Last week’s Alutiiq Language Summit, where speakers and learners of Alutiiq gathered to discuss language programs and preservation. Half of the living speakers of Kodiak Alutiiq are in this room. Sven Haakanson photo
More than 15 of the island’s fluent Alutiiq language speakers gathered last week for an Alutiiq language summit held by the Kodiak Alutiiq Museum.
The summit was part of the museum’s National Science Foundation grant to document and help preserve endangered languages.
The museum’s Alutiiq Language Manager, April Laktonen Counceller said the the grant is nearing its final months and the quick paced, one-day summit was a chance to catch up and share results.
-((Alutiiq Lang 1 :50 "And this is ….various other villages."))
The 4-year grant project is called "Alutiiq Living Words" and has played a major role in preserving the Alutiiq language and in training younger speakers with help from elders:
-((Alutiiq Lang 2 1:00 "We’re thinking right now…sort of language activity."))
Counceller says various local efforts to preserve the language have been on-going for 9 years. Currently there are a number of local sources for language programs, but one of the biggest challenges is funding. Another is meeting the demand for teachers:
-((Alutiiq Lang 3 :42 "There’s been…proper pronunciation."))
April Lacktonen Counceller who is the Alutiiq Language Manager at the Alutiiq Musuem.