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Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council

Council Members

The Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council members are appointed by the Governor of Alaska, and serve three-year terms. Council members are Alaska Native language professionals who provide recommendations for and foster the development of a comprehensive statewide Alaska Native language policy, strategy for improving the preservation, restoration and revitalization of Alaska Native languages.

Representative Andi Story
andi story

Andi Story has lived in Juneau for over 30 years, raising her three children Ellen, Mallory & Ryan while her husband Mike ran a small engineering firm. She served on the Juneau School Board for 15 years, and has regularly advocated for increased focus on education and equity in Alaska schools before the legislature, as a co-founder of Great Alaska Schools, and as president of the Alaska Association of School Boards. Andi has a Masters in Social Work, and volunteers with the P.E.O. and the Northern Lights United Church. She enjoys walking outdoors, cross-country skiing, and time spent with family and friends.

Senator Donald Olson - Inupiaq
Senator Donald Olson

Senator Donald Olson is Inupiaq from Golovin. Lifelong Alaskan, Senator Olson was born in Nome and is a doctor, pilot, reindeer herder, businessman and Legislator. He and wife Willow have four children: Colby, Martin, Donald Jr.and Maggie Rae.

Kay Larson-Blair - Yup'ik, Unangan, Sugpiaq


Kay's family is from Dillingham, Iliamna, Old Togiak, Sanak Island, and Cherokee
Nation in Oklahoma. Kay grew up in Bristol Bay and Oklahoma and currently resides in Anchorage where she raised her two daughters.  Kay is proud of her mixed heritage and is a tribal member of the Curyung Tribe. Kay serves as the Cultural Heritage Program Officer with the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Education Foundation. This past year the Foundation hosted the first Bristol Bay Indigenous Language Summit in the Spring of 2022 and over the next decade, the Cultural Program will focus on supporting and growing indigenous language opportunities for the people of and from Bristol Bay. Kay also volunteers as the CEO of Yuuciput Preservation, a nonprofit that works to translate and transcribe historical audio and video recordings from Bristol Bay and make accessible. Kay is passionate about increasing access for people to connect to their culture and language.

Annette Evans Smith - Athabascan, Alutiiq and Yup'ik
Annette Evans Smith

Evans Smith, of Anchorage, is the Alaska Native Heritage Center President and CEO, where she has worked in several roles since 2003. Under her leadership, the center has initiated a statewide language summit, two pilot language immersion camps, language circles, and a study to identify Alaska Native language programs and learners of Alaska Native languages. The Center's hope is to connect Alaska Native residents in Anchorage to the language programs that exist across Alaska. Her prior work involves service with Southcentral Foundation and The Northern Forum. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University and is also a trustee with the Western States Arts Federation. Evans Smith is actively learning the Yup’ik language through her grandmother and more recently Denaakk'e (Koyukon Athabascan) from teachers Susan Paskvan, Eliza Jones, and Esther McCarty.

Walkie Charles - Yup'ik
Walkie Portrait

Charles, of Fairbanks, is an associate professor of Yup’ik Eskimo and the first Alaska Native Director of the Alaska Native Language Center (ANLC) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He grew up in Emmonak speaking Yup’ik before earning a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a master’s degree in education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Ph.D. in applied linguistics at UAF. His research interests are second language acquisition, dynamic assessment, and socio-cultural theory. As a native speaker of Yugtun, one of his primary interests is to maintain his language through teaching it at educational levels.

X'unei Lance Twitchell, Vice-Chair - Tlingit, Haida, Yup’ik, and Sami
X’unei Lance Twitchell

Xh’unei, Lance A. Twitchell, is associate professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Yaayuk Bernadette Alvanna-Stimpfle, Chair - Inupiaq
 Yaayuk Bernadette Alvanna-Stimpfle

Yaayuk, of Nome, is the Kawerak Inc. Eskimo Heritage Program Director, and an Inupiaq instructor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Northwest Campus. She has also worked as an Alaska Native education coordinator and classroom teacher, and as a teaching mentor with the Alaska Statewide Mentoring Project. She also is a member of the King Island Drummers & Dance Group and a former member of the King Island Traditional Council. Alvanna-Stimpfle holds a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in Inupiaq Eskimo language from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

For more information about the Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council contact:

D. Roy Mitchell, IV
Research Analyst
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
Phone: 907-269-3646