AKI Elders, Fred and Irene Coyle, participated in the Alaska Native languages revitalization project which was the focus of a four-day institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks recently. The Alaska Native Language Revitalization Institute is hosted by the UAF College of Rural and Community Development. College director of Indigenous programs Sandra Kowalski says the conference reflects a new urgency to preserve Alaska’s diversity of Native languages.
”We’ve had elders passing away,” Kowalski explained. “Just the whole context of having a Western education system and a Western culture kind of incept in our world and our Alaska Native communities has made it challenging for Alaska Native languages to thrive and be maintained.”