Alaska Natives cheer as Gov. Bill Walker (I) holds up a copy of the Native language emergency order in Juneau, Alaska, on September 23, 2018. Photo: Alaska Governor Bill Walker

Alaska governor declares 'emergency' for Native languages

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I) signed an administrative order this week, declaring a state of "emergency" for Native languages in the state.

Administrative Order 300 requires state agencies to support Native language revitalization efforts. That includes incorporating Native languages in public schools and universities, including Native languages in public signs and consulting with tribes and Native organizations.

“This order focuses on concrete ways Alaska can show leadership to support its first people and their languages — one of our richest and most at-risk resources.” Walker, who is running for re-election, said in a press release. “It’s our responsibility to acknowledge government’s historical role in the suppression of indigenous languages, and our honor to move into a new era by supporting their revitalization.”

The order was signed in Juneau, the state capital, on Sunday. It took place during the Warming of the Hands ceremony at the First Alaskans Institute’s Social Justice Summit, which concluded on Tuesday.

Read More on the Story
Governor declares emergency for Alaska Native languages (KTOO September 24, 2018)
State says survival of Alaska Native languages at risk (KTVA September 24, 2018)
First Alaskans Institute brings social justice leaders to Juneau (KTOO September 25, 2018)

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