Alaska Native Language Classes and Degree Programs

There are 20 Alaska Native languages: Aleut, Alutiiq (also called Aleut or Sugpiaq), Central Yup'ik, St. Lawrence Island, Inupiaq, Tsimshian, Haida, Tlingit, and Eyak and 11 Athabascan languages. These languages are becoming recognized as a priceless heritage.

Since the enactment of the Alaska Bilingual Education Law in 1972, there has been a statewide demand for teachers who can speak and teach these languages in the schools where there are Native children. Professional opportunities for those skilled in these languages exist in teaching and research as well as in cultural, educational, and political development.

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.

UAF is unique in offering this curriculum, which benefits also from the research staff and library of the Alaska Native Language Center.


Spring 2018 Class Schedule

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ANL 142X (CRN 33106):Beginning Athabascan - Gwich'in (Peter)

Introduction to Gwich’in Athabascan, spoken in the northeastern Alaska villages of Arctic Village, Venetie, Fort Yukon, Chalkyitsik, Circle, and Birch Creek, as well as in a wide adjacent area of the Northwest Territories and Yukon Territory. 

ANL 242 (CRN 33107): Intermediate Athabascan Gwich'in (Peter)

Continuation of beginning Athabascan-Gwich'in. Development of conversational ability, additional grammar and vocabulary.  

ANL 288 (CRN 35761): DIST Curriculum/Materials Development for Ak Native Languages (Peter)

Methodology approaches and practice in teaching Native language and literacy to both speakers and non-speakers. Prerquisites:  Knowledge of a Native Language.  

ANL 393 (CRN 37090) Eskimo-Aleut Lang Cnct/Prehistory (Berge) Crosslisted: ANTH & LING

Introduces student to the most recent approaches to understanding the development of Eskimo-Aleut languages along the North Pacific Coast of Alaska, with particular emphasis on the Unangan (Aleut) and Alutiiq peoples.  The course is cross disciplinary, and includes readings and discussions of archaeology, genetics, ethnology, paleo-environmental studies and linguistics.  

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ANL 401 (CRN 34836) Ak Native Language Apprenticeship (Peter)

Structured study of an Alaska Native Language.  Select and work intensively with a mentor (native speaker of selected language).  Choice of mentor requires faculty approval.  Meet regularly with mentor (minimum 10 hours per week) and participate in regular training sessions tow ork toward fluency.  Graded Pass/Fail.  

YUP 102X (CRN 35715): Elementary Central Yup'ik Eskimo (Staff)

Introduction to Central Yup'ik, the language of the Yukon and Kuskokwim deltas and Bristol Bay.

INU 112X (CRN 35666): Elementary Inupiaq Eskimo (Brower)

Introduction to Inupiaq, the language of the Unalakleet, Seward Peninsula, Kotzebue Sound and the North Slope.  

INU 212 (CRN 35667) - Intermediate Inupiaq (Brower)

Continuation of  INU F111 and INU F112, concentrating on development of conversational ability, with presentation of additional grammar and vocabulary. Prerequisites: INU F112.


YUP 202 (CRN 35716): Intermediate Central Yup'ik Eskimo (Charles)

Continuation of YUP F101 and YUP F102. Increasing emphasis on speaking, reading and writing. Prerequisites: YUP F102 or permission of instructor.

YUP 415 (35717): Add'l Topics: Advanced Yup'ik (Charles)

Further study of Yup'ik linguistics.  Includes text transcription, editing, analysis and discussion.  Yup'ik dialextology.  Study of related Eskimo languages from the standpoint of Central Yup'ik.  Additional topics to b studies dependent on student and instructor interests.  

Degree Programs Offered

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