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Communication Across Cultures Part III: The Iceberg of Communication

Using the Alaskan metaphor of an iceberg, most of whose bulk is hidden from sight, Father Oleksa analyzes the inevitable ways in which any two people will probably and even likely misunderstand each other because of cultural differences rooted in infancy and early childhood experiences. The "lower part of the iceberg" represents thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors learned between birth and the age of three, which along with our first language, constitute our "culture". Differences in the way people talk, in tempo, tone of voice, volume, interpersonal distance, politeness styles and culturally-specific "rituals" all play a role in complicating interpersonal communication and can deeply effect human relationships. Punctuated with several humorous anecdotes, Father Oleksa calls this final presentation his "stand-up comedy routine."

Communication Across Cultures Part II: Any Village


Describing the impact the "Global-Literate Society" has historically had on most "Traditional-Local Cultures" Father Oleksa tells the "STORY of any Village" based on his half-century of experience in rural Alaska. He explores the disruptive influences that have rocked traditional communities beginning with the introduction of "English-only" elementary schools, followed by the trauma of Boarding Schools and their aftermath. The introduction of alcohol and drugs further aggravate the situation, leading epidemic levels of anti-social and self-destructive behaviors, producing a reaction from the dominant society, expressed in HELP: various interventions and "programs" that tend only to worsen rather than reduce the problems they were designed to address. (Where do we go from here?) 

Communication Across Cultures Part I: Culture and Miscommunication

Dr. Father Michael Alaska has had 35 years of experience teaching cross-cultural communication at the Alaska Pacific University and the University of Alaska. He has worked most of his life in rural communities with newly arrived professionals and witnessed miscommunication that would happen between different cultures. This miscommunication was not deliberate, but it would sometimes have unwanted negative outcomes with diverse groups of people trying to work together. The focus of this first webinar is to define culture. Key topics will include the way we see the world, the ‘ball game’ of life as we understand and play it, and this story into which we were born. Working with tribes there are a lot of state and federal entities that have a fiduciary responsibility working in partnership with tribal communities and programs. Please join us in this dialogue between Indigenous and Western cultures to build better relationships moving forward.

Addressing Tribal Pedestrian Safety

Tribal Pedestrian Safety Action Plans: Partnerships, "Pop-Up Projects, and Policy

Ian Thomas, PhD
State and Local Program Director 
America Walks

It's Not Just About the Money: Writing Grants for the End Gain

The federal government grant deadline “Rush Hour” traditionally runs from December 1st through March 31st; nonetheless, grant writing is a marathon--not a sprint. While there are millions of dollars in grants available, this webinar will help participants focus beyond the funding pursuit and provide an overview of grant writing terms, grant research methods, and budget development basics. Participants will learn how to: match their organizations’ needs to grant funding opportunities, gather demographic information, build effective partnerships, and draft project abstracts with SMART objectives. Tips for writing competitive proposals, accessing free grant research resources, and developing exemplary appendices and support documents also will be presented.

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