UAS Alaska Native Studies professor X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell awarded fellowships to enhance Tlingit language and artwork
According to the First Nations Development Institute announcement, Twitchell will work to create a “Native language revitalization kit” to be used by other Indigenous peoples that summarizes how to replicate best practices in their own communities.
Date of Press Release: January 21, 2020
X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell, Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), has been awarded three fellowships to enhance his work in Tlingit language and artwork. Twitchell received $50,000 as a 2020 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow from the First Nations Development Institute, which he will use to continue to improve online access and organization of Tlingit language materials. In addition, he has been granted $35,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to prepare a manuscript of transcribed and translated oral culture. From the First Peoples Fund he has been given a $5,000 Artist in Business Leadership/Cultural Capital Fellowship to purchase equipment and move his artwork into metalsmithing and engraving.
According to the First Nations Development Institute announcement, Twitchell (Tlingit, Haida, Yupʼik, Sami) will work to create a “Native language revitalization kit” to be used by other Indigenous peoples that summarizes how to replicate best practices in their own communities. He will formalize a partnership with all entities producing Tlingit materials, create websites and blogs for the Tlingit language with curriculum that can be shared and easily downloaded, grow his own collecting, organizational, and distribution abilities. He will also set up and field test at least three language access centers in Tlingit communities.”
When asked what his selection as a Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow means to him, Twtichell notes, “This is an incredible honor and opportunity. I am inspired and humbled and will take this opportunity to try to improve the ways I teach, research, document, and increase access to our Indigenous language. Recognition and acknowledgment from Indigenous organizations is medicine and power and I will do everything I can to help others achieve the success they dream about.”
Dr. X’unei Lance Twitchell is an Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages at UAS. He earned his Ph.D. in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization from the Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai’i. He also holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and a B.A. in English with a minor in American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
Alaska Native Languages and Studies at UAS examines three primary components of modern and historical Alaska Native life: language, art, and society. Taught by Alaska Native professors like Dr. Twitchell, language study courses focus on language revitalization through learning, documentation, and community activities. Courses in art include Northwest Coast formline design, carving, weaving, and textiles. They examine modern and historical material from diverse perspectives, and seek an understanding of what it means to live in Alaska today, and connect with the lands, languages, and peoples of Southeast Alaska.
To learn more about resources and opportunities in Alaska Native Studies at the University of Alaska Southeast visit our admissions site or speak with an adviser at 907-796-6100.
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