APIA Cares: Stay Safe COVID-19
Learn More

Unangam Tunuu Program

  •  Unangam Tunuu Achigaasalix (UTA)– In 2019, APIA was awarded a three year language grant through the Administration of Native Americans (90NL0643). Our project goal comes directly from the goals established under the Strategic Plan and focuses on developing a pilot regional Unangam Tunuu teacher certification program. The project’s objective is by the end of the third year (timeline), the Aleutian Pribilof Islands region (population), will increase the number of Certified Unangam Tunuu teachers (indicator) by at least 10 (target). The project will develop a rigorous set of certification requirements that support and assess attainment of language fluency and demonstrated teaching leadership competencies, that will be matched to college credit at the Alaska Pacific University and, will support the awarding of the State of Alaska’s Type M Teaching Certificate. Project Outputs and Activities include an annual cycle of Fall and Spring Teacher Trainings, a Summer Cohort Intensive, training in the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview assessment, and are planned to support rapid fluency attainment as well as gaining confidence in leading immersion language learning. Student teaching will occur during the Summer Cohort Intensive as well as during the planned Download Camps. A comprehensive Outcome Tracking Strategy that supports measurement of certificate attainment is included.
  • Teacher Certification program:  In order to complete a UTA certification, requirements include: completing an application, prepping and hunting language from speakers, creating and teaching lessons, attending trainings/language intensives/Download Camps, and completing an Oral Proficiency Interview to prove your level of fluency. If you are interested please contact unangamtunuu@apiai.org.
  • Community Classes:  Currently, in-person classes are suspended and will resume when it is safe.  Classes are held virtually in the Eastern and Atka dialects that are led by Nikkita Shellikoff for the Eastern dialect and Bobbi Dushkin and Darling Anderson in the Atka dialect. To inquire, please email unangamtunuu@apiai.org
  • Collaborators/Project Partners:
    • The Aleut Corporation:  provide donations that support APIA’s regional UT program.
    • The Aleut Foundation: works in partnership to support community language classes.
    • Atka IRA: Atka dialect core team.
    • TGSPI:  Eastern dialect core team.
    • Cook Inlet Native Head Start: Provides opportunity for cohort members to teach in the classroom.
    • Aleutian Pribilof Islands Community Development Association (APICDA) : Provides intern support during Summer Language Intensives.
    • Ilisagvik College: Unangam Tunuu College Class syllabus established.
    • Alaska Native Heritage Center: Provides opportunity for cohort members to teach at their After-School High School Program.
    • The City of Atka: Provides discounted housing during Fall and Spring Teacher Trainings.
    • The City of St. Paul Island: Provides discounted housing during Fall and Spring Teacher Trainings.
    • Where Are Your Keys LLC (WAYK): Language consultants/ Teacher Trainers.
    • Seventh Generation Fund: Provides Unangam tunuu intern support.
    • Unangam Tunuu Advisory Committee – The Unangam Tunuu Advisory Committee is an informal working group focused on efforts to preserve Unangam Tunuu, our language. Committee members are Elders, speakers, and community members selected by their respective tribal councils and ratified by the APIA Board of Directors. They provide input and make recommendations for region-wide language preservation efforts conducted by APIA’s Cultural Heritage Department and are members are tribal enrollees of one of the 13 tribes within the Aleutian Pribilof Islands region. The Unangam Tunuu Advisory Committee is committed to: 1) Providing input and support for language projects administered by APIA’s Cultural Heritage Department; 2) Defining goals and objectives for region-wide language preservation efforts; 3) Monitoring and evaluating progress of language projects administered by APIA’s Cultural Heritage Department including, if awarded, a project funded by the Administration for Native Americans Language Preservation and Maintenance program; 4) Participate in quarterly meetings; 5) Assist with acquiring contributions and/or in-kind donations to support language projects; and,  6) Encourage and support the use of the language in our Unangax̂ communities.  
    • Current UTAC Members (as of 2019):
Lynette MackAgdaagux Tribe of King Cove
Josephine Borenin-ShanginAkutan Tribal Council
Crystal DushkinAtka IRA Council
Moses Dirks, Elder/SpeakerAtka IRA Council
Sally Swetzof, Elder/SpeakerAtka IRA
Liza MackBelkofski Village Council
Nikkita ShellikoffFalse Pass Tribal Council
Bobbie McNeleyNelson Lagoon Tribal Council
VACANTNikolski IRA Council
Bobbi DushkinPauloff Harbor Tribe
David OsterbackQagan Tayagungin Tribe Sand Point
Peyton KuzakinQagan Tayagungin Tribe Sand Point
Piama Oleyer RobinsonQawalangin Tribe of Unalaska
Laresa SyversenQawalangin Tribe of Unalaska
Iliodor Philemonof, Elder/SpeakerSt. George Traditional Council
Aquilina LestenkofAleut Community of St. Paul Island
Bruce FosterUnga Tribal Council