Research project

Nunalleq Educational Resource

'Nunalleq: Stories from the Village of our Ancestors' is an interactive educational resource for children aged 7-15, by Alice Watterson.

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still of animated film with people in a cottage with a husky
Status

Completed

Start date

November 2016

Completion date

November 2020

Funding

Value

£19,000

Funders

AHRC (£5.5k)

UoAb IKEC (£10k)

University of Dundee (£3.5k)

Nunalleq: Stories from the Village of our Ancestors tells the story of the archaeological excavations of a pre-contact Yup’ik sod house in Quinhagak, Alaska. The digital resource was co-designed by the local community in Quinhagak with archaeologists from the Universities of Aberdeen (UoAb) and Dundee (UoD).

Watterson led evaluation community sessions, devised and designed the user interfaces and artwork components of the resource, also directing and filming short films about the project’s methodologies.

The project creatively unites science and history with traditional Yup’ik ways of knowing and contemporary oral storytelling. Where interpretive outreach material traditionally adopts the lone voice of the specialist, this project makes a practice-based methodological contribution to the fields of indigenous and community archaeology through a multi-vocal approach to science communication.

In order to diversify and progress, community participation and initiative in the design, curation and production of the Nunalleq educational resource is impactful because through Watterson’s design process the project begins to negotiate the spaces that historically have been occupied solely by colonisers and academics.

The resource was distributed to 29 schools in the Yukon-Kuskokwim School District in the Yup’ik region of Alaska, where it is directly being integrated into the curriculum, in addition to 15 schools and 5 museums and culture centres across the wider state. It is available free for anyone to download at www.seriousanimation.com/Nunalleq.

The resource was presented at the Museums Alaska conference (September 2019), has two peer-reviewed publications and has been covered in both UK and USA press. The work was funded by two AHRC grants (totalling £5.5K to UoAb), a UoAb IKEC Award (£10K) and a UoD internal award (£3.5K).

The project is awarded the Archaeological Institute of America: 2021 Award for Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology.

People

Project lead(s)

Dr Alice Watterson