The Alutiiq language can now be learned online, thanks to an Internet course funded by the Afognak Native Corporation, Koniag and the Alutiiq Museum that teaches the language.
Melissa Borton, a tribal administrator with the village of Afognak, said there are only about 15 fluent speakers of the language left.
The voices of elders were recorded for the program.
They can be heard singing songs, reading and reciting words to teach correct pronunciations.
There are about a thousand words being taught right now.
Shauna Hegna, who’s originally from Port Lions, is using the program to teach her two children Alutiiq.
On a recent morning they were reciting their numbers.
“Who’s staaman? Paxon’s staaman!” Hegna said, pointing at her daughter who held up four fingers.
She hopes the program will help her children connect to their culture.
"The language you speak is like a lens in which you see the world. And the words you use to describe the world around you are critical," Hegna said "So for our kids to be able to learn, that is really important for them to be able to see the world through Alutiiq eyes."
The program is free and available to everyone.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly said Melissa Borton was an administrator with the Afognak Native Corp., not the village of Afognak.
Email Rebecca Palsha