The University of Alaska Fairbanks

1997-98 UAF Catalog

Degrees and Programs


Course Description Index

Alaska Native Languages

College of Liberal Arts
Department of Alaska Native Languages

Minor only

There are 20 different Alaska Native languages: Aleut, Alutiiq (also called Aleut or Sugpiaq), Central Yup'ik Eskimo, St. Lawrence Island Eskimo, Inupiaq Eskimo, Tsimshian, Haida, Tlingit, Eyak, and 11 Athabaskan languages. These languages are becoming recognized as the priceless heritage they truly are. Since the passage of the Alaska Bilingual Education Law in 1972 there has been a demand for teachers who can speak and teach these languages in the schools throughout the state where there are Native children. Professional opportunities for those skilled in these languages exist in teaching, research, and cultural, educational, and political development.

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

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

Undergraduate Degree Requirements

MINOR in Alaska Native Languages:

A minor in Alaska Native languages requires 15 credits in Eskimo or Alaska Native language courses.

(See also "Eskimo.")


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Last modified June 9, 1997