After months of preliminary planning with our host community and organizations, WAYK is excited to announce the details of our 2017 Summer Intensive. This summer, the WAYK team will be returning to St. Paul Island, Alaska!

In 2017, we’ll continue to work with Unangam Tunuu (also known as Aleut), an Eskimo-Aleut language with a small number of speakers remaining in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands. The upcoming project is the next part of our long-term collaboration with APIA (the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association), ACSPI (the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island), and communities throughout the region. We’ve been working with the two major extant dialects of Unangam Tunuu for the past two summers: we spent 2015 on St. Paul working with the Eastern/Pribilovian dialect and 2016 in Atka working with the Atkan/Niiĝux̂ dialect. We are thrilled to return to St. Paul in 2017! Support for this summer’s project will be provided by The Aleut Corporation, The Aleut Foundation, the Administration for Native Americans, the Alaska Native Education Program, the Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association, among other organizations.

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This summer, the WAYK team, including at least 3 WAYK interns, will travel to St. Paul to work with a team of local and regional speakers and youth, headed up by Aquilina Lestenkof and Anna Melovidov. Over the course of the Summer Intensive (May 28th—August 20th) our primary goal will be increased fluency for all program participants, through regular and frequent immersion visits with fluent speakers. We will also train all participants in the fundamentals of WAYK, and work to boost both the WAYK skills and leadership skills of those who have participated in previous Summer Intensives. Additionally, we will work on expanding the existing Unangam Tunuu curriculum, strengthening the teaching skills of all participants, and delivering Unangam Tunuu lessons to the larger community (from St. Paul and the region) during the “Unangam Tunuu Download Camp,” a language camp tentatively scheduled for July 31st—August 11th (for more information about the UTDC, contact the St. Paul language program staff).

The host communities for past WAYK summer projects have included: Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (2011), Yurok Nation (2012), Kodiak Island (2013), Tsleil-Waututh Nation (2014), St. Paul Island (2015), and Atka (2016).

Written by Evan Gardner