As a child, Alice Fitka was punished for speaking her Yup’ik language in school. Since then, she’s spent decades teaching it in the Western Alaska village of Tuntutuliak.
A federal humanities advocate and a Native nonprofit are teaming up to promote Native language education programs. They’ll each contribute about $2 million to fund education programs within tribal communities aimed at revitalizing Native American languages.
Abraham, whose Tlingit name was Chuu Shah, was the first woman and the first Native American to hold a senior position in the statewide administration of the University of Alaska system.
Dozens of people testified in favor of HB 216, which unanimously cleared the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee.
Alaska’s 20 native languages are a generation away from disappearing. But a new effort is adding technology to the list of tools for saving the languages.