Guidelines for Incorporating Native Language Into the Classroom


The Alaska Natives were born with tongue to use our own language.
When the missionaries came into our part of the world they did not know we had our own communications with our maker, but they had to teach simple English words so we can communicate with them when they came to give us baptism and confirmation. Include English names in our region. (This was in late 1800's.) This helped our people to speak little English with the prospectors and trappers who came into our area.

English became the first language when our Athabascan people started going to school and missions popped up in a few places in the Interior. My generation was ninety percent English.

The Athabascan language will be second instead of the first unless we adopt a resolution in the state of Alaska to teach our Native language in all our schools in Alaska.

Resolution to include:
The state should adopt a bill that could include Native language to the education system and be taught by Native teachers.
It should be our Native constitutional right to enforce such a bill.
A teacher should encourage their students and themselves to learn Native language.
There are simple Native words that can be taught such as animal names, clothing names, food items, Native songs and short stories.
Native words should be taught at kindergarten.
Have Elders who are familiar with Native language help the teachers to teach simple words.
Create workshops on Native language and invite the parents to participate.
Create video games to help teach Native language.
Create general Native words for public to understand.

Author: Robert M Charlie