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.


Degree Programs Offered


Fall 2018 Class Schedule

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ANL 141X (CRN 73020): 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 241 (CRN 73021): Intermediate Athabascan Gwich'in (Peter)

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

ANL 251X (CRN 74865): Intro to Athabascan Linguistics (Tuttle)

Intro to the linguistic structure of the Athabascan family of languages, drawing on examples from the Athabascan languages of Alaska.  Writing systems, word structure, texts and language relationships.  Techniques for accessing linguistic reference materials and the role of linguistic documentation in language revitalization and language learning. 

ANL 287 (CRN 74967): DIST Teaching Methods 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 401 (CRN 75933) 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 101X (CRN 74242): Elementary Central Yup'ik Eskimo (Charles)

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

INU 111X (CRN 73696): Elementary Inupiaq Eskimo (Brower)

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

INU 211 (CRN 73697) - 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 201 (CRN 74243): 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 301 (CRN 77418): Advanced Central Yup'ik

Continuation of YUP F201 and F202.  Completes the basic study of the Central Yup'ik grammar.  Prerequisites:  YUP F101; YUP F102; YUP F201;YUP F202; or permission of instructor.  

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