Parnell Signs Bill Creating Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council

Over the week-end in Dillingham, Governor Parnell used the occasion of the Rural Providers’ Conference to sign Senator Donny Olson’s bill to create the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council.

The council of five language experts and two rural legislators, will advise the governor and legislature on projects and policy for language preservation and revitalization.

The bill was widely supported by Native organizations, Nelson Angapak, Senior Vice President for the Alaska Federation of Natives, among them.

Inupiaq and some Athabascan languages are classified as “severely endangered” by UNESCO. A number of Aleut and Southeast languages are “critically endangered,” and the Eyak language lost its last remaining speaker in 2008.

The Language Council’s first report is due in 2014.

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