The Cordova Times - Preserving Alaska Native culture

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Posted 06/21/2011

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There was big news last year for the Eyak language, the arrival of 22-year-old Guillaume Leduey, a French student who had stumbled upon Eyak while randomly surfing the Internet at age 15. Leduey had taught himself to speak Eyak using materials he ordered from Alaska. His 2010 trip to the United States came at the invitation of Michael Krauss, University of Alaska linguistics professor, and the only living speaker of Eyak on the planet since the death of Marie Smith-Jones, honorary Eyak chief and the last fluent Eyak speaker of the language; and, Laura Bliss-Spaan, a former television reporter who has taken up preservation of the language as a personal mission since discovering Eyak while covering the Cordova Iceworm Festival years ago.

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