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WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Mary Leighton

Hi! I’m from Vancouver, British Columbia, and I have worked in language education for about ten years, with a focus on English for newcomers to Canada and one-to-one language exchange programs. Just over a year ago, I heard the poet Lee Maracle joke about the absence of a good naturalization process to teach non-indigenous folks… Read more »

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WAYK Summer Team Introduction: Myles Creed

Hi! My name is Myles Creed and I am really excited to be involved with the WAYK Language Intensive on St. Paul Island (Tanax̂ Amix̂ in Unangam Tunuu) this summer. My ancestry is Irish, English and French, and my parents are John Creed and Susan Andrews, who grew up in Massachusetts, but moved to Alaska… Read more »

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Meet WAYK’s 2017 Summer Team

This year, we are delighted to expand the WAYK team for the 2017 Summer Intensive on St. Paul Island! Thanks to the support of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, the Aleut Foundation, the Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, and the Central Bering Sea Fishermen’s Association we’ve been able to include sponsored positions for six… Read more »

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WAYK 2017 Summer Language Intensive

This summer the WAYK team, including at least 3 WAYK interns, and members of the regional Unangam Tunuu core team will travel to St. Paul Island to work with a team of local speakers and youths, organized by Aquilina Lestenkof and Anna Melovidov. The primary goals of the Summer Intensive (May 28th-August 20th) will be increased… Read more »

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Anchorage Spring Visit

In partnership with APIA (the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association) and with support from ANA (the Administration for Native Americans), the WAYK team returns to Anchorage for 10 days of sessions in May 2017. We will continue to work with the Niiĝuĝim Tunuu and Qawalangim Tunuu language teams based in Anchorage and Wasilla. As always, our goal is to work with small groups of learners… Read more »

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St. Paul Island Spring Visit

In partnership with Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (ACSPI, supported by ANEP) and  the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association (APIA, supported by ANA) the WAYK team returns to St. Paul Island for 10 days in March. During this spring visit, the WAYK team will continue to provide training and support for members of the local core team who have worked with WAYK during many… Read more »

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Call for WAYK 2017 Interns!

This summer, we are very lucky to again be able to offer at least three WAYK internship opportunities. These positions are sponsored by our host community (St. Paul Island) in partnership with ACSPI, APIA, and a number of other regional organizations. Participating in a WAYK summer project is one of the best ways to be… Read more »

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WAYK Summer Intern Expectations: 2017 Update

What you can expect as an intern: You will learn how to use WAYK. One of the main purposes of the WAYK Summer Intensive is to provide a comprehensive training in WAYK skills, something that is difficult to demonstrate or even explain in a week-long workshop or a few language lessons. WAYK interns will learn all… Read more »

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Announcing WAYK’s 2017 Summer Intensive: St. Paul Island, Alaska!

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… Read more »

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APIA Anchorage Fall Visit, Week 2

As APIA (the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association) enters the second year of their three-year language initiative with support from ANA (the Administration for Native Americans), the WAYK team returns to Anchorage for two weeks of sessions in the Fall of 2016. Week 1: October 10 – October 14, 2016 Week 2: December 5 – December 9, 2016 During… Read more »

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St. Paul Island Fall Visit

As APIA (the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association) enters the second year of their three-year language initiative with support from ANA (the Administration for Native Americans), the WAYK team returns to St. Paul Island for 10 days of sessions in October. During this visit, the WAYK team will provide additional training and support for members of the local core team who attended previous WAYK workshops and participated… Read more »

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APIA Anchorage Fall Visit, Week 1

As APIA (the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association) enters the second year of their three-year language initiative with support from ANA (the Administration for Native Americans), the WAYK team returns to Anchorage for two weeks of sessions in the Fall of 2016. Week 1: October 10 – October 14, 2016 Week 2: December 5 – December 9, 2016 During… Read more »

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Why We Use Sign Language

Perhaps one of the most common questions I have had about Where Are Your Keys is about Sign Language and why we use it so much for language learning. Some people look at WAYK and assume that all we’re doing is adding hand signs to vocabulary in another language and then going around in a… Read more »

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How It’s “Biin” So Far

At the time I’m writing this post, it’s nearing the halfway point of my internship with WAYK and my summer in the community of Atka, Alaska. As the days go by, they only seem to pass ever more quickly. But new experiences have been plentiful, just as has my acquisition of knowledge regarding the WAYK… Read more »

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Report From The Road: St. Paul, December 2015

The WAYK team returned to St. Paul, Alaska for our first follow up visit after the 2015 Summer Intensive, which focused on the St. Paul and St. George dialects of Unangam Tunuu. Our visits to St. Paul are part of a larger Unangam Tunuu project, sponsered by APIA (the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association) and funded… Read more »

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Immersion Bubbles: Finding Comfort and Fun in the Uncomfortable

By way of the prior experience I’ve gained through my involvement in the language revitalization efforts taking place within my own community, the Pueblo of Pojoaque, I’ve been able to correct many misconceptions related to the practice of learning and teaching a second language. My time as an intern with WAYK has further contributed to… Read more »

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Color-Coding at the WAYK house

One of my favourite things so far as a WAYK intern is the color-coded organization of the WAYK house. Months before we arrived in Atka, each member of the WAYK team was assigned a color. Now, in the WAYK house, we each have our own set of dishes in our individual colors. Our bedding and… Read more »

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Guest Post: Bobbi’s First Two Weeks in Atka

My first two weeks in Atka learning Niiĝuĝim Tuunu have been interesting. I am learning a whole new lauguage, meeting a lot of new people, eating new things, and learning about the Orthodox religion also. This experience isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. I thought that it was going to be… Read more »

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Report from the Road: Anchorage (October 2015)

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… 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 »