My name is Alex, and I am from Anchorage, Alaska. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at the University of Portland, in Portland, Oregon. I have now reached my sophomore year of the program and will begin going through clinicals next year.

I work as a language intern through the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, alongside Where Are Your Keys. Over the past month, I have worked on two different camps: one being the Unangam Tunuu Download Camp (UTDC), and the second being the Urban Unangax̂ Culture Camp. In both camps, I participated in both teaching and learning Eastern Aleut. I found this training to be extremely rewarding, as I now have the power not only to speak some of my language, but also to pass on what I know to others.

Since I am currently attending college out of my home state, I will not have access to people who speak my language. Adding on to that, once I begin clinicals I will not be returning to Alaska for at least 2 years. Over these next three years, I will have to figure out ways in which I can continue speaking my language in order not to lose it. Luckily, at the UTDC, I met two other learners who live nearby in Washington state, where I will be able to meet face to face and keep in contact with these two in order to continue learning and practicing my language.

Post authored by Alex.

Written by Evan Gardner