Watching Northbeat last night, I learned that the wonderful Yukon Native Language Centre is being taken apart and its staff let go. I find it unbelievable that politics can be allowed to destroy such a valuable resource.
I feel for all the hard working people who have been there for so many years and done so much to help each language group to better themselves. Their service should be recognized and honoured.
I’m glad I was a part of the centre for so many years and will not forget all that was taught to me there. I completed the YNLC certificate and diploma courses and went on to complete a degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. That educational path was not available anywhere else.
YNLC served as our resource centre and gathering place for Gwich’in literacy year after year. Our Elders and teachers and students — all of us — were treated with the utmost respect by the YNLC staff.
Our Gwich’in language was revered there, and our literacy sessions always included speakers from Alaska, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. Only at YNLC did we hear and enjoy all the particular dialects of the Gwich’in language.
Mahsi’ choo to everyone who made YNLC such a wonderful resource for First Nations.
William G. Firth, language revitalization director, Gwich’in Tribal Council
Fort McPherson (Teetl’it Zheh), N.W.T.