Native Languages

Two decades ago, Hishinlai' Kathy Sikorski could not speak her ancestral language, Gwich'in Athabascan. Now she teaches it at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Sikorsi says she was ``scared'' when she was first hired as a language instructor in 2002. Back then, she had no idea how to teach a language, but says she developed her skills by learning even more, eventually creating her own lesson plans and making her own materials ``from scratch.''

Sikorski is among people who spoke at a meeting in Anchorage Monday on efforts to revitalize Alaska Native languages.

The daylong event was hosted by the Alaska Historical Commission and included recorded greetings from Alaska's three-member congressional delegation. Participants attending in person include Alaska Native groups and government representatives.