirt away from the site after initial excavation by hand. A highlight of his work there was his first archaeological find: a red stone spear point that he found in 1966. When he took it to the director, he was told, "That's about 2,000 years old." The experience hooked him on archaeology. He worked on the Mille Lacs project for two summers, then worked a summer with an on-call team responsible for evaluating archaeological finds at construction projects and other such happenstance discoveries. He graduated from University of Minnesota in 1969 with a B.A. in anthropology and a minor in geology.[1][5] Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ... Washington Avenue Bridge at night The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, almost always abbreviated U of M, and sometimes referred to as The U by locals, is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system. ...


His choice of school for pursuit of a higher degree was arbitrary: the first university catalog on the shelf for the As was for University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He attended UAF for a year and worked the following summer with a UAF team scouting the route of the upcoming Trans-Alaska Pipeline for archaeological sites. He then transferred to University of Toronto, where he earned a Master of Arts in Anthropology in 1971.[1][5] The University of Alaska Fairbanks is the Fairbanks branch and flagship institution of the University of Alaska System, and is abbreviated as UAF. UAF is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution, as well as the site at which the Alaska State Constitution was signed. ... Map of the pipeline The Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), usually called the Alyeska Pipeline in Alaska or the Alaska Pipeline elsewhere is a major U.S. oil pipeline connecting oil fields in northern Alaska to a sea port where the oil can be shipped to the Lower 48 states... The University of Toronto (U of T) is a coeducational public research university in Toronto, Ontario. ...


Early work on Kenai Peninsula

He returned to Alaska, living in a city campground in Soldotna because it was inexpensive. He worked in a local cannery and helped build a cabin that is now part of the Soldotna Historical Society building. On his last day of work on the cabin, he was approached by Clayton Brockel, founding director of Kenai Peninsula Community College, who asked him if he would like to teach Adult Basic Education. Boraas worked half-time at the college helping adults earn high school equivalency degrees. He also taught Adult Basic Education at Wildwood, a former air force station that had been transferred to the Kenai Native Association as part of the Alaska Native land claims settlement. At Wildwood, Boraas made his first contacts with members of the Kenai Peninsula's Alaska Native community. Boraas credited the teaching of Adult Basic Education with helping him learn that he could teach, and also the impact that teaching could have in people's lives. He credited the classes such as those held at Wildwood, funded through the Indian Action Program of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, with contributing to the improvement of people's lives and communities, and helping to produce a generation of Native leaders.[5] Soldotna is a city located in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska. ... Kenai Peninsula College is a unit of the University of Alaska Anchorage, and is one of four community campuses. ... Libraries are a useful resource for adult learners. ... The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was signed into law on December 18, 1971, and the largest land claims settlement in United States history was concluded. ... The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is an agency of the federal government of the United States within the Department of the Interior charged with the administration and management of 55. ...


By 1974, Boraas was teaching full-time, with half his time spent teaching Adult Basic Education, the other half spent teaching anthropology. He undertook his first archaeological dig in Alaska in 1974 along Ciechanski Road, at what proved to be a Dena'ina site. Then he decided to undertake a dig at Kalifornsky village, which had been abandoned in the late 1920s after an influenza epidemic left the population too small to sustain a village. Although the site was on land owned by the Kenai Peninsula Borough, Boraas felt it was right to ask former villagers for their permission to excavate the site. He met with Peter Kalifornsky, who had been born in Kalifornsky village in 1911, and his older sister Mary Nissen. Boraas recalled that Mary Nissen "grilled me like a graduate school exam." Kalifornsky and Nissen gave their permission for the dig, but did impose some restrictions, which Boraas and his team respected.[5] Kenai Peninsula Borough is a borough located in the state of Alaska. ... Peter Kalifornsky a self-taught writer and scholar of Kenai, Alaska, who wrote and compiled traditional stories, poems and language lessons in the Denaina Athabaskan language of Lower Cook Inlet for nearly 20 years. ...


Doctoral degree

In 1979, Boraas left Alaska to study for his doctoral degree. His dissertation was far removed from archaeology: its subject was the evolution of specialization between the right and left sides of the brain. He earned his doctorate from Oregon State University at Corvallis in 1983.[1][5] He returned to Soldotna and worked with Kenai Peninsula Community College and the Pratt Museum in Homer on an archaeological dig near Halibut Cove on Kachemak Bay, where remains were found both of Dena'ina occupation and of remains from an earlier occupation by an seagoing Alutiiq people known as the Kachemak Tradition.[5] Kenai Peninsula College is a unit of the University of Alaska Anchorage, and is one of four community campuses. ... Homer is a town located in Kenai Peninsula Borough, Alaska. ...


Peter Kalifornsky's A Dena'ina Legacy

In March 1989, Peter Kalifornsky's younger sister Fedosia Sacaloff died, leaving Kalifornsky as the last remaining speaker of the Outer Inlet dialect of the Dena'ina language on the Kenai Peninsula. At his sister's funeral, Kalifornsky asked Boraas and James Kari for their help on his third book, in which Kalifornsky wished to compile everything he had ever written. James Kari, a linguist and director of the Alaska Native Language Center at University of Alaska Fairbanks, had been working with Kalifornsky since 1972 on the Dena'ina language.[6]. Kalifornsky had written the materials in the book over a 19-year period, first writing them in Dena'ina and then translating them into English. Boraas and Kari helped to refine the English translations and acted as editors. Kalifornsky's book was published in 1991 under the title Dena’ina Legacy — K’tl’egh’i Sukdu: The Collected Writings of Peter Kalifornsky.[7] Boraas also wrote a biography of Kalifornsky which was included in the volume.[8] Kalifornsky died in June 1993 of lung cancer.[9] Boraas later related to an interviewer that during work on the book, Kalifornsky had related "long soliloquies" about Dena'ina life to help Boraas better understand the stories and the meanings of Dena'ina words. Boraas recorded Kalifornsky's accounts on tape, but as of 2000, when the interview took place, he felt unready to go back to them because of the intensity of the emotional experience.[5] Peter Kalifornsky a self-taught writer and scholar of Kenai, Alaska, who wrote and compiled traditional stories, poems and language lessons in the Denaina Athabaskan language of Lower Cook Inlet for nearly 20 years. ... The University of Alaska Fairbanks is the Fairbanks branch and flagship institution of the University of Alaska System, and is abbreviated as UAF. UAF is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution, as well as the site at which the Alaska State Constitution was signed. ... Denaina (also Tanaina) is the Athabaskan language of Eklutna, Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. ...


Later work

Boraas has studied the letters of Alexander Baranof in translation in order to better understand the Battle of Kenai, a 1797 battle in which the Dena'ina attacked the Russian fort at Kenai to drive out the Levedev Company. The Dena'ina success in the battle gained the Dena'ina another 60 or 70 years of sovereignty in the area before Alaska became an American territory. Boraas has also been studying the social impact of salmon canneries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He has worked with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe to help with its response to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and is working with the tribe to develop a program to teach the Dena'ina language. Sasha Lindgren, a tribal enrollment officer who also worked seven years in the tribe's cultural heritage program, told an interviewer in 2000, "Alan is the one who said our language needs to become the literary language for the peninsula, just like Gaelic is the literary language for Ireland."[5] Kenai is a city in Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. ... Denaina (also Tanaina) is the Athabaskan language of Eklutna, Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. ... Irish (), a Goidelic language spoken in Ireland, is constitutionally recognised as the first official language of the Republic of Ireland, is an official language of the European Union, and has official recognition in Northern Ireland as well. ...


In 2002, Boraas attended the Renvall Institute at the University of Helsinki in Finland. Boraas’s presentation at the conference, which had the theme "Reconfiguring Native America," focused on the efforts of the Kenaitze Indian Tribe to rebuild indigenous identity. He also described archaeological excavations he was conducting with Kenaitze youth.[2] University of Helsinki is not to be confused with Helsinki University of Technology. ...


A number of Boraas' works are referenced in the Bibliography of Sources on Dena’ina and Cook Inlet Anthropology, of which he is coeditor.[10] Boraas also compiled an online source on the Dena'ina language based on linguistic data compiled by Joan Tenenbaum.[11]


Boraas writes a monthly column for the Anchorage Daily News called "The Comment."[2] The Anchorage Daily News is a daily newspaper in Anchorage, Alaska. ...


Citations

  1. ^ a b c d e Kenai Peninsula College
  2. ^ a b c Michels (2002-12-17).
  3. ^ Kalifornsky, 1991.
  4. ^ Boraas, 1991.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Loshbaugh, 2000-03-05.
  6. ^ Kizzia,1993-06-07
  7. ^ Kalifornsky, 1991.
  8. ^ Boraas, 1991.
  9. ^ Kizzia, 1993-06-10.
  10. ^ Dixon, et al.
  11. ^ Boraas, ca. 2000.

References

  • Boraas, Alan. (1975). "Report on the 1975 Excavations at the Kalifornsky Village Site, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska." Unpublished manuscript in author's files.
  • Boraas, Alan S. (1991). “Peter Kalifornsky: A Biography.” In Kalifornsky (1991), pp. 470-481.
  • Boraas, Alan S., compiler. (ca. 2000). Dena'ina Language Guide. University of Alaska Anchorage, Department of Anthropology. Retrieved on 2007-02-25. Compiled by Alan Boraas based on linguistic data compiled by Joan Tenenbaum.
  • Dixon, R. Greg, James M. Kari, Alan Boraas, eds. (2005-12-12). Bibliography of Sources on Dena’ina and Cook Inlet Anthropology, ver. 2.4. Kenai, AK: Kenaitze Indian Tribe, Ts’itsatna Tribal Archives. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
  • Kalifornsky, Peter. (1991). A Dena’ina Legacy — K’tl’egh’i Sukdu: The Collected Writings of Peter Kalifornsky. Ed. by James Kari and Alan Boraas. Fairbanks, AK: Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • Kenai Peninsula College, University of Alaska Anchorage. Faculty Register. Retrieved on 2007-02-25.
  • Kizzia, Tom. (1993-06-07). "Kenaitze Elder, Storyteller Dies: Peter Kalifornsky Nursed Old Ways." Anchorage Daily News, p. A1.
  • Kizzia, Tom. (1993-06-10). "Dena'ina Elder Buried in Once-Lost Cemetery," Anchorage Daily News, p. A1.
  • Loshbaugh, Doug. (2000-03-05). "Digging the Past." Peninsula Clarion. Retrieved on 2007-02-26.
  • Michels, Jacki. (2002-12-17). "Alaskan Advantage: An Interview with Archeology Professor Alan Boraas." The KPC Connection. Retrieved on 2007-02-26. (Scroll down and follow link)

Peter Kalifornsky a self-taught writer and scholar of Kenai, Alaska, who wrote and compiled traditional stories, poems and language lessons in the Denaina Athabaskan language of Lower Cook Inlet for nearly 20 years. ... Fairbanks (IPA: ) is a Home Rule City in Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States. ... The University of Alaska Fairbanks is the Fairbanks branch and flagship institution of the University of Alaska System, and is abbreviated as UAF. UAF is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant institution, as well as the site at which the Alaska State Constitution was signed. ... Kenai Peninsula College is a unit of the University of Alaska Anchorage, and is one of four community campuses. ... The University of Alaska Anchorage is the largest member of the University of Alaska System, with over 17,000 students (14,000 of which attend classes at the campus in Anchorage proper). ...

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