Alaska Native language

August 19, 2016

By Molly Dischner, KDLG - Dillingham

When Alaskans went to the polls this week, some had new options for language assistance. Expanded help for Yup’ik, Gwich’in and Inupiaq speakers was the result of a lawsuit brought against the state in 2013. A team of state elections officials and those involved in the lawsuit traveled to three Bristol Bay communities to see how the provisions worked out on primary day.

Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins says successful programs in other countries are the model for proposed Native language immersion charter schools

By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska

New legislation will propose a system of encouraging and supporting Native language charter schools in Alaska. Sitka Democratic Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins says the bill will be introduced this month. He says it will follow in the footsteps of successful programs in New Zealand, Hawaii and Israel.

A trial is scheduled for next month in a case alleging failure by the state to provide accurate translations of voting materials into Alaska Native languages.

A short subsistence opening is scheduled for the Kuskokwim River, where returns of spawning king salmon was the lowest on record last year.

Likewise on the Yukon River, returns are expected to be even lower than last year, which were the lowest on record. Commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries on the entire Yukon River drainage area will be closed.