COVID Vaccine Materials in Alaska Native Languages

“It’s important for us to communicate in our languages why the vaccine is important, and to make sure that people have the information to make an informed decision”
– Annauk Olin, Inupiaqtun Language Panel

Project Background
Alaska Native Language panels convened virtually to create culturally-relevant messages about COVID-19 vaccines in eight Alaska Native languages. By uplifting Indigenous languages, facts, encouragement, and science through Indigenous knowledge systems, the speakers hope to provide people with trustworthy information needed to make informed decisions. In particular, providing Elders and first language speakers with information in their language is crucial to ensuring equitable access.

The panels were multi-generational, with Language learners, Elders, teachers, and other Language experts. Each panelist contributed their own unique talents–from orthography expertise and technology skills to artistic vision and traditional knowledge–all with the intent of translating important information to be communicated effectively and in a trustworthy manner with care for their communities.

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC)Native Peoples Action Community Fund (NPACF)Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AKPIRG), and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Alaska Native Language Panels
AKPIRG/NPACF Yugtun/Cugtun Language Panel:
Al’aq Cheryl Charles Smith, Rosalie Lincoln, Catherine Moses, Dorie Wassilie, Marie Hoover, Veronica Kaganak, and Lorina Warren

AKPIRG/NPACF Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Language Panel:
Mary Fields, Hishinlai’ Peter and Amaya Shaw

AKPIRG/NPACF Neets’aii Gwich’in Language Panel: 
Traditional Chief Dr. Rev. Trimble Gilbert and Kenneth Frank

AKPIRG/NPACF Inupiaqtun Language Panel:
Richard Atuk, Georgianne Oonak Merrill, Annie Conger, Maggie Pollock, and Annauk Olin. *The Inupiaqtun group created materials in both Brevig Mission and Shishmaref Inupiaqtun

AKPIRG/NPACF Ahtna Language Panel:
Melissa Shaginoff and Sondra Shaginoff-Stuart

AKPIRG/NPACF Lingí­t Language Panel:
X̱’unei Twitchell and Aandax̱ltín Stephanie Tripp

AKPIRG/NPACF Denaakk’e Language Panel:
Hʉkk’aaghneestaatlno Lorraine David, Velma Schafer, Alberta Vent, and Kk’ołeyo Dewey Hoffman