UAF class explores Native values, principles

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - A group of University of Alaska Fairbanks native students from across the state joined together to participate in a one week class on behavioral health.
The course, known as 'Alaska native values and principles' is a class where students work toward pursuing a future in the field of behavioral health.
The class was split into two parts, with the first being about native values and principles, and the other about cross-cultural merging skills.
According to UAF adjunct professor, Teisha Simmons, part two of the class is designed to help those students become aware of how to communicate with those who communicate differently.
Near the end of the week-long course, the students prepared a potluck to share with family and friends.
Simmons says the students who took the class learned not only about behavioral health, but also each other.
Teisha Simmons; UAF Adjunct Professor, Rural Human Services Program>>: "They're really delving into learning about other people's practices and traditions. From the different regions of Alaska, really getting outside of their own you know surroundings of what their cultural values and practices are, learning from each other. You know some students have brought things such as a talking circle practice and haven't ever done that before and so their learning from other students how to do that practice. Others are learning different traditions and practices that they can work with families that they serve in their community and so picking up new traditions and practices and ways of healing that they can incorporate into the work their doing in their home community."