780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Native language bill passes Alaska House committee

The state capitol building in Juneau in May 2003. Photo: Kenneth John Gill, Wikimedia Commons.
The state capitol building in Juneau. Photo: Kenneth John Gill, Wikimedia Commons.

House Bill 26 has passed the House Tribal Affairs Committee. The bill seeks to rename the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council as the Council for Alaska Native Languages.

The bill would also increase the number of voting seats on the council from five to seven.

The proposed legislation was heard for a third and final time in the committee on Monday, March 20. It passed out of committee after an amendment by Rep. Jamie Allard of Eagle River was accepted.

The amendment would increase the number of legally protected Alaskan languages from 20 to 23 by including Wetaɬ, Cupik and a Tanana language.

“This amendment is adding additional languages to be recognized, so all languages within the state of Alaska are recognized,” Allard said during the hearing on March 20.

As of 2022, Alaska Native language programs existed in 10 Bering Strait regional communities at the elementary through high school level and beyond, according to a council report.

The next hearing for HB26 is expected in the House Finance Committee due to a $10,000 fiscal note attached to the proposal. That money would be earmarked, under statute, for travel costs of council members.

Image at top: The state capitol building in Juneau. Photo by Kenneth John Gill, Wikimedia Commons.

Share this story


Recent Posts

Patrick Landback Wins Gold Dust Dash 5k Race

Waves crashed just feet away as a row of runners lined up on Nome’s East End Beach. Veronica Perez, a Summercise Intern for Norton Sound Health Corporation, announced to the 35 competitors of the Gold Dust Dash that it was time to get ready to race.  “Ladies and gentleman, start

Read More »

MS Westerdam Passengers Recall Icy Approach to Nome

Holland America’s MS Westerdam has arrived in Nome. The cruise ship that holds over 1,900 passengers is anchored just off the coast of Nome, too big to dock in the port. Small tenders that hold about 80 passengers each are ferrying visitors to and from the shore throughout the day.

Read More »

First-Ever KNOM Radio Music Fest Draws a Crowd, Drives Donations

Selma Casagranda serenaded audience members with a few of her original songs. Casagranda is from Seward and one of four finalists from KNOM’s 2023 American Idol search. Audience members joined the King Island dance group for an invitational dance. One of KNOM’s 2023 American Idol search finalists, Martin Paul of

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.