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WAYK and Community Organizing

They say that for the person with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. A few years ago I was formally introduced to community organizing, and yes, now I do see it as an answer to many conundrums. What about language revitalization? There are so many different approaches to it, including academic degrees and… Read more »

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Layering WAYK with Other Immersion Methods

I was first acquainted with WAYK in 2015, attending a Lingít language circle put on at the University of Alaska Anchorage. I really liked the technique as a way to make language learning fun and to facilitate immersion in a language circle setting. After being introduced to WAYK, I worked at the Alaska Native Heritage… Read more »

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Guest Post: Nate’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

Aang! Amilaayam Tunuu ilan Nathaniel asax̂takuq. Unangam Tunuu ilan Tanĝaaĝix̂ asax̂takuq. I am from Anchorage, Alaska but I live in Atka, Alaska. I go to Yakov E. Netsvetov School. I have always wanted to talk with my elders in Unangax̂. I was told about the Atka Summer Intensive by my Godmother, Crystal Dushkin. She has… Read more »

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Guest Post: Timothy’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

My name is Timothy and I am 15 years old. I was born in Anchorage, Alaska and I was raised in Atka. I go to Yakov Netsvetov School and I am in 10th grade. When I heard about the 2016 Summer Intensive, I was interested in joining because I hear elders in our village speak… Read more »

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Guest Post: Junior’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

Aang! My name is Junior and I’m from Atka, Alaska. I go to school at Yakov E. Netsvetov School. The reason why I was interested in this Summer Language Intensive is because my language (Niiĝuĝim Tunuu) is dying and I want to keep it going. The activities I liked from this summer were the icebreakers… Read more »

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The Danger of Putting Endangered Languages on a “Shelf”

What does it mean to revitalize a language? What does it mean to secure its existence for the next generation of speakers? What does this look like and why is it important? As a Native person who is deeply concerned about the future of my heritage language, Tewa, these are the types of questions I… Read more »

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Guest Post: Teaching Students How to Hunt

As I explained the concept and procedure of a “Bucket Brigade” to twenty-four slightly sleepy sophomores, I became nervous. They seemed nervous, lost, anxious. What if this lesson, which would be their first true foray into WAYK…failed? I pushed on though, remembering the valuable WAYK TQ of “How Fascinating!”—if this lesson failed, I would simply… Read more »

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Guest Post: Meet Bobbi Dushkin!

This summer, Bobbi Dushkin joins the local team and the WAYK team at the Atka Summer Intensive as APIA’s regional intern. We are thrilled that she’s here! Hello my name is Bobbi Dushkin, I was born and raised in Alaska. I grew up and lived in Sand Point, an Eastern dialect speaking community. My family… Read more »

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Guest Post: MFLA Spring Outreach 2015

    In addition to fall and spring conferences, every year, the Maryland Foreign Language Association travels to a different region of the state, to bring professional development directly the language teachers in those areas. This year I had the opportunity to work with teachers on Maryland’s eastern shore, and share with them some of… Read more »

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WAYK proves I’m not a language-learning dud!

When the community we planned to start working with in late May 2014 had its funding temporarily delayed, Evan and I decided to make the most of our free time and the +1500-km drive I had made from Edmonton to the Pacific Northwest. I met him in his hometown in rural Oregon, and we spent the next 10 days using Where Are Your Keys? Techniques to… Read more »

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What it’s like to be a WAYK Intern

Interning: do anything and everything #forthelanguage! Explaining what it’s like to be a WAYK intern is no easy task. To be perfectly honest, I really had no idea what I was in for when I boarded the plane that would take me to St. Paul Island, Alaska. Even once I figured out what I was… Read more »

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The Best Part of My WAYK Summer

By far the best part of my WAYK summer was getting to work with the local team on St. Paul Island. Our group was a lot of fun because we had so many high school students and rising college freshmen working with us on the project. The last time I was around so many high… Read more »

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Guest Post: Teresa’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

My name is Teresa Baker, I’m from the Pribilof Islands and I’m going to share with you a bit of my 2015 Summer Language Intensive experience.  For about 3 years now I’ve been working on our language in school, out of school, throughout the summer, and at work. Over a period of time I’ve watched… Read more »

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Guest Post: Linnae’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

Aang, Linnae Kozloff asax̂takuqing. I am from Saint Paul Island, Alaska. I happen to go to Saint Paul school.  I am interested in the Unangam Tunuu language project because I am willing to help keep my language alive because unfortunately it is going extinct. I have been involved with this language project for about three… Read more »

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Guest Post: Kiana’s Summer Language Intensive Experience

My name is Kiana.  I live in Saint Paul Island, Alaska and I go to the Pribilof School. I got involved in the Saint Paul Summer Language Intensive because I applied for a job as youth hire and I was involved for about a month.  The reason I was interested in this language project was… Read more »

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Guest Post: Maidu Language Classes Using WAYK

I am Danny YellowFeather Manning, I have been working with the Weye-ebis project with Donna Clark and the Susanville Indian Rancheria language team since November 2014. My teacher is Wilhelmina Ives, one of the last Maidu speakers, and she has been having classes every Friday at the Greenville Rancheria. In early 2015, I had a… Read more »

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Guest Post: WAYKing up Unangam Tunuu

This summer, WAYK (Where Are Your Keys) creator Evan Gardner, Susanna Ciotti, WAYK veteran Sky Hopinka and two language-loving interns, Casey and Robyn, battled unpredictable airline schedules and dreary weather patterns to facilitate the Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive on the tiny remote island of St. Paul, AK situated far in the Bering Sea. This island… Read more »

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Robyn and Casey’s Language Adventure: Part S.E.A.L.

The hardest part of hunting Chinuk is easily the most rewarding at the same time – much like the three mile “marathon” going on next week that Sky has convinced me is worth doing for the t-shirt, if nothing else. Coming into the WAYK team already having spent a couple of years learning ASL has… Read more »

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Robyn & Casey’s Language Adventure: Part 2

“The only time you are speaking wrong is when you are not speaking at all.” These are the words on a sign up in the Civic Center which is the home-base of the Unangam Tunuu Summer Language Intensive on St. Paul Island. Although I completely agree with this sentiment sometimes it’s harder to live out… Read more »

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Sky Hopinka: Why I returned for another WAYK Summer

  Working with Evan, David Edwards, and April Charlo at the first WAYK summer program was a great experience. I learned a lot about language revitalization as well as community revitalization. Working with the seven high school students was great also, seeing language work from a different perspective. So when I had the chance to… Read more »