Alaska governor declares emergency for native languages

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JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has declared an emergency for Alaska Native languages, aiming to promote and preserve all 20 recognized indigenous languages in the state.

KTOO Public Media in Juneau reports the order signed this week by the independent governor directs the state education commissioner to work with partners to promote indigenous languages in public education.

It also directs the state to use traditional Alaska Native place names on public signs. The order instructs state commissioners to designate a tribal liaison tasked with producing a plan to boost collaboration with Alaska Native partners.

The governor’s order was prompted by a report this year by the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council that warned the languages could become extinct by the century’s end.

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Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

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