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We are thrilled to share the highlights of our recent virtual tour of the Burke Museum Archive, a truly special event that was hosted by the Pacific Northwest Alutiiq Culture Camp, at the Burke Museum in Seattle, Washington, on April 19, 202. This event brought together Sugpiat people so they could learn from ancestral belongings for an enriching and educational experience.


A Special Guest: Dr. Sven Haakanson


Our virtual tour was graced by the esteemed Dr. Sven Haakanson, whose profound knowledge and passion for our culture added immense value to the event. Dr. Haakanson guided us through the museum's rich collections, offering stories and insights that deepened our understanding of Sugpiaq heritage.


 A Heartfelt Thank You


We extend our deepest gratitude to Dr. Sven Haakanson for his generosity in sharing his time and expertise with us. His insightful discourse during the Zoom session was a highlight. 


We also thank everyone who contributed to making this event possible. Your support and enthusiasm are what drive the success of our programs and events.


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Alutiiq Naming Worksheet
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Alutiiq naming is a wonderful tradition, deeply rooted in our culture and history. In this blog post, we explore the profound importance of Alutiiq names, shedding light on their revival in recent years and their enduring relevance for Sugpiaq people today.


In pre-colonial times, the concept of last names was foreign to our Sugpiaq ancestors. Instead, names were passed down from family and community members, carrying with them the essence of generations past. These names weren't merely labels; they were vessels of identity, heritage, wisdom, and playfulness.


As colonization brought change to our communities, Alutiiq naming traditions faced the risk of fading into obscurity. In recent years, Alutiiq cultural revitalization efforts have breathed new life into these important traditions. The art of naming now flourishes, and brings this generation and future generations closer to our culture in an important way.


One of the most significant aspects of Alutiiq naming is that individuals do not name themselves. Instead, they receive their names from elders and/or the community. This process emphasizes the interconnectedness of the community and respect for our elders. Names are carefully chosen to reflect the personal qualities and aspirations of each individual, bestowing them with a sense of purpose and belonging.


In our culture, names are not static. They evolve as individuals grow, learn, and experience life. It's common to receive multiple names throughout one's lifetime, each name representing a chapter in their journey.


We hope that this new Alutiiq Naming Worksheet, that was created by Jessica Towns-Camara and verified by Alisha Drabek, will give you the toolkit you need to create names for your loved ones. Reclaiming this aspect of our Alutiiq identity one name at a time.


Edit (3/14/24): Quyanaa to Dr. Alisha Drabek for consenting to the addition of her naming process, naming survey, and a sampling of historic Alutiiq names she's collected to the worksheet! This has created a brand new second page to the worksheet which will help you navigate the naming process. These sections are resources that she developed for her own use over the years as she named and participated in naming people. We are so thankful that she is sharing them with us. Quyanaa!

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Please enjoy this enlightening panel discussion on the documentary "Keep Talking," featuring Alisha Drabek PhD and Candace Branson. This panel was facilitated by PNWACC co-directors Heather Metrokin Cannon and Jessica Towns-Camara. 🎬 About "Keep Talking" 🎬 "Keep Talking" is a compelling documentary that explores the revitalization of the endangered Alutiiq language in Kodiak, Alaska. Through the dedication of language teachers, it delves into the challenges, triumphs, and profound cultural significance of preserving indigenous languages. Meet the Panelists Alisha Drabek, PhD: Dr. Alisha Drabek is a respected author and language revitalization expert. Her contributions to indigenous language practice are invaluable. Candace Branson, M.A.: Candace Branson is a passionate advocate for language and culture. Her work in practicing Alutiiq language is truly inspiring. About PNWACC The Pacific Northwest Alutiiq Culture Camp (PNWACC) is dedicated to supporting the Alutiiq Diaspora community and promoting cultural revitalization. If you enjoyed this video, please consider subscribing to our channel, turning on notifications, and giving it a thumbs up. Your support helps us continue sharing valuable content like this.


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