Brief History

In recent years, there have been many Indigenous Language school programs in Alaska. With the passage of Native Language Education, AS 14.30.420, the State pledged to establish Native language advisory boards in all districts where the Native population was over 50%. Since then, there has been progress. It has been slow, due to lack of institutional and financial support as well as remaining inter-generational trauma around schooling and US Boarding School policy.

Below is a great model for a language school. More schools teaching Alaska Native languages are below--along with suggested resources for those interested.

Programs in Alaska

School Programs

K - 12 Alaska Native Language Programs

Since 1992, the Ya Ne Dah Ah School has striven to teach, preserve, and rejuvenate the Ahtna Athabascan language, culture, songs, dances, earth stewardship, and history of Chickaloon Village using traditional methods.

St Paul School

St. Paul School in the Pribilof School District teaches the Aleut language.

Tanana City School District

Maudrey J. Sommer School teaches Koyukon Athabascan

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CLASSROOM RESOURCES
 

Preschool Programs

Cook Inlet Native Head Start

Building Strong Foundations with Alaska Native Families through Alaska Native Cutures and Education

Cook Inlet Tribal Council

CITC Yup'ik kindergarten in Anchorage teaches toddlers.

Tlingit Immersion Preschool

A new preschool language nest recently started in Juneau!

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LANGUAGE NESTS
 

University Programs

Iḷisaġvik College offers an Iñupiaq Studies program.

Central Yup'ik is spoken by the largest number of people, and Inupiaq by the next largest. In these two languages major and minor curricula are offered. Courses are also regularly offered in Gwich'in Athabascan. For work in all other languages, individual or small-group instruction is offered in special topics. Thus there has frequently been instruction, seminars, and workshops also in Tlingit, Haida, St. Lawrence Island, Aleut, and Koyukon, plus comparative Eskimo and comparative Athabascan.

University of Alaska, Anchorage has a minor in Alaska Native Studies, and teaches introductory language courses in Iñupiaq, Yup'ik, Tlingit and Dena'ina.

UAS offers a variety of Alaska Native language classes, including a minor in Tlingit language.

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UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS
 

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Updated January 2020. 

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 Alaska since time immemorial.