NEWS_SHI releases new language podcast, Roots & Stems

NEWS_SHI releases new language podcast, Roots & Stems

Posted By:
Kathy Dye
Kathy Dye
Published On: December 22nd, 2020

Podcast to focus on language revitalization

January 29, 2020


Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has published a new podcast in an effort to support Native language revitalization efforts and to provide another tool for those in the field.

“Roots & Stems” will feature interviews with language educators sharing their experiences in language learning and community. The first episode debuted today and features a poignant interview with language professor Dr. X̱‘unei Lance Twitchell, who shares his journey, the hardships and the life-altering rewards of learning a Native language, and his vision for language revitalization. Twitchell was interviewed by SHI’s Katrina Hotch, a language specialist.

SHI launched the program to capture some of the wisdom of educators and traditional scholars who pass through the institute, said SHI President Rosita Worl.

“We videotape and post online lectures given by experts in the field of language revitalization, but we envision the podcast as a way to dive a bit deeper—to interview them about their work and journey in this field and to share that with others,” Worl said.

“Podcasting is an incredibly powerful way to do that, and it’s a platform that is growing. Currently almost 40 percent of the worldwide population is listening to podcasts.”

Initially, the podcast will feature interviews with luminaries participating in SHI’s language lecture series, which was kicked off this month by Twitchell. The next lecture, Best Practices and Insights on Indigenous Language Revitalization in Northwestern North America, will be given by author Gulkiihlgad, Marianne Ignace, professor of Linguistics and First Nations Studies at Simon Fraser University and director of the school’s First Nations Languages Program and Research Centre. The lecture is scheduled at 5 pm, Thursday, Jan. 30, at SHI’s Walter Soboleff Building, and a podcast episode will follow.

The artwork for the podcast was created by Tlingit artist Alison Bremner for Celebration 2018. Music is by Huk Tgini’its’ga Xsgiik Gavin Hudson of Metlakatla, Alaska, from his song “Daaxłgm dm lip al’algyagm” (We can speak for ourselves). Song sung by Hudson, David R. Boxley and Kandi McGilton.

“Roots & Stems” is SHI’s second podcast. Its first podcast was designed as a language-learning tool.  

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Amy Fletcher, SHI Media and Publications Director, 907.586.9116,

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