COVID-19 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 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.

“I want us to be among each other, that is why I got the shot. I love the people I am with.”  (Tlingit)
“I got my Covid shot so I wouldn’t get sick.” (GZ Gwich’in) 

The panels are multi-generational, with Language learners, Elders, teachers, and other Language experts. Each panelist contributes 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.



Partners



Alaska Native Language Panels

AKPIRG/NPACF Yugtun/Cugtun Language PanelAl’aq Cheryl Charles Smith, Rosalie Lincoln, Catherine Moses, Dorie Wassilie, Marie Hoover, Veronica Kaganak, and Lorina Warren
AKPIRG/NPACF Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich’in Language PanelMary Fields, Hishinlai’ Peter and Amaya Shaw
AKPIRG/NPACF Neets’aii Gwich’in Language PanelTraditional Chief Dr. Rev. Trimble Gilbert and Kenneth Frank
AKPIRG/NPACF Inupiaqtun Language PanelRichard 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 PanelMelissa Shaginoff and Sondra Shaginoff-Stuart
AKPIRG/NPACF Lingít Language PanelX̱’unei Twitchell and Aandax̱ltín Stephanie Tripp
AKPIRG/NPACF Denaakk’e Language PanelHʉkk’aaghneestaatlno Lorraine David, Velma Schafer, Alberta Vent, and Kk’ołeyo Dewey Hoffman

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Journey to Wellness During the Pandemic 2019-2021