April 14, 2005
"We want to commemorate the achievement of these students," said Rosita Worl, president of the institute. "They are leading the way in revitalizing the Haida language."
The Haida class is sponsored by the institute and the University of Alaska Southeast-Ketchikan. Students learn to speak and understand basic Haida by focusing on four basic language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Emphasis is put on the mastery of everyday vocabulary and proper use of basic Haida grammatical patterns, said SHI Linguist Jordan Lachler, who teaches the course and manages the institute's Ketchikan office.
Nineteen students enrolled in the class, which was taught in Ketchikan and Hydaburg. The celebration is for the students who were enrolled in Ketchikan. The institute is planning to host another party in Hydaburg when the students there complete their 100 hours.
The party will be held at 4 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at the Ketchikan Indian Community's building on 429 Deermount. The students will give a language demonstration, and information on upcoming Haida language classes for beginning students will be available.
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1981 to administer cultural and educational programs for Sealaska Corp. The institute is governed by an all-Native board of trustees. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.