SPOTLIGHT: Antarctica's Endangered Aborigines





Aboriginal cultures on and around Antarctica have contributed much to the diversity of these regions. Long before Lazerev "discovered" Antarctica in 1820, small tracts of these lands were inhabited by ancient, roving tribes, now marginalized by society, relegated to "ancestral homelands." Since the independence of Antarctica in 1961, UANT has led the effort to help First Peoples acclimate to society if they wish, or gain the freedom to remain isolated from it if they wish for that instead.  Come see how UANT is helping- and remember- student volunteers are always needed!




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Donghoon Lee and Jodie Urbaniak contributed to this report





               Traditional living facilities                                      First Peoples contribute to the land



Today, students and researchers at UANT run successful outreach programs to the nearly inaccessable parts of the continent, where there are no public services, little in the way of resources and people live hardy lives in the elements. UANT has called together a task force to bring food aid, construction of new shelters and methods of cultural preservation such as written records and sample collections- many of which are now housed in the Antarctica Museum.




      Igloos demonstrate craftsmanship                    Some ostracized abadiginals live alone





    Adaquate heating is always the first priority                   Sleep during the austral winter            






  A tribal community lives of the land                     Hunting and fishing are done on ice




UANT construction technology is now visible in many communities, enabling greater quality of life






Despite the enhanced living standards in many places, many aboriginals have left their traditional habitats seeking jobs, and now live cramped in what are little more than sheds, like in this neighborhood next to the University Peak campus (but unlike the student quarters- off the campus' heating grid- see video). Recent studies by psychology graduate students have found high levels of depression in many of the individuals- including a desire to return to traditional life, but without the understanding of their old tribe's traditional ways. Students may volunteer to help build higher quality structures in places like these as well. See Also: Legends of the First Peoples.



       Student volunteers learn building techniques...    ...and make lifelong inter-cultural friendships


Recent scholarship in this area of anthropology has revealed the possibility that other peoples arrived before 300 BC.