The 2023 - 2024 Sealaska Language Application Period is Now Open!
In Alaska, very few birth speakers of our Southeast Alaska traditional languages – Sm’algyax, X̱aad Kíl and Lingít – remain. All are older than 70, and a majority are 80 or older. The group includes four birth speakers of Sm’algyax, three birth speakers of X̱aad Kíl, and 63 birth speakers of Lingít.
There is an urgent need to develop new, advanced speakers of our languages, and Sealaska is committed to the task.
In November of 2019, the Sealaska Board of Directors approved the creation of a $10 million endowment aimed at urgent action to preserve traditional languages with particular focus on developing advanced speakers of each of the three languages. Sealaska’s endowment is designed to amplify the efforts of other individuals, informal groups and formal institutions throughout Southeast Alaska. At a board meeting held on Friday, Jan. 27, Sealaska’s Board of Directors approved a one-time $250,000 increase in funding for language programming from the Sealaska language fund, bringing this year’s contribution to $750,000.
The fund is expected to generate $500,000 in grants annually to invigorate indigenous languages over the next decade.
Projects that have been funded so far include support for part-time, paid language mentors to assist students in the process of learning their language and create learning materials to assist them, and developing curriculum for the community of Hydaburg’s Xaadas Kíl Kuyaas Foundation in its work to preserve the Xaad Kíl language.
Sealaska is welcoming applications to support language preservation efforts. To learn more or apply, please email Tasha Heumann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sealaska board of directors approves increased language funding at first meeting in 2023 (January 2023)
- New language award honors birth speakers Clarence Jackson Sr.
- Sealaska language priorities reflected in seven recent grants (April 2022)
- Sealaska awards grants to fund Indigenous language education and social services for Alaska (July 2021)
- Sealaska mourns loss of Xaad kíl birth speaker Jane Kristovich ((K’ujúuhl) (April 2021)
- Webinar on revitalizing traditional languages from Dec. 9, 2020
- Language revitalization efforts at X̱ántsii Náay Immersion School in Hydaburg
- Tlingit Country Map: Tlingit Tribes, Clans and Clan Houses
- The Tlingit Language website
- Sealaska Heritage Institute language resources, including videos, apps, games, books and more!
- University of Alaska Southeast language resources
- Sm’álgyax (Tsimshian) Language Authority
- X̱aad Kíl (Haida) Language
- Outer Coast College – Native Language Resources