Non-Profit Organization Works to Train Interpreters for Yup’ik Speakers in Alaska Courts

In some areas of Alaska many elders and even middle-aged community members grew up with Yup’ik as their first language. The resulting language gap for these individuals has created problems when they are involved in court hearings. To combat these problems, the Alaska Institute for Justice is heading up an effort to train Yup’ik interpreters specifically to work in courts, medical facilities, and other institutions. The experts involved with this training are working to create a Yup’ik legal glossary with an emphasis on words that describe problems such as: sexual assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, and parental neglect and abuse.

“Our goal is to make sure that all Alaskans have access to the services that they need regardless of their ability to speak English,” said Robin Bronen, executive director of the justice institute.

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