The Qik'rtarmiut Alutiit (Alutiiq People of the Island) language program documents and revitalizes the Kodiak Alutiiq Language. Working together fluent Alutiiq speakers, Alutiiq language learners, and linguists study Alutiiq, make recordings, create learning materials for all ages, and teach the language to a new generation of speakers.
Photo: Michael Bach records Alutiiq Elder Nick Alokli, 2015
Naken-Natmen Project - “Where from-Where to"With support from the National Science Foundation, the Alutiiq Museum is leading an effort to evaluate and protect language recordings collected in the past, and to plan for additional recordings needed to preserve the Alutiiq language. As part of this project, we are transfering audio and video recordings, develop a catalog of the museum language recordings, producing finding aids, and working to develop additional language recordings. The result in an online Alutiiq Language Archive that includes an Alutiiq speaker registry with speaker profiles and recorded samples. This three-year project will serve as the backbone for the next phase of Alutiiq language revitalization.
Many Kodiak organizations are working to preserve and share the Alutiiq Language. The Alutiiq Museum works closely with the Native Village of Afognak, Kodiak College, and the Kodiak Island Borough School District to develop language learning resources, document Alutiiq speech, and teach the language to the next generation.
Qbooks bring Alutiiq Language to Children
The Alutiiq Museum and Native Village of Afognak have released app versions of the Alutiiq language children’s books Kiagumuuq! and Uksumuuq!. Written by Candace Branson, Kiagumuuq! celebrates summer in the Alutiiq world while Uksumuuq!, written by Michael Bach, celebrates winter. Both books are illustrated by David Taineq Tucker. These are the first two of a series of six Alutiiq language children’s app books which will be released over the next two years. With financial support from the Afognak Native Corporation, the Administration for Native Americans, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alutiiq Museum and Native Village of Afognak are partnering to develop the apps with the goal of providing fun, accessible books to Alutiiq language learners and speakers anywhere in the world.
Kiagumuuq! and Uksumuuq! are free interactive apps where readers can touch each word and letter to hear it spoken. Readers can also make their own recording of the book and color each page, if desired. The apps are compatible with iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices using iOS 8.0 or higher and can be downloaded from the iTunes store.