The Heritage Preservation Program endeavors to preserve and revitalize the heritage and language of our Chugach Region. The program is part of Chugachmiut, which is a regional non-profit consortium of seven recognized tribes incorporated in 1973 as the North Pacific Rim Corporation, to serve Southcentral Alaska. The program has several ongoing projects to include Langakillu: Becoming Aware and Llangaklluku Lucillerpet Cuumi: Becoming Aware of our Beginnings.
Langakillu: Becoming Aware
This is a multifaceted project to revitalize traditional knowledge and Sugt’stun, the language of the Sugpiat people of Southcentral Alaska. Its components are designed to provide for both school and community-based activities. The overall goal and vision is to “provide Chugach Native peoples maximum input into heritage education programs produced for use in the Region’s schools and communities.”
The Language component is developing and improving student fluency in Sugt’stun, the language of the Sugpiat, by providing training to semi-fluent adults to increase their own fluency and support them in gaining an endorsement to teach the language in Chugach Region schools.
Funding for Langakillu: Becoming Aware is graciously provided by the US Department of Education’s Alaska Native Education Program.
Llangaklluku Lucillerpet Cuumi: Becoming Aware of Our Beginnings
This multiyear project was funded through the National Endowment for Humanities and has the goal to locate, identify, photograph, research, and disseminate information about objects from the Chugach region that currently reside in museums worldwide. This project came about as a means to redress the loss of cultural patrimony within the Chugach Region and will represent for the first time the world’s combined Chugach collections as the sole object of study, and will be exhibited in their entirety.
The results of this project will be a universally accessible website of known Chugach ethnographic objects with digital images; digitized audio and video recordings of Elders made over the last 40 years; audio and video recordings of Elders discussing objects that they will examine (through other funding that will allow them to travel to foreign museums); historic photographs that relate to the museum objects; three-dimensional images and other interactive experiences that bring the objects to life; and a digital catalog.