Native Village of Afognak Launches New Alutiiq Language Website

Play Canfield/KMXT

A new Alutiiq language website is now available for those interested in learning Kodiak’s indigenous tongue. The site is a project of the Native Village of Afognak and funded by the Afognak Native Corporation and the Alaska Forum for the Humanities. KMXT’s Jennifer Canfield has more.

(AlutiiqLanguagePKG Oct31 3:07 ‘Several Alaska Native language projects… I’m Jennifer Canfield")

Several Alaska Native language projects have been published online in recent years. Good intentions aside, many of these sites aren’t user-friendly. The information is all there, but it’s not easy to find. Then, for whatever reasons, the sites aren’t updated or maintained. Materials that are housed off site get moved, leaving dead links. With Alutiiq Language dot org, Project Coordinator Kari Sherrod says the hope is to avoid all of that.

(Alutiiq Language 1 :25 "There were a lot of… could upload information.")

The easy-to-use site has songs, stories, curriculum, flash cards and a smart phone application that can be used on an iPhone or a Blackberry. Sherrod says a lot of work went into creating the dictionary which includes high-quality recordings of the Alutiiq words.

(Alutiiq Language 2 :15 "With the audio files… to accompany them.")

The idea is for the site to continue to grow. The Alutiiq Museum’s website also offers language learning materials, though they aren’t the focus of the site. Sherrod says that while this project created a lot of new material, it also was able to pull from previous language projects.

(Alutiiq Language 3 :19 "You know all these materials… that someone else has already done.")

Sherrod says having all these materials available and easy to access is paramount to people actually learning the language.

(Alutiig Language 4 :15 "Unless you can read… get people to speak Alutiiq.")

The site currently has about two dozen songs, some traditional thought most modern, available to stream or download. Some of the modern songs include translated childhood favorites, such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Alphabet Song, The Itsy Bitsy Spider and You Are My Sunshine.

(You are my sunshine)

You can visit the site at

I’m Jennifer Canfield


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