JUNEAU - Naturalists and scientists working in concert with cultural experts, elders, and other educators helped create the first Path to Excellence academy - a 12-day early college high school model hosted by Goldbelt Heritage Foundation, the Juneau School District and the University of Alaska Southeast.
"The goal of this academy is to combine traditional knowledge with science and math, and provide students a rich educational experience," said Dionne Cadiente-Laiti, GHF executive director.
Students committed 14-15 hour days participating in educational, cultural and health science events. Special activities included learning Tlingit language, preparing local traditional foods like salmon, crab and seal, studying the biology of salmon, crab and seal, and going on field trips and hikes to study the forests, plants, wildlife, geography and streams of the traditional lands of the Aak'w Kwaan and Taku Tlingit tribe. Other events included Native dance,