Decoding the Future in The Aleut Community of St. Paul

Updated: Jul 13

By Stacy Hayden


Shaffer Evaluation Group is proud to be working on another grant with The Aleut Community of St. Paul Island Tribal Government (ACSPI) in Alaska entitled, Decoding the Future.


Pribilof School District serves students living on the two inhabited Pribilof Islands: St. Paul and St. George. After contact with colonizers, the Unangan (Aleut People) were forced to stop speaking their traditional language. Due to this, children did not speak the language at home, and it began to disappear as a living language. Compounding this issue was the loss of speaking elders; by 2017 there were only 13 elderly fluent speakers of the language on St. Paul Island. ASCPI launched the Unangam Tunuu (UT) Program to combat this issue in 2006. Since inception, the program has successfully produced 72 fluent listeners of UT and three individuals who have some speaking proficiency.


U.S. Department of Education, Office of Indian Education funds are being used to support the expansion of their existing Native American Language Program, the UT Program. Further, the project will support the integration of the UT program with an existing computer coding program. Integrating these programs will allow for “students to capitalize on their own excitement around learning and using 21st century tools in a setting to define a new world in a traditional manner” (Grant application, 2020).


Shaffer Evaluation Group serves as the external evaluator for this grant, along with The Aleut Community of St. Paul Tribal Island’s college and career readiness grant, funded in 2018. If you would like more information about our services, including grant evaluation, contact us.