Lance Twitchell: Take control of our Alaska Native languages

"Linguists have been predicting the death of Alaska Native languages for decades now, and whether or not those predictions prove accurate comes down to the choices you and I make on a daily basis. The past 200 years have been devastating; from boarding schools to disease to social discriminations, we are now left with the aftermath of successful attempts to destroy languages and cultures. But that does not mean we have to resign our efforts or just allow this to happen. In fact, it leaves us all with a tremendous amount of power and the decision is right here before us: speak now or let it go forever.

Our languages have developed in specific places for thousands and thousands of years. Within them we see patterns of migrations, grammar that allows us to see the world differently, and an ability to communicate more closely with our ancestors and the natural world around us."

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Lance A. Twitchell: Alaska Native languages: It all comes down to choices (The Juneau Empire 4/26)

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