Local News
7:44 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

6/30/14 KNBA News - Officials knowingly ignored a translation error in 2009 election announcements

Cupik artist Emily Johnston displays some of her woven dance fans and baskets at the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
Credit Joaqlin Estus / Koahnic Broadcasting

  Officials knew a 2009 translation for a radio announcement was incorrect, but decided to let it air. As a result, Yup'ik language announcements in Dillingham and Bethel, used the phrase "voting for a long time," instead of "absentee voting." That information came out in evidence submitted in a trial alleging the state has failed to provide accurate, complete translations of voting materials in Native languages. The state contends its program meets legal requirements. The trial is underway in Anchorage before a federal judge.

At the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Cupik Elder Emily Johnston is teaching interns how to make dance fans of woven sea grass, fur, and long strands of reindeer hair. She's one of several artists teaching at the Center through September. Later this week. we'll hear from two more of the artists.