The WAYK team returned to Anchorage in October of 2015 for our biannual visit to work with the many members of the Unangam Tunuu core team that live in the city. We were especially excited for this visit, since we were able to bring back all of the lessons that the St. Paul team developed during the 2015 Summer Intensive and share them with everyone in Anchorage. We were also eager to start planning for the 2016 Summer Intensive in Atka, Alaska!
The first half of our visit was focused on individual sessions with learners and speakers of both dialects: Niiĝuĝim Tunuu (Atkan) and Qawalangim Tunuu (from St. Paul specifically). We shared many of the lessons from St. Paul with the Qawalangim Tunuu learners. With the Niiĝuĝim Tunuu group, we were able to share some of the very beginning lessons developed during our September visit to Atka, but we also focused on practicing language hunting techniques.
Early October is an extremely busy time in Anchorage! Our time in Anchorage overlapped with the The Aleut Corporation’s annual meeting and the Aleut Villages Conference that precedes it. Following the TAC meeting is the statewide Elders & Youth Conference, and the Alaska Federation of Natives Annual Convention. Many people from the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands make a trip into the city to attend these events.
The second half of our visit focused on more individual sessions as well as sharing the work of the Unangam Tunuu language core team with the larger community at the Aleut Villages Conference and the Elders & Youth Conference. During the Aleut Villages Conference members of the Unangam Tunuu core team and the WAYK team presented to the community about the language work done over the past year. We demonstrated a lesson developed in St. Paul, and showed the video that Sky Hopinka made about the 2015 Summer Intensive. During the remainder of the conference, the WAYK team manned a table at the conference center. We showed a playlist of the children’s books that the Summer Intensive team transformed into “video books” and played demonstration games of Go Fish in Unangam Tunuu with anyone who would join us. It was wonderful to play Go Fish with Becky Bendixen, who originally brought WAYK and the Unangax̂ community together in 2010. Following the Aleut Villages Conference, the WAYK team also lent their support at the Unangam Tunuu Language Circle during the Elders & Youth Conference.
Thank you to Millie McKeown, Roxana Kashatok, and the whole team at APIA, as well as Moses Dirks, Crystal Dushkin, Ethan Petticrew, Iliodor Philemonof, and all of the participants in Unangam Tunuu language activities throughout the two weeks, at APIA, at the Aleut Villages Conference, and the Elders & Youth Conference.
Be sure to check out our Events Page to see where WAYK is traveling next!