Native Languages

The Center is designed to revitalize the languages and cultures of Southeast Alaska Native people. It will serve as the largest repository of Tlingit (Lingít), Haida (Xaad Kíl) and Tsimshian (Shm’algyack) language resources in the world.

The new Center will provide:

  • A living history center with the latest technologies where SHI can host workshops for fluent speakers, language learners and teachers to practice speaking, learn orthographies, and share best teaching practices through both face-to-face gatherings and distance learning.
  • Ceremonial space designed in traditional Northwest Coast style, where public presentations can be held, encouraging the use of Native languages and providing cross-cultural education.
  • A recording studio where fluent Native speakers can record their stories and oral histories, which will preserve these important cultural resources for further personal, scientific and linguistic study.
  • Staff space where language specialists can develop much-needed resources for perpetuating and revitalizing Southeast Alaska’s Native languages.
  • Access to invaluable recordings, transcriptions, and translations for researchers and language learners.

Goals of Native Languages Program:

  • Assist the Education Program in the development of place-based, culturally relevant curriculum and materials.
  • Develop a range of language learning resources available in a variety of media (print, recorded, online and interactive).
  • Train classroom and community language teachers and learners in the use of these resources.
  • Build a pool of fluent speakers/consultants capable of transcribing and translating recorded language.
  • Encourage community-based language programs, with emphasis on children and dormant speakers.
  • Document and preserve as many examples of the languages as possible.