Dena'ina Language Institute scheduled this summer

Around Campus

Posted: Wednesday, May 05, 2004

For the second consecutive year, the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Alaska Native Language Center will host the Dena'ina Language Institute at KPC's Kenai River Campus in Soldotna in June. The Dena'ina Qenaga Duch'deldih, the Dena'ina interpretation of the event, will take place June 1 to 18 as part of an Athabascan language teacher training project. Courses offered apply to UAF degree programs in Native language education or Alaska Native studies.

The summer language program is open to anyone interested in learning and sharing Dena'ina language. Students may participate for any amount of time but must attend at least one week of class in order to receive university credit. Students of all ages are welcome to come and learn more about the Dena'ina language and elders are welcome and encouraged to participate and share their knowledge of the language.

There is financial assistance available to Dena'ina speakers wishing to participate in the Institute as mentors. These individuals should visit, for more information and to contact the coordinators directly. Transportation, room and board can be provided for speakers.

In order to receive financial support, students must pursue a university degree program related to Dena'ina language and must be sponsored by a school district or tribal organization. Sponsors agree to contribute $500 toward the cost of the Institute. There are no additional costs for sponsored students. Sponsored students also will be eligible for support throughout the 2004-05 academic years in the form of tuition and travel to additional language workshops in the Dena'ina region. (Two such workshops were held during the 2003-04 academic year: one in Nondalton and one in Anchorage.)

Classes will meet Monday through Friday at KPC. Students registering for three-credit classes must attend the entire Institute (June 1 to 18). Students registering for one-credit classes must attend five consecutive days of class. Tuition and fees are at a special reduced rate of $45 per course. Housing is available at Alaskan Christian College located within walking distance of KPC.

Classes will include topics such as conversational Dena'ina, in one- and three-credit formats, as well as introductory and beginning courses in Athabasacan literacy. The schedule of classes is available on the Web site and those interested in attending the Institute should complete and return an application form by May 15. The form can be downloaded at the Web site or can be faxed or mailed upon request.

This year's Dena'ina Language Institute is sponsored by UAF Alaska Native Language Center, UAF Summer Sessions, UAA Kenai Peninsula College and the Genaga Career Ladder Program, a grant funded partnership between UAF-ANLC, TCC-IATC, Kenaitze Indian Tribe, Iditarod Area School District, Lake and Peninsula School District and Alaska Gateway School District. The partnership is funded by U.S. Department of Education Title III (formerly Title VII) and additional support is provided by a National Science Foundation grant.

For more information regarding the Dena'ina Language Institute, contact coordinator Gary Holton at the Alaska Native Language Center, Box 757680, Fairbanks, AK 99775-7680, call toll free at (877) 910-2534 or e-mail

Dena'ina Festival slated

The Kenaitze Indian Tribe will host the second annual Dena'ina Festival on June 11 to 13 during the second weekend of the Language Institute. This gathering of Dena'ina speakers from across the region will be held at KPC and other locations in the region. For more information, call Amber Glenzel at 283-3633.

Nursing students excel

KPC's Kachemak Bay Campus in Homer had a cohort of eight students complete the Weber State University licensed practical nursing program during the spring semester.

The group of students worked in conjunction with Weber State and South Peninsula Hospital to receive both the academic and clinical training necessary to become LPNs.

As part of the process, when the students completed their training, they were required to take the official "Assessment Technologies Inc. Exam" in order to be eligible for their state board examinations.

According to Weber State University LPN coordinator Pam Hugie, every one of the Kachemak Bay Campus students passed the exam and the group has the "highest score ever for a group mean."

"What a team," Hugie said. "We must have the most intelligent students and the best faculty working in Homer this year. I am very proud."

KPC congratulates this group of future nurses and the great team of educators who facilitated their success. An equal dose of kudos goes to South Peninsula Hospital for embracing the program and giving these students a place to practice their craft.

KPC will offer more training opportunities in the health care arena in the future. For more information on the UAA RN program that will begin at the Kenai River Campus in January 2005 or other health field career opportunities, contact Dr. David Wartinbee at 262-0377.

Year-end meeting planned

KPC's Kenai River Campus in Soldotna will close at 9:30 a.m. Friday for a year-end meeting of faculty, staff and administration. The college apologizes for any inconvenience this closure may cause the public.

This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.

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