Dr. X̱’unei Lance Twitchell and Shu Guyna Donna May Roberts honored for distinguished service
UAS Alaska Native Language faculty Dr. X̱’unei Lance Twitchell and Shu Guyna Donna May Roberts honored for distinguished service by Sealaska Heritage Institute
Date of Press Release: June 21, 2023
The University of Alaska Southeast congratulates faculty Dr. X̱’unei Lance Twitchell and Shu Guyna Donna May Roberts for their recent awards presented at the Sealaska Heritage Institute 2023 Culturally Responsive Education Conference.
Dr. X̱’unei Lance Twitchell of Juneau, UAS professor of Alaska Native Languages was recognized with the Distinguished Leadership Award for his tireless work “to revitalize the Tlingit language. He also has been instrumental in teaching the language and in developing materials to learn Lingít.” The SHI press release notes that the Distinguished Leadership Award “recognizes outstanding leadership at a school, district or community level that exemplifies collaboration, and co-creation of environments that are safe, yet challenging, where success is defined through learning and meaningful mentorship.”
UAS professor of Tsimshian language Shu Guyna Donna Roberts was one of seven Distinguished Educator Awardees, recognized for her “promotion and teaching of the Tsimshian language, having produced dictionaries and other resources,” according to the SHI press release. The Distinguished Educator Award “recognizes educators who intentionally weave cultural knowledge throughout their lessons and classroom and use approaches that reflect Native students’ identity and values through place-based and culturally relevant practices, while reinforcing students’ capabilities of extraordinary academic achievements.”
Carin Silkaitis, Dean of the UAS School of Arts & Sciences, remarked, “We are so proud of our language faculty at UAS. Their efforts are vitally important in the work towards language revitalization and community healing. I am thrilled to support their labor through the continued commitment to free language courses at the University of Alaska Southeast. Ensuring that students never have to pay for our non-credit language courses will guarantee that Alaska Native people have access to their languages free of financial barriers. Congratulations, X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell and Shu Guyna Donna Roberts for your commitment and passion for your students and your communities. You are so deserving of this recognition!”
Learn more about Alaska Native Languages & Studies at UAS or call and speak to an advisor at 907-796-6100.