Alaska Native Studies

  • Discovering Alaska's People

    Alaska Native Studies provides an in-depth perspective on contemporary Alaska Native societies, languages, cultures, history, politics, art, tribal governments, and our for-profit as well as our non-profit corporations.

    Learn More About the Program

Instructor discusses cultural items from Southeast Alaska peoples

Students may select one of two areas to complete the requirements for the minor; a policy focus or a language focus. Both of these areas emphasize the dynamic nature of Alaska Native peoples and cultures, and the variety of courses provides a meaningful understanding for native and non-native students alike.

Minor in Alaska Native Studies

AKNS Instructor teaches in the Alaska Languages Lab

The Associate of Arts (AA) in Alaska Native Studies provides students with a critical and dynamic perspective on Alaska Native cultures, histories, politics and organizations. This AA provides a valuable opportunity for students interested in exploring their options in higher education and/or employment with an Alaska Native organization.

Associate of Arts

Student learns Alutiiq weaving

Many students find a passion for Alaska Native Studies and delve into interesting research topics, ranging from the perspectives on kinship, philosophy, symbolism, and storytelling to examining the psychological and cultural perspectives of human development and well-being of indigenous peoples.

Student Success

Alaska Native Studies Occupational Endorsement Certificates

There are two Occupational Endorsement Certificates (OEC) in Alaska Native Languages offered at UAA: Ahtna Language and Dena’ina Language.

Alaska Native Studies Fall 2023 Courses: Enroll Today!

AKNS A101F  Elementary Dena'ina 

4 credits via zoom T/R 5:30-7:10 p.m.. Instructor: Donita Slawson

Introductory course for students with little or no prior knowledge of the Dena'ina Athabascan language. Develops listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in Dena'ina for effective communication at the elementary level. Addresses history of Alaska Native languages and cultures.
Special Note: Class conducted in the Dena'ina language


AKNS/MUS A215 Music of Alaska Natives & Peoples of Northern Regions

3 credits Thursday 5:30-8:15 pm Instructor: Maria Williams

Explores music and dance practices of Alaska Native and Indigenous peoples of the circumpolar north by region and culture group. Interdisciplinary methods will be used to examine the historical and social dynamics behind changing musical and cultural traditions. Fundamentals of ethnomusicology theory and research methods will be introduced.


AKNS A230 Oral Traditions of Alaska Native People

T/R 1-2:15  Instructor: Haliehana Stepetin

Introduces Alaska Native oral traditions, both the stories told by different Alaska Native cultures and the indigenous languages that convey those stories. Examines the role of oral traditions in sharing knowledge and beliefs in Alaska Native cultures, the importance of indigenous languages in conveying ideas, the translation of oral traditions into recorded or printed media, and contemporary settings where oral traditions continue.

Academic Advising

You are encouraged to consult with an academic advisor, as well as any other faculty members concerning your course of study at UAA.

Find your Advisor

Associated Programs

KPC Alaska Native Studies

KOC OEC in Alutiiq Language

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us at the Alaska Native Studies office, located in the Social Sciences Building (RM 378) or by phone at (907) 786-6135.

Alaska Native Studies Faculty Directory

Course Descriptions

AKNS Degrees (UAA Course Catalog)

Upcoming AKNS Courses