AA, Alaska Native Studies

Kodiak College students can now earn an Associate of Arts in Alaska Native Studies! This degree provides a critical and dynamic perspective on Alaska Native cultures, histories, politics, and organizations. It also gives students the opportunity to gain cultural knowledge useful for work in higher education, in Alaska-based businesses, and in employment with Alaska Native organizations.

Unique to the AA in AKNS program is its focus on Alaska Native knowledge; in addition to general graduation requirements, students take 17 credits in courses such as "Alaska Native Perspectives" and "Cultural Knowledge of Native Elders." The degree also requires 8 credits (or two courses) of any Alaska Native language, which can be Alutiiq from Kodiak College, as well as Unangam Tunuu, Dena’ina, Ahtna, Yup’ik and Tlingit offered through UAA & KPC. As in a typical AA degree, these classes fit within the 60 credits hours of approximately two years of course work.
woman wearing a graduation gown and a ceremonial beaded alutiiq headdress

Ephimia Moonin-Wilson is the first enrollee in this exciting new program. Mia is a recent graduate of Kodiak College’s Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Alutiiq Language. She says she chose to continue her education with the AA in AKNS because taking courses in her ancestral language was fun and gave her the confidence to think “I can do this!” for all her coursework. And because the program is relevant to her community and culture.

Mia is Sugpiaq Alutiiq and currently works and lives in her home community of Port Graham, on the Kenai Peninsula. A busy mother of three, she is employed as the Sugt’stun (Alutiiq language) teacher in the Port Graham School, for kids ranging in age from Headstart through 9th grade.

We are happy to welcome Mia into the program, and encourage those interested in following in her footsteps to reach out to college advisors today. 

Program Student Learning Outcomes

  • Gain elementary-level proficiency in one Alaska Native language.
  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of Alaska Native cultures, histories, and contemporary politics.
  • Identify and analyze contemporary Alaska Native challenges within global Indigenous contexts.

students and professor looking at exhibits in the Alutiiq Museum


In addition to the general graduation requirements, students will take 17 credits of the following courses:

AKNS A201 Alaska Native Perspectives 3
AKNS A492 Cultural Knowledge of Native Elders 3
AKNS A101A Elementary Central Yup'ik Language I 4
AKNS A101B Elementary Tlingit Language I 4
AKNS A101C Elementary Alaska Native Language I 4
AKNS A101D Elementary Inupiaq Language I 4
AKNS A101E Elementary Alutiiq Language I 4
AKNS A101F Elementary Dena'ina Language I 4
AKNS A101H Elementary Ahtna Language I 4
AKNS A102A Elementary Central Yup'ik Language II 4
AKNS A102B Elementary Tlingit Language II
AKNS A102C Elementary Alaska Native Language II
AKNS A102D Elementary Inupiaq Language II
AKNS A102E Elementary Alutiiq Language II
AKNS A102F Elementary Dena'ina Language II
AKNS A102H Elementary Ahtna Language II 4
AKNS A261 Alaska Native Art History 3
ART A270 Beginning Alaska Native Art 3
AKNS A290 Topics in Alaska Native Studies 1 3
AKNS A230 Oral Traditions of Alaska Native People 3
AKNS A240 Alaska Native Cultural Orientation - Alutiiq/Sugpiaq 3
AKNS/PS A346 Alaska Native Politics 3
ANTH A390A Arctic and Subarctic Cultures 3

1 AKNS A290 must be completed as either Alaska Native Tribes or Climate Change & Environmental Policy.

 A minimum of 60 credits is required for the degree.

Susan Malutin wearing a ceremonial Alutiiq headpiece and doctoral robes

The AA in AKNS at Kodiak College and UAA is an excellent choice for educators working with multicultural populations in Alaska. This AA demonstrates an understanding and commitment to the needs of Alaska Native and rural students.

Students in any certificate or degree program can learn valuable skills for employment in Alaska through the courses offered in this Associate's degree.

candace outdoors