Physical Activities of the Kutchin Athabaskan Indians ot the Interior Alaska and Northern Canada
Rogers, Thomas J.
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The Kutchin lived in the subarctic forests in the area along the arctic circle from the McKenzie River i n Canada to the Chandalar River in Alaska. They were hunters, fishermen, and gatherers who wandered continuously throughout their territory in constant struggle to exploit their environment. The author has lived and taught school among the Kutchin for the past two years and became interested in the native culture as it might pertain to the physical education field. Research on the aboriginal physical activities was carried out in Fort Yukon, Alaska and a t the Wisconsin State Historical Society in Madison, Wisconsin. The discussion of present day physical activities are based primarily upon the author's observations in Fort Yukon. The discussion of the aboriginal physical activities includes games, hunting of large game, trapping of small game, fishing, and snowshoe construction. The discussion of the changes in the physical activities of the Kutchin influenced by the white culture takes into account three factors : (1 ) the change from hunting to trapping as the prime occupation, ( 2 ) the establishment of schools, which had the effect of forcing the children into school when they would normally be in the woods, and (3) the establishment of welfare programs to "help" the Indians when they became dependent on the material goods of the white man. There is also a brief discussion of present day efforts to inform the children of their cultural heritage through the bilingual program in the schools.
Gwich'in Indians --Industries
Gwich'in Indians --Hunting
Gwich'in Indians --Games
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