Featured Employee: Golga Oscar

Featured Employee: Golga Oscar
Posted on 04/13/2022
Golga Oscar
LKSD has amazing individuals helping enrich the lives of youth around the YK Delta.  We are highlighting staff throughout the year so our communities can learn the commitment and diverse skills our staff share with our students every day. 

Golga Oscar and his art

Golga Oscar

What is your background? Where did you grow up?
I am a Yup’ik artist, from Kasigluk and Tununak. I grew up speaking Yup'ik language fluently and being surrounded by loving, knowledgeable parents and grand-parents. I explore different mediums in art that range from headwear to footwear and I’m self-taught with sewing.

How long have you been working with LKSD?
I’ve been working with LKSD for about nine months now.

What is the best part about working with LKSD students?
The best part of working with students is teaching about the Yup’ik history that reflects on traditional and contemporary knowledge, stories about the past along with Yup’ik beliefs, and the Yup'ik way of life. They inspire me to pursue my Indigenous identity and feel the support from them on what it means to be Yup’ik in today’s society. 

What inspired you to work in education?
The continuation of Yup’ik identity inspired me to work in education. Supporting my community through cultural and traditional knowledge has given me the moment to pass my awareness of Yup’ik culture to the next generation.

What’s a memorable moment from your work in LKSD that made you a better educator?
A memorable moment within working in LKSD are Native and non-Native instructors throughout the delta. Learning various strategies about being a teacher has opened my eyes on how to promote Yup’ik identity and help strengthen the inner circle. They have taught me how to be a better leader especially in a classroom that has a bright future for the upcoming generations. 

What’s something surprising about your job?
The lessons I teach throughout the semester are surprising to me because I learn with the students. Those learning aspects are Yup’ik vocabulary and stories. Another part is how Calista education works well with LKSD, helping them to higher their education through their Yup’ik knowledgeable books. 

  

How is your school unique from other schools and student bodies?
The school itself is unique because everyone gets together and helps each other to promote Yup’ik language and culture. Not just the school itself but along with the community. As a Yup’ik instructor, I am happy for the continuous support from our Site Admin, Natalie Cowely for her amazing ideas on how to keep on striving for our Native identity. 

Tell us a story about your approach to education
There was an opening back in July 2021 and I was encouraged by my aunt, Ann Tinker, to apply for the position. At first, I had second thoughts of “what if” but yet I saw it as an opportunity to pass my knowledge to the next generation. This opportunity made me want to shape the future of our people and the oncoming generations to better themselves through Indigenous lens. Other than western system, I wanted to change the mindset of the young people to strive for who and what they are. As an Indigenous and resilient artist, I want to give voices to my people that no matter what we face on our path, our Native identity is always by our side.

What keeps you coming back year after year?
The passing of my cultural and traditional knowledge is keeping me going. When we focus on the history of our ancestors and Indigenous knowledge, my students tend to listen more than western education itself. Also, I want to inspire my surroundings to chase after their creativity and their hidden talents; because there is a Yup’ik saying “Kia yuum picisngaitaten - No one will do things for you. Kitak cumiglluten pingnatugniartuten - Keep on striving no matter what obstacle”.

Golga is a junior high and high school Yugtun/Yuuyaraq teacher in Kasigluk.
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