SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska



March 27, 2012
Tuesday AM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council is proclaiming April 1-7, 2012 Heritage Language Awareness Week.  It is estimated that only 175 Native languages remain in the United States, three of which are languages indigenous to the Ketchikan area: Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian also known as Lingít, Xaad Kíl, and Shmalgyax.  

City of Ketchikan Mayor Lew Williams issued a proclamation honoring Heritage Language Week which was accepted by KIC Tribal Education Director Cara Wallace. Similar proclamations will be issued by the Ketchikan Gateway Borough and the City of Saxman.

jpg Mayor Lew Williams and Cara Wallace, KIC Tribal Education Director

Mayor Lew Williams and Cara Wallace, KIC Tribal Education Director
Photo courtesy KIC

Ketchikan Indian Community has been a regional leader in the area of language preservation and revitalization. In an effort to reverse language loss, KIC is focusing on teacher development using the Mentor-Apprenticeship model.  The model allows elders to work individually with apprentices, who are training to become language teachers.  Since the creation of the language program in 2009, KIC has benefited from the generosity and hard work of the following elders: Primrose Adams, Phyllis Almquist, Stephen Brown, Delores Churchill, Norma Fawcett, Delores Ivins, Gertrude Johnson, Claude Jones, Helen Leask, Claude Morrison, John Reese, Wilbur Reese, and Joseph Thomas.

During Heritage Language Awareness Week, KIC encourages all citizens to celebrate the important role of fluent speakers in the tribal community and acknowledge their continuing dedication to the preservation of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian languages for future generations.

During that week a series of activities will take place to increase community awareness of language revitalization efforts.  Activities include:

Monday, April 2 –Game Night, 6pm, Tribal Youth Center, 615 Stedman Street
Spend the evening re-learning familiar board and card games in our heritage languages.

Tuesday, April 3 – THE LINGUISTS, 6pm, Southeast Alaska Discovery Center
THE LINGUISTS joins David Harrison and Gregory Anderson, scientists racing to document languages on the verge of extinction.  To view a trailer of the film, visit:

Wednesday, April 4 – Traditional Storytelling, 6pm, UAS Ketchikan Library
Fluent speakers will tell traditional stories in their heritage languages and English.  Hear the story of Tzab Tzab, a braggart bird who learns his lesson, and others!

Thursday, April 5 – Introductory Language Courses, 6pm, SSEATEC
KIC’s language staff will teach basic greetings, leave takings, and introductions.  Participants will also receive audio recordings of the lesson to practice at home.

Friday, April 6 – Honoring Our Speakers Reception, 3pm, Sunny Point Conference Center

The week will culminate in a community reception to honor fluent speakers who have contributed to Ketchikan Indian Community’s language revitalization efforts.











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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

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