Number of Alaska Native language users continues to decline

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KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - A recent report says Alaska has 20 officially recognized Native languages, and each of them has seen a decline in the number of speakers over the last few decades.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports a study by the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council states, "If current rates of decline were to continue as they have been since the 1970s, all Alaska Native languages may lose their last fluent speakers by the end of the 21st century."

The report says two of the languages - Eyak and Tsetsa'ut - are considered extinct or dormant with no fluent speakers.

The Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council was created by the Legislature in 2012 to oversee research into how to best promote the continued survival of its Indigenous languages.

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