KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – A Russian-to-Alutiiq religious guide for children that’s estimated to be from the late 18th or early 19th centuries has been found at a Kodiak museum.
The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported Wednesday that archivists at Kodiak’s Baranov Museum found the old language primer that speaks to the island’s distinct history earlier this month.
Museum collections master Michael Bach says the document contains unique children’s prayers disseminated by Russian Orthodox missionaries. It was found during a routine check of the museum’s artifacts.
Kodiak was first colonized by Russian settlers in 1763 and was a Russian colony for more than 100 years until the Alaska Purchase in 1867.
Native language experts have been urging lawmakers in Alaska to declare a “linguistic emergency” for Native languages that are in danger of becoming defunct.
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