HomeHistory and NewsCurriculumDictionaryFirst WordsGatheringsLessonsResourcesSongsStart LearningContact Us


Alutiiq Core Values & Cultural Knowledge

"Language is a vehicle of culture" - Phyllis Fast, a Koyukon Athabaskan Professor of Anthropology


Many concepts embedded within Indigenous languages do not make sense in English and therefore misunderstanding or oversimplification ensue. Learning the Alutiiq language teaches more than just a means of communication, but alos a way of being. Language learning therefore also requires us to learn the values and traditional knowledge embedded within the language. 

These lessons come primarily from elders and culture bearers, and the values themselves. 


Elders and Culture Bearers

Our Elders have dedicated many years to teaching, recording, and sharing the language in order to preserve and revitalize the language, making it accessible to anyone who wants to learn. We greatly appreciate them and their dedication despite enduring many hardships associated with their language throughout history. Their efforst have established a strong foundation for language revitalization. 

Learn about some of the elders who have played critical roles in revitalizing our language. Click here to see biographies on some elders and culture bearers produced by the Alutiiq Museum.

Most importantly, thank you to Nick Alokli, Sally Carlough, Kathryn Chichenoff, Clyda Christiansen, Fred and Irene Coyle, Mary Haakanson, Dennis and Julie Knagin, Nadia Mullan, Patrick Mullan, Julia Naughton, Florence Pestrikoff, John "J.P." Pestrikoff, Phyllis Peterson, and Sophie Shepherd.


Alutiiq Core Values 

In 2002 with coordination by Alutiiq Educator Teresa Schneider, Alutiiq Elders produced an Alutiiq Values poster, publishing fourteen core value statements that show how our traditional practices and our worldview today are part of a continuous knowledge stream and should provide the framework for Alutiiq education.  Alutiiq Values slideshow. Alutiiq Educator Alisha Drabek has organized these core values within an Alutiiq Values Model for Community Wellbeing surrounding the central iconic image of Llam Sua (the Universe's Spirit).



Thank you very much to our sponsors


Without the support from partners and sponsors this website and the resources that it contains could not be possible. Quyanaa to the following organzations:

Alutiiq Museum

Afognak Native Corporation

Koniag, Inc.

Administration for Native Americans (ANA)

Kodiak College

Koniag Education Foundation

Kodiak Island Borough School District

Kodiak Area Native Association
National Park Service, Tribal Heritage Preservation Program 

KMXT Radio Station

Peter Torkelson, Advanced Design

Alaska Humanities Forum



www.alutiiqlanguage.org is coordinated by Native Village of Afognak with support from the Alaska Humanities Forum, Administration for Native Americans, Native Village of Port Lions, Afognak Native Corporation, Koniag, and the Alutiiq Museum.