UAA displays Alaska Native Heritage


by Jessica Gruenling

 ANCHORAGE, Ak-- House Bill 216, that would make 20 Alaska Native Languages official langest of the state, is on its way to the Senate floor. This bill holds a lot of meaning for Alaska Natives.

"It's a recognition that the indigenous people of the state of Alaska have been her for thousands of years," Representative Benjamin Nageak. 
Rosita Worl
"We still think its really important, it's a statement that speaks against past public policies when native languages were surpressed and it's a recognition of the value of linguistic diversity in our state," Rosita Worl, President, Sealaska Heritage Institute. 
The project is welcome signs placed all around UAA's campus. Each one different, representing land or water, with its own artistic twist representing that specific language and region.  
"With a lot of native faculty in our college, I think we really felt tied to this idea, the fact that we were able to help it come to fruition was really very exciting," Lisa Cook, UAA.
And these signs aren't going unnoticed. 
"There were some elders coming down the stairs and our facilities director and I were looking at the sign and they looked over their shoulders and the woman just said it's so beautiful," Cook. 
As of right now UAA as eight signs dispayed with the hope of rolling out nine more.