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AlaskaN indigenous Language Education Conference

Proposal for an Alaskan Indigenous Language and Education Conference (AILEC), February 2023

Alaska has held statewide, annual meetings of Alaska Native teachers, parents, administrators, and trainers from approximately 1975 through 2012: the Alaska BMEEC, Bilingual Multicultural Education Equity Conference as it was named toward the end. Most funding came from the State of Alaska’s Department of Education, using federal Bilingual Education funds. Individual registrations charged for participants started $70 in the 1970s, ending at $125 in 2000s.

These meetings were critical in advancing the awareness of the importance of Alaska Native languages, for helping Alaska Native language teachers meet and work together to share curriculum and lesson plan ideas and to network by language group, and for allowing leading researchers and trainers on indigenous and second language teaching methods to share with all Alaska Native language professionals. The other portions of the conference will be meetings on the intention, methodology, and approaches to language teaching within the broader area of Indigenous language revitalization. Some of these will be broken down into relevant focus groups among the stakeholders: language and culture teachers and teacher’s aides, administrators, and the community in general.

The ANLPAC has called for a renewal of such annual, statewide conferences beginning in the spring of 2024. The ANLPAC invites the Department of Education and Early Development, the University of Alaska, Alaska Pacific University, and Iḷisaġvik College to participate with us in hosting this newly revitalized, newly refocused conference.

Revised 03/08/2023