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This coming fall, the Nome elementary school will debut Nome’s first Inupiaq immersion program in an ongoing effort to revitalize one of many Alaska Native languages.

As the longer days of summer-break beckon, Western Alaskan students and teachers alike are ready to leave their classrooms behind and head outside. But for Kiminaq Maddy Alvanna-Stimpfle, a second-grade teacher with the Nome Elementary School, there is plenty of work left to do.

Doyon Foundation funds language revitalization projects

Mar 30, 2020

Of the 20 official Native languages in Alaska, nine Athabascan languages in the Doyon region are working on developing fluent speakers. The Doyon Foundation is accepting proposals for language development grants.

A people’s language defines who they are, says Allan Hayton, the program director for the Doyon Foundation’s Language Revitalization program.

About 100 fluent speakers of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages are left in Alaska and Canada’s Interior. And a Southeast Alaska cultural center invites them to Juneau for an Alaska Native language summit.

Voices of Our Ancestors” will invite fluent speakers of Lingit, Xaad Kil and Sm’algyax. The three-day regional summit will be Nov. 13-15.

Sealaska Heritage Institute will cover transportation and hotel costs for fluent speakers living in Alaska.

Linguistics studies major Myles Creed worked with a group to get Iñupiatun included as a language on Facebook. 

"We need Iñupiaq language everywhere. I think Facebook is just one place that the language can exist and thrive," said Myles Creed, a linguistics studies major. "To have a space where especially young people can use the language, see the language and have it represented is really going to be very useful."

Creed says other language groups want to include Yup'ik, Lingit (Tlingit, Xaad kil (Haida) and Sm'algyax (Tsimshian).

At least 20 distinct Native languages are spoken in Alaska, and every year, the population of speakers gets a little smaller. A Golovin senator now wants to reverse that trend by encouraging immersion language charter schools.

Democrat Donny Olson introduced a bill on Friday that would create a special certification process for instructors of Native languages, so that it would be easier for them to teach in schools.  He’s hoping to build on the success of legislation recognizing Alaska’s Native languages as official languages in their own right.

State election officials testifying in court said they work hard to help Native language speakers and to recruit bilingual outreach workers.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill asks SBA for information that would show if 2011 requirements for Alaska Native corporations engaged in federal contracting are working.

The comment period on a proposed rule that would allow the Dept. of Interior to accept applications to place land in Alaska in trust.

A federal judge says the Constitutional right to vote requires the state to translate election materials into Native languages for voters lacking English proficiency. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has introduced a bill that would require the translations, and other measures he says are needed to ensure equal access to polls. The Native Voting Rights bill would also require federal pre-clearance on decisions about polling places and early voting.

By law, the Legislature is allotted ninety days in session, but despite meeting into the early hours this morning, it hasn't finished its work. It's scheduled to reconvene at 1 p.m. today.

The Federal Subsistence Board has limited any available king salmon to federally qualified subsistence users in 32 Kuskokwim communities.

Alaska's unemployment rate was up a tenth of a percent in March, reaching 6.6%, just one-tenth of a percent below the national average, which has been dropping.

The Federal Subsistence Board has voted to change the process it uses to determine if a community is rural and eligible for subsistence priority. At issue is the question of who gets to fish and hunt when there's a resource shortage.

The Legislature adopted a bill that would allow Village Public Safety Officers to carry firearms in the line of duty.

The Federal Subsistence Board has voted to change the process it uses to determine if a community is rural and eligible for subsistence priority. At issue is the question of who gets to fish and hunt when there's a resource shortage.

The Legislature adopted a bill that would allow Village Public Safety Officers to carry firearms in the line of duty.

The state House of Representatives has adopted a bill to make Alaska's 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages; it now goes to the Senate.