Moses L. Dirks

Moses Dirks, holding gut at 2011 campMoses L. Dirks teaches Unangam Tunuu, traditional foods, and history at the Urban Unangax^ camp. When it’s possible, he goes subsistence hunting for the traditional foods utilized at camp. Except for hunting, he teaches the youth all phases of preparing traditional foods; cleaning, gutting, preparing and cooking meals for lunch. He incorporates history, language and traditional knowledge into the activities. He also prepares the hides, gut and feathers for use in traditional art and crafts made at camp.

Moses Larry Dirks was born and raised on Atka Island, Alaska and was taught traditional hunting and gathering skills since he was a child. Mr. Dirks worked for the National Bilingual Materials Development Center producing written material in the Unangam Tunuu for school use. He also helped Dr. Knut Bergsland check Unangax^ material, interviewed Unangax^ speakers, and transcribed and studied audio material. Moses has been involved in the preservation of Unangam Tunuu since the 1970’s and continues to do so.


Moses Dirks has been a teacher for over 25 years and has taught in the communities of Atka and Unalaska, Alaska. He currently teaches for the Anchorage School District. He has taught Unangam Tunuu through the Alaska Pacific University, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, at culture camps and other community events. He is also one of the few speakers that is an expert in reading, writing and grammar of the Aleut language.