CSHCR 19(CRA): Urging Governor Bill Walker to issue an administrative order recognizing a linguistic emergency.
00 CS FOR HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 19(CRA) 01 Urging Governor Bill Walker to issue an administrative order recognizing a linguistic 02 emergency. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS the state is home to 20 officially recognized Alaska Native languages, 05 Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Unangax^ Dena'ina, Deg Xinag, 06 Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich'in, Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, H?n, 07 Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, alongside English; and 08 WHEREAS House Bill No. 216, enacted as ch. 116, SLA 2014, signed into law by 09 Governor Sean Parnell, adding the 20 Alaska Native languages to the official languages of the 10 state, was the culmination of hundreds of hours of effort by legislators, Alaska Natives, and 11 others; and 12 WHEREAS Senate Bill No. 130, enacted as ch. 48, SLA 2012, signed into law by 13 Governor Sean Parnell, established the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory 14 Council to advise both the governor and legislature on programs, policies, and projects to 15 provide for the cost-effective preservation, restoration, and revitalization of Alaska Native 16 languages in the state; and
01 WHEREAS the state is in critical danger of losing those languages and, according to 02 the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council, the state may lose the last 03 fluent speakers of all 20 Alaska Native languages by the end of the 21st century if current 04 rates of language loss continue as they have since the 1970s; and 05 WHEREAS one Alaska Native language, Eyak, lost its last fluent speaker in 2008; 06 and 07 WHEREAS 50 years of research shows that early, total language immersion 08 education for English speakers increases academic proficiency in both English and the 09 immersion language, as well as in other academic subjects; and 10 WHEREAS indigenous peoples should be able to provide education in the peoples' 11 own languages in a manner that is appropriate to the peoples' cultural methods of teaching and 12 learning; and 13 WHEREAS language is an important element of culture, and the use of Alaska Native 14 languages can strengthen Alaska Native culture in a mutually reinforcing cycle; 15 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor, the Alaska 16 Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council, and other state agencies to work 17 expeditiously and actively with the legislature and Alaska Native organizations to ensure the 18 survival and continued use of all 20 of the state's Alaska Native languages; and be it 19 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature encourages the Governor, 20 in cooperation with the legislature, to work with Alaska Native organizations to initiate and 21 strengthen, as appropriate, legislative and policy measures that prioritize the survival and 22 continued use of Alaska Native languages; and be it 23 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges Governor Bill 24 Walker to issue an administrative order recognizing a linguistic emergency.