Who We Are

“We call ourselves Yupiit, “Real People.”  In our language yuk means “person” or “human being.”  Then we add pik, meaning “real” or “genuine.”  We are the real people.”

-Paul John, Calista Elder

Yup'ik Environmental Knowledge Project

The Calista Education and Culture, Inc. (CECI) is a non-profit organization. It has been active in documenting the traditional knowledge of the Yup'ik people. Since 2000, these documentation efforts, supported in part by grants from the National Science Foundation and guided by a nine-member board of Elders, have resulted in ten major publications, a museum exhibit, and many public presentations. More important, CECI has developed a collaborative approach that continues to allow non-Native researchers and Yup'ik community members to work together both documenting and sharing knowledge in new ways.

This website is, for CECI, an exciting new way to share what we have been learning. CECI developed the site in collaboration with ELOKA (Exchange of Local Observations and Knowledge in the Arctic) as a way to make available the results of our work with Elders and community members in Bering Sea coastal communities. CECI's committee of Elders continually reminds us that it is our responsibility to share what they teach us. We hope this site helps visitors understand and gain new respect for the wisdom and traditional knowledge of Yup'ik people.