Terminology

The difference between an “Elder” and “older adult” needs to be made clear in order to more effectively preserve and transmit cultural knowledge between generations. Throughout this module:

  • The lowercase “older adult” is used to acknowledge Alaska Natives who have reached advanced age.
  • An upper case “E” in “Elder” is used to indicate an individual who possesses certain qualities and maintains a specific lifestyle and knowledge. In Alaska Native cultures an Elder is defined as an individual who has lived an extended life, currently maintains a healthy lifestyle, and has a wealth of cultural information and knowledge (See Fund of Knowledge for more information).