North American Traditional Indian Values Enrichment Program (NATIVE)
NATIVEʼs mission is to pursue the development and implementation of programs for the education of Alaska Native children and others regarding Lingít language and traditional ways of life.
4102 Halibut Point Road
Sitka, AK 99835
Tax I.D. #92-0136965
Founding member of NATIVE and Adjunct Professor at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), Koolyéik Roby Littlefield has dedicated much of her adult life to the preservation and revitalization of Lingít language and culture. At UAS Koolyéik creates a supportive learning environment for beginning language learners of all ages. She also shares her love and knowledge of the Lingít language culture as a language instructor in the Sitka School District and has developed Lingít language curriculum for Sealaska Heritage Institute and Goldbelt Heritage Foundation. As a reseacher, Koolyéik has documented, digitized, transcribed and translated local oral history for over 30 years and provides free transcription services to fluent Elders, other language students and community members.
Koolyéik has been the Cultural Camp Facilitator for Dog Point Fish Camp from 1986 - 2014 and is excited to revive the camp to meet an urgent need for Lingít language revitalization within an immersive and authentic learning environment. Students will learn the language through meaningful and authentic place-based activities while experiencing the natural beauty of Lingít Aaní.Currently there are less than 50 fluent speakers. We have a desperate need to increase the number of speakers and teachers of this unique world language.
Koolyéik is a core contributor to the JAMM Haa Tóo Yéi Yatee (“It is inside us”) initiative, which uses Lingit as the medium to teach violin to all kindergarten - 2nd grade students at least 90 min/wk. through a collaborative model between Lingít language scholars, culture bearers, school music teacher, teaching artist and classroom teacher. Koolyéik meets weekly for critical translation meetings and Zooms into music classrooms at both Sitʼ Eetí Shaanáx̱ Glacier Valley and Kax̱dig̱oowú Héen Elementary Schools to document new phrases for translation and ensure accuracy in Lingít usage and pronunciation. With Koolyéiḵʼs leadership, a similar initiative has begun in the Sitka middle school, where the Lingít language classroom integrates violin instruction with the language. These two initiatives have a symbiotic relationship where language research is shared and built upon in the spirit of collaboration and community of practice.