Knowing Tlingit makes possible a life of understanding the ways of our elders
By Johanna Eurich
Most of Alaska’s twenty Native languages are going extinct. However, a Native languages assistant professor at the University of Alaska Southeast is bucking that tide. Lance X’uneit Twitchell worked hard to learn Tlingit, a language used by his family for thousands of years. Tlingit people have a rich and complex high civilization along the Pacific coast in Southeast Alaska famous for its totem poles, clan system, regalia, rich poetry and formal rhetoric.