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Grant number like: PW-259128-18

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Robert Aqqaluk Newlin, Sr. Memorial Trust (Kotzebue, AK 99752-0509)
Hans Bernhardt Nelson (Project Director: July 2017 to July 2020)
Denise Koutchak (Project Director: July 2020 to present)
Aqqaluk Trust Alaska Native Voices: Pilot Study to Preserve and Disseminate the Indigenous Spirit Conference Tapes

A Foundations project to preserve and create access to 700 audiocassette tapes of Alaskan Iñupiaq elders, recorded between 1976 and 1981, that document native lifeways during a period of rapid cultural change.  The collaborative project includes training, digitization, cataloging, long-term storage, and creation of online access to the original recorded narratives, speeches, and musical works.  It would establish a collaborative process for native Alaskan organizations to preserve at-risk audio recordings.  

Aqqaluk Trust Alaska Native Voices (ATANV) is a collaborative effort to preserve and provide access to 700 unique Alaska Native Elders’ cassette tapes recordings. These primary source materials document the Iñupiaq “Spirit Program” from 1976-81 which records firsthand descriptions in Iñupiaq of essential indigenous Northwest Alaskan survival skills and moral maxims. The lifeways described are now largely historical, yet the Spirit Program forms the bedrock of present-day Iñupiaq values. Stored in extremely high relative humidity conditions on the Northern Alaska coast for the past 36-41 years, these tapes are now at risk from magnetic tape failure or ever-present threats from the natural environment. The ATANV project hopes to provide these historic audio tapes with preservation and digital access before they are lost, providing cataloging and online access to the digital files while storing the originals in environmentally controlled conditions.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Cultural Anthropology; Cultural History; Linguistic Anthropology

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources

Preservation and Access

$45,087 (approved)
$45,087 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2018 – 9/30/2022