SOURCE: U.S.English


January 16, 2014 08:00 ET

U.S.English Chairman Calls Alaska Official Language Bill Unnecessary

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Jan 16, 2014) - U.S.English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica today released the following statement in response to the introduction of the Alaska Native Language Bill in the Alaska State Legislature.

The bill, HB 216, would make 19 Alaska native languages official languages of the state, in addition to English.

"In 1998, Alaska voters passed Ballot 6, declaring English the official language of the State of Alaska," Chairman Mujica said. "This law does not prevent tribal governments and other Native American communities from using their native tongue. In fact, it even provides a specific exception to comply with the federal Native American Languages Act to protect Alaska Native languages. English as the state's official language sends the message that learning English in addition to a native language is necessary to reach the highest social and economic success. Native languages are passed from generation to generation and do not need government recognition to thrive. With more than five percent of Alaska's population considered limited English proficient, the state government should focus on encouraging all residents to learn the common, unifying language of the United States and the world -- English."

Introduced by Representatives Charisse Millett, Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, Benjamin Nageak and Bryce Edgmon, HB 216 is currently awaiting formal introduction later this month.

U.S.English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S.English, Inc. ( now has more than 1.8 million members.

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