With funding provided by the National Recording Preservation Foundation, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program was able to have 59 ‘Cuttlefish Project’ magnetic audio reels digitized by a professional company. The recordings can now be listened to online either through the UAF Rasmuson & Mather Libraries: Library Catalog (https://jlc-web.uaa.alaska.edu/client/en_US/uaf) or through the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archive Digital Repository, Historical Audio section (https://archives.library.uaf.edu/islandora/objects/eerl-historical-audio-cuttlefish).
From the fall of 1977 to the spring of 1982, Ray Hudson supervised groups of Unalaska high school students in his Cuttlefish class. Community Elders were asked to come to the class and share with students in their Unangam Tunuu language, sometimes through the use of a translator, and sometimes in English, stories about themselves and other cultural and historical details. Ray recorded many of these sessions so to the best of our knowledge, these are the only recordings of their kind that exist from the Cuttlefish classes. Although the students produced 6 booklets in the Cuttlefish series, much of the information contained in the recordings was not used.
The ‘Cuttlefish Project’ recordings are of immense Unangax̂ (Alaska Aleut) cultural importance due to not only the topics covered by Elders but because many of them were the last fluent speakers of the Unangam Tunuu language. They are of the utmost importance to the Unangax̂ people themselves, for educators around world who study the diversity of Indigenous people in the United States, and for worldwide linguists and historians.