Language Nests

Brief History

The first Language Nests (Kōhanga reo) began in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in 1982. Broadly, they are spaces where fluent speakers immerse young learners in their language.

Programs in Alaska

Language nests have popped up in...

Tanan Ch’at’oh is a Gwich’in language nest located in Fairbanks, Alaska. It is home to a community based effort to revitalize the Gwich’in language, which is an endangered Arctic Indigenous language spoken by less than 800 people around the world. We operate a non-profit Gwich’in language immersion daycare (nest), with our inaugural cohort of 2yr olds starting on March 15, 2021. In addition to the language nest we will be working on Gwich’in language research, documentation, and materials development for teaching and learning the language. We envision Tanan Ch’at’oh helping to serve as a catalyst space for supporting Gwich’in language revitalization.

Xántsii Náay opened in 2018 in Hydaburg, teaching little ones Xaad Kíl (Haida).

Iḷisaġvik College’s Uqautchim Uglua (Language Nest) program approached the end of its second year of operation as a strong, vibrant force in the effort to indigenize education on the North Slope. It is currently out of operation, but its website is still active.

The Tamamta Liitukut Project's (translated as “Everyone is Learning”) end goal is to develop a culturally-relevant Kodiak Alutiiq immersion language nest for preschool-aged children with outreach services for all age groups to sustain Alutiiq as a living language.

Unglu means “nest” in Yup'ik and is part of the larger endeavor, Wangkuta Qanriarait Nanvarparmiut Yugestun, which means “We all speak Lake Iliamna Yup’ik.”

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Language Immersion Nests