Last week the Alaska State Senate passed what is, according to one legislator, “the most significant piece of legislation affecting Alaska Native languages since 1972 when laws were passed requiring mandatory bilingual education in state-operated schools where children speak Alaska Native languages.” However, the bill will only become law if it is also passed by the House and signed into law by the Governor.
Senate Bill 130 would establish a council charged with assessing the current condition of the state’s Native languages, reevaluating state programs, and making recommendations about improving existing programs or starting new ones.
If you are a resident of Alaska and agree that the bill is important, call or write your local representative and urge them to support it in the House. A list of representatives and their contact information can be found here. More information on the bill can be found here.