University of Alaska Southeast's Juneau campus on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Photo by Quinton Chandler/KTOO)

University of Alaska Southeast’s Juneau campus on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (Photo by Quinton Chandler/KTOO)

This fall, the University of Alaska Southeast is opening up some of its Alaska Native language and Northwest Coast arts classes to the community at-large at reduced rates.  

UAS Chancellor Rick Caulfield said with few fluent speakers left, there’s an urgent need to create language learning opportunities.

“As a University I think we have an obligation certainly to provide the academic pathway for those who want to study the language and help create critical mass of more people who are speakers of the language or at least conversant in the language,” Caulfield said.

Regular students will study alongside community members taking advantage of the non-credit option.

“Often we’ll have individuals in the community, for example, who grew up understanding some Tlingit, the Tlingit language in their home, but have never had a chance to really study it,” Caulfield said. “Often they can add a lot to the instruction because they bring what they knew from growing up into the classroom and that benefits the students who are doing it for academic credit as well.”

Ishmael Hope (Ḵaagwáaskʼ) and Lance Twitchell (Du Aaní Kawdinook Xh’unei) will teach the evening Tlingit classes at beginning and intermediate levels.

Caulfield said the university also is working closely with Sealaska Heritage Institute to make Juneau and Southeast Alaska the center for Northwest Coast arts.

Abel Ryan is teaching Northwest Coast design classes. Lyle James (Xeetli.éesh) is teaching a drum-making course, in which students will work with pre-processed deer hide to create a wooden-framed drum.

Classes begin Monday. The reduced community rate is $75 per credit. Contact the UAS admissions office at 796-6100 or visit the campus One Stop to enroll.

More classes from UAS Artist in Residence Nicholas Galanin (Yéil Ya-Tseen) will be announced later this semester.

Recent headlines

  • The male seal receives 24-hour care at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. He was found sick on an Unalaska beach earlier this month. (Photo courtesy Alaska Sealife Center)

    Third ringed seal found in Unalaska sent for rehabilitation

    After admitting a sick ringed seal from Unalaska, veterinarians at the Alaska SeaLife Center are cautiously optimistic about his chances for recovery.
  • Around 3,000 gallons of oil were released into the Shuyak Strait after this building collapsed. (Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)

    Response to the oil spill in the Shuyak Strait continues

    At the end of February, 3,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Shuyak Strait about 50 miles north of the City of Kodiak. The oil was in a building that collapsed because of a severe windstorm. Since then, a response has been underway to contain the oil, clean it up, and prevent future spills.
  • Mentoring program to close in Haines, Homer, Hoonah, Sitka

    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska will no longer make new matches between youths and volunteers in four Alaska communities: Haines, Homer, Hoonah, and Sitka. The organization that matches volunteers and youth for one-on-one mentoring, says it’s a matter of reduced federal and state grant funding.
  • Travis Finkenbinder, pictured here on March 14, 2018, is permanently minimally conscious. A coworker struck him in the head with his float plane's ski in 2014.

    No jail time for float plane pilot after buzzing gone wrong

    The pilot won't serve jail time, but must pay the state $25,000 and the family $6,100 in restitution. The judge expressed doubt that it would send the aviation community much of a message.