The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Alaska Native language groups convene to translate census materials​

Our grad student Annauk Olin was recently at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, where she was joined by a group of about 25 people represented the Gwich’in, Inupiat, Yup’ik, and Koyukon cultures from Alaska. They gathered to translate materials for the 2020 Census. She says in an interview:

“I think this is a pretty revolutionary movement that we’re working on because it acknowledges that our languages are our birthright and that means that our languages should be spoken in all the different facets of our lives…… When we’re translating Census material into Inupiaq or Denaakk’e (the Koyukon language) or Yup’ik that means that we are telling different agencies that our languages matter and that we prefer to and we require that we communicate in our languages across our communities and with federal or state institutions.” 

The full interview can be read here.