Southeast Alaska Traditional Languages in a Critical State
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Sealaska shareholders have told us that investing in traditional languages is a top priority. In 2019, Sealaska set up an endowment to support the revitalization of the Tlingit (Lingít), Haida (X̠aad Kíl) and Tsimshian (Sm’algya̠x) traditional languages.
Sealaska hosted an hour-long discussion on traditional languages on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. Sealaska Director Lisa Ka’illjuus Lang hosted the conversation with:
- Dr. Lance X̠’unei Twitchell
- David R. Gyibaawm La̠xha Boxley
- Marita Ilskyalas Tolson
- Benjamin K’uyáang Young
- Miriah Káalaa Twitchell
Dr. Lance Twitchell earned a Ph.D. in Hawaiian and Indigenous language and culture revitalization through Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, University of Hawaii Hilo. During the Zoom webinar, Twitchell said the state of traditional languages in Southeast Alaska is in a state of crisis. “Plenty of people have been saying this for decades. But I continue to re-emphasize,” said Twitchell. “About 10 years ago Dr. Michael Krauss said we stand to lose more North American languages in the next 30 years than we lost during the entirety of contact with European nations. This is not going to fix itself; we need people to take control of the destiny of languages. It’s the work of our people to take the languages from past generations to future generations. Each of our languages are losing fluent speakers, but the good news is we have more people who are coming to learn the language.”
Each of the guests provided language resource links:
- The Haayk Foundation – Haida (X̠aad Kíl)
- Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Language Authority – Tsimshian (Sm’algya̠x)
- Sealaska Heritage Institute – Tlingit (Lingít)
To hear the full conversation, click the video!
About Sealaska Language Fund
Sealaska established a $10 million language endowment to focus on the revitalization of Tlingit (Lingít), Haida (X̱aad Kíl) and Tsimshian (Sm’algya̠x) languages. Sealaska’s $10 million Language Revitalization Fund is expected to generate $500,000 in grants annually to invigorate Indigenous languages over the next decade.
Sealaska is welcoming applications to support language preservation efforts. To learn more or apply, please visit the online application.
Irish company will expand global geosciences capabilities Roto-sonic drilling at Scapa Flow, Orkney – January 2022 June 28, 2022 (Seattle, WA)—Sealaska and Causeway Geotech Limited, one of the leading independent ground-investigation contractors in Ireland and the United Kingdom, today announced Causeway is becoming part of Sealaska’s ocean-health business platform. Run through a Seattle-based company called …
The Causeway team mobilizes out of Stornoway Harbour in November 2018, with jack-up barge OCM 80 to commence drilling operations at Smooth Point. A deep appreciation for the outdoors, for people and for problem-solving united Darren O’Mahony, Paul Dunlop and Ciaran Doherty when they were colleagues at Glover Site Investigations in Northern Ireland. So when …
Sealaska shareholders gave strong support to a resolution that will extend eligibility for Class D (Descendant) stock in Sealaska to lineal descendants of original shareholders without respect to their documented Alaska Native blood quantum. Sealaska joins Calista and Arctic Slope Regional Corporation in rejecting the practice of quantifying degree of Indian blood in order to …
Q: What did the blood quantum resolution do? A: When it was approved by shareholders, the resolution on this year’s proxy eliminated the requirement for applicants for Class D (Descendant) stock to prove they have at least one-quarter Alaska Native blood quantum. Q: Who is eligible for Class D stock? A: Lineal descendants of …
New Language Award Honors Founding Director Clarence Jackson, Sr. The inaugural Clarence Jackson Sr. Language Awards were presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The award recognizes individuals for the tremendous impact on Lingít, Xaad Kíl and Sm’álgyax language revitalization. The first awards recognized Elder/birth speakers. The new Sealaska language awards are named after Galtín …