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News
May 08 2015
Kodiak College Recognizes Alutiiq Language Learners and Alutiiq Elders PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 May 2015
nicksusiemichael_by_counceller.jpgFrom left to right, Michael Bach, Nick Alokli, and Susan Colleen Malutin. (Photo by April Laktonen Counceller)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT
    
Kodiak College will honor Alutiiq language students and Alutiiq elders at its graduation ceremony tonight.

Nick Alokli is one of the members of the Alutiiq Studies Council of Fluent elders who will be granted Faculty Affiliate status for helping shape the Alutiiq language curriculum at Kodiak College and being otherwise involved in the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Alkoli says his role in helping others learn Alutiiq has enriched his life. He remembers his teachers enforcing an English-speaking only rule when he was growing up in Akhiok.

“I’m more happier than I used to be because before I started teaching I was miserable because they denied my speaking in the schools and I just couldn’t understand it. I was so bitter. Made me worse and I didn’t like English, and I didn’t spend time learning, so I was really slow in learning,” says Alkoli.

He says that he was nevertheless closely connected to Alutiiq as a child.

“My grandpa, he was a reader in church and I was real proud of him,” says Alkoli. “He used to read the gospel in Russian and Alutiiq and I used to understand what he was saying in Alutiiq when he read in the church so that made me real happy.”

He says he had forgotten much of Alutiiq, but when April Laktonen Counceller reached out to him to teach, it all started coming back to him. Counselor is an assistant professor of Alaska Native Studies at Kodiak College and is transitioning to executive director at the Alutiiq Museum.                                                    

She says along with giving faculty affiliate status to six elders, the faculty will grant degrees to the first graduating class of the Alutiiq Language Occupational Endorsement Certificate Program.

“The certificate program is less than an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree,” says Laktonen Counceller. “It’s a series of six courses. And the final course they take, they also need to test at intermediate proficiency in speaking Alutiiq and that is so that we can use this credential for work-force development and for people who wish to hire people with Alutiiq language proficiency.”

Michael Bach is the Language Archives Specialist at the Alutiiq Museum and is among the six graduates. He’s a self-described “language dork” and says along with Alutiiq, he speaks Spanish and Persian-Farsi.  

“All the other languages that I’ve learned were similar to English where there’s a word for everything, whereas Alutiiq describes everything is the way I understand it,” says Bach. “And learning how to find the tools to do that was a challenge for me at first and the coursework helped me kinda understand the underlying grammar of it and give me the tools to be a better learner.”

Susan Colleen Malutin is another graduate. She says when she and others started learning Alutiiq many years ago, the history of discouragement and punishment for speaking Alutiiq meant that not many documents or learning plans were available.

She says it took the combined effort of the elders to put their memories together on tape and in person to fix that. And this is only the beginning.

“It’s still new,” says Malutin. “I mean, within a confined group there’s Alutiiq spoken, but I don’t think you’ll find it in the grocery store, the post office, so it’s still developing, it’s still growing, and it will, as long as the encouragement is there, as long as the willingness is there.”

The Kodiak College Graduation will begin at 7 p.m. at the Kodiak Convention Center.

Faculty will also announce the first honoree of the Native Education Equity Award, for a Kodiak College employee who Alaska Native students feel has got out of their way to serve them, and the first honoree of the Native Student Leadership Award, for an Alaska Native student who employees feel has contributed positively to the campus community. The Kodiak Alutiiq Dancers will also perform.
 
May 08 2015
This Saturday: Color, Sound, and Dance PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 May 2015
fire_dance.jpgPhoto of the fire dance from rehearsal of The Secret Garden. Photo by Mary Beth Loewen

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

If you like ballet, dancing in general, or at least cute children running around on stage, you’re in for a treat this weekend. The Little School of Dance will put on their version of The Secret Garden, based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

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The school has been working since January to prepare for its spring recital. Director and owner, Molly Brodie, says the play is about two cousins from difficult family situations who find themselves through nature. And she says about 180 of their students will be involved, from 3-years-old and up.
 
“The kids have been learning dances and we’ve been putting it together now for five months,” says Brodie. “And that’s a lot of work, a lot of stage time, a lot of different roles, and I have 6 teachers that help me and we put it all together. It’s a huge job.”

Askar Alimbetov plays the male lead and flew up from California for the part. He says he met Brodie through friends and has traveled to Kodiak to perform with the school since 2005. Although now he lives near San Diego and teaches at a local school, he originally trained in Kazakhstan. He says a government sponsored ballet program recruited him at age ten.

“Two teachers came to my regular school and they had auditions,” says Alimbetov. “They picked me from 36 kids in my class and probably fifteen kids from entire school. And they were stretching us… to see who could do left split, middle split, to see who is more flexible.”

The performance’s female lead is Brodie’s daughter, Tessa Heiberg. Brodie says seniors get preference for special roles.

“Tessa’s a senior and I’m her mother and she’s an excellent dancer and actress on stage, so I chose her to do the lead role because I thought she could do it well,” says Brodie.

And it’s kind of fitting, because Brodie is in the performance too. Here’s Heiberg.

“I think we’re doing a little piece together. We’re gonna dance. She’s my mom in the show,” says Heiberg.

Heiberg says this is a bittersweet performance, because it’s her last one in town.

“Once I go off to college, I’ll still be doing the same thing, but I’ll really miss doing the community performances with all my friends, and everyone that’s been watching me my entire life, so it’s kinda sad,” says Heiberg.”

You can watch Heiberg dance an eclectic selection of pieces, from contemporary to ballet, at the performance this Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets will be on sale for fifteen dollars at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium starting at 6:30 p.m.
 
May 07 2015
Afognak Subsidiary Cyber-Swindled Out of $3.8-Million PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 May 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
It was revealed Wednesday that an Alaska Native village corporation in Kodiak was the victim of a multi-million-dollar cyber-swindle last month.

According to a statement by the corporation's attorney, Alutiiq LLC, an Afognak Native Corporation subsidiary, lost $3.8-million through an unauthorized transfer to a fraudulent account in Hong Kong.

According to Peter Boskofsky's statement, a fake e-mail account was set up in Europe under the name of company CEO Greg Hambright, which was then used to perpetrate the fraud. The scam artist sent an e-mail, and then phoned, a controller at a corporate bank Afognak uses requesting an urgent transfer of the money to the HSBC Bank account of a fictitious third party in Hong Kong.

The transaction was not discovered for two days, but when it was, Boskofsky said a freeze was requested on the foreign account, the FBI was contacted and stricter money transfer protocols have been put into place. He added that Afognak's company computers were not breached and their customer and shareholder information remained secure.

Afognak Native Corporation, headquartered in Kodiak, is a village corporation created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act for the descendants of people from Afognak Island. It has about 900 shareholders.
 
May 07 2015
Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 May 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 

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Coming up this week, there's a new CEO for Icicle Seafoods, but is he there just to oversee its break up or sale? Don Young says he wants to keep legal beagles out of fisheries, and it's blessing of the fleet time in Juneau. All that, and they used to blow up fish in the name of science! We had help from APRN's Liz Ruskin in Washington D.C., KUCB's Annie Ropeike in Unalaska and KTOO's Casey Kelly in Juneau. 

 
May 07 2015
Tustumena Return Delayed - Again PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 May 2015
tusty.jpg
Annie Ropeik/KUCB
The state ferry Tustumena has already missed its first sailings in May as it undergoes repairs in shipyard. Now, it’s delayed again -- but its first trip to the Aleutians isn’t set to change.

The ferry will spend five extra days off the water, making its first trip between Homer, Seldovia and Kodiak on May 17. It will still set out from Homer for the Aleutian Chain on May 19, as planned.

Department of Transportation spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says the Tustumena needs more repairs to one of its firefighting water pipes to meet Coast Guard standards.

But once it’s cleared, he says he doesn’t expect the ferry’s abbreviated summer schedule to be impacted any more by state budget cuts.

“The Tustumena is unique -- it’s the only ferry that calls on numerous communities,” Woodrow said. “Changing the Tustumena’s schedule would affect many communities that are serviced by that one vessel. Therefore, we almost necessarily need to keep that vessel intact and its service unaltered.”

The state is contacting this month’s affected passengers to help them rebook their trips. 
 
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