Brief History

One of the first modern Master-Apprentice Programs (also known as Mentor-Apprentice) was started in California through the Native California Network, in 1993. These programs are especially useful when speakers of a language are elderly, and so can concentrate on transmitting their knowledge to a 1-3 learners who are dedicated to learning and teaching this language.

Resources for beginning a Master-Apprentice Program

How to Keep Your Language Alive by Leanne Hinton, Matt Vera, and Nancy Steele

BC Master-Apprentice Handbook by First People's Cultural Council

Sealaska Heritage Mentor-Apprentice Handbook

Master-Apprentice Programs

Sealaska Heritage is sponsoring the Haa Shuká Community Language Learning Project, a new program designed to help revitalize the languages of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian in four Southeast Alaska communities.

UAF Master-Apprentice

University of Alaska - Fairbanks has a Master-Apprentice course for anyone who has taken an elementary Alaska Native language class.


There are other, informal Master-Apprentice programs around Alaska, including for Iñupiaq and Gwich'in.

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Updated March 2021. 

All images and maps are courtesy of the Alaska Native Language Archive and the Alaska Native Language Center

Original funding for this site provided by Alaska Humanities Forum with in-kind support from the Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council. Quyana to the volunteers who assist in keeping this website running. 

This website acknowledges the traditional territories of the many Indigenous Alaskan Nations that have lived in and taken care of the lands of Alax̂sxax̂ (Alaska) since time immemorial.