Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed five Alaskans to the newly formed Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council (ANLPAC). The five language experts represent an array of specialists across the state. According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner they are:
- Stephen Walkie Charles of Fairbanks, an assistant professor of Yup’ik Eskimo at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
- Delores Churchill of Ketchikan, one of the few remaining speakers of Haida and also a renowned basket weaver.
- April Gale Laktonen Counceller of Kodiak, an assistant professor of Alutiiq language and culture at Kodiak College and the language manager at Alutiiq Museum.
- Bernadette Yaayuk Alvanna-Stimpfle of Nome, an Inupiaq instructor at the UAF Northwest Campus and Eskimo Heritage Program Director at Kawerak Inc.
- Annette Evans-Smith of Anchorage, president and CEO of the Alaska Native Heritage Center.
In May, Parnell signed Senate Bill 130, which is designed to assist in the preservation of indigenous languages throughout Alaska through ANLPAC.
ANLPAC’s mission is to advise the governor and Legislature on Alaska Native language issues, actively preserve and evaluate all Alaska Native languages, and file a report to the governor every two years.