Tamamta Liitukut | Everyone is Learning

Language Education Continuum

The Sun’aq Tribe, one of 10 federally recognized tribes in the Kodiak area, is working towards building the number of Alutiiq language speakers through their “Tamamta Liitukut” (Everyone is Learning) Kodiak Alutiiq Language Education Continuum Project.

The purpose of the project is to cultivate the Kodiak Alutiiq Language education continuum by developing the speaking proficiency of preschool-aged children and their families through immersion. In addition to creating a new Alutiiq Language Nest to round out the Kodiak Alutiiq language education service continuum, this project will develop a community engagement and recruitment campaign, strengthen elementary and middle school language outreach, and provide supportive services for high school and college-level Alutiiq language students to promote Alutiiq conversation among families.

Full Profile

The Sun’aq Tribe is a federally recognized Alaska Native tribe located on Kodiak Island in the state of Alaska. More than two-thirds of the Native population living in the Kodiak Archipelago are members of the Sun’aq Tribe of Kodiak, which is the largest of the 10 federally recognized Tribes in the area and the largest Alaska Native community in the Gulf of Alaska. The Tribe serves 1,738 Tribal members.

Archaeological evidence shows an Alutiiq presence on the island for over 8,000 years and confirms the sophistication of the Alutiiq culture and subsistence activities. The Sun’aq Tribe’s traditional homelands encompass an area of nearly 75,000 square miles of land and sea. The people of Sun’aq settled permanently where the city of Kodiak is now located about 2,500 years ago and regularly interacted with other tribes throughout the archipelago. The people of Kodiak follow an elaborate maritime subsistence lifestyle of hunting, fishing, and gathering throughout the year as set forth by their ancestors. Subsistence has special meaning for Alaska Natives and refers to a way of living that emphasizes the importance of respecting the land and its resources, as well as acknowledging a connection to the natural world.

In keeping with their ancestral heritage, the Sun’aq Tribe is also encouraging the learning of the Alutiiq language. “Tamamta Liitukut” (Everyone is Learning), the Kodiak Alutiiq Language Education Continuum Project for NLCC, is designed to cultivate the Kodiak Alutiiq language education continuum by developing the speaking proficiency of preschool-aged children and their families through enhanced immersion language instruction.

The goal of Tamamta Liitukut is to develop a culturally relevant Kodiak Alutiiq immersion language nest for preschool-aged children with complementary outreach services for all age groups to sustain Alutiiq as a living language. The project goal will be met with the following two objectives.

  1. Alutiit’stun Niuwawik Language Nest will demonstrate the value of school sustainability by serving preschool students and their parents.
  2. Tamamta Liitukut will implement a culturally relevant Alutiiq language outreach campaign and enhance existing courses through teacher professional development.

Additionally, the project will develop a community engagement and recruitment campaign, strengthen elementary and middle school language outreach, and provide supportive services for high school and college-level Alutiiq language students to promote Alutiiq conversation among families.

Accomplishments to Date

Opened the Alutiit’stun Niuwawik, a place for speaking Alutiiq, in January of 2017, offering immersion preschool activities to 3–5-year-olds and their families.

Additional Information About Sun’aq Tribe Language Program

Below you will find the links to Sun’aq Tribe’s Language Nest’s media, website, and social media pages.

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