At the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak, Alaska, fluent tribal elders have been working with second language learners, or apprentices, for over a decade to document and revitalize the Alutiiq language. Guiding the program, the Qik’rtarmiut Alutiit Regional Language Advisory Committee was formed in 2003 as a grassroots group made up of elders and representatives from island-wide tribes and organizations to help with language revitalization throughout Kodiak Island.
The Language Program regularly sends out the “Alutiiq Word of the Week”—an email broadcast featuring links to audio files and cultural lessons which is also published in the local newspaper and broadcast on public radio. The work of the New Words Council (see our Did You Know section above) is showcased on the museum’s Alutiiq Living Words Project Web Portal, with an interactive place names map, field recordings, and a downloadable list of terms, including new words for things like acupuncture, car wash, and x-ray machine.
The museum’s language program also organizes the local Alutiiq Language Club that has met since 2003, and partners with the Native Village of Afognak and other local tribes and organizations to help develop curricular materials for their active and growing range of language education opportunities and activities for youth and learners of all ages.