Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 76

76 Arctic Yearbook 2014 lack adequate numbers of trained specialists who are sufficiently proficient in the indigenous languages to conduct the surveys. More realistically, the committee is striving to create an adequate survey and pilot test it in a handful of communities for a proof-of-concept trial which can subsequently leveraged to apply for funds to conduct a full-scale pan-Arctic survey. There is a deep commitment to gathering the necessary data to make informed decisions for action. Finally, community members must have opportunities to provide input into assessments and to peer review findings before they are finalized. This last requirement comes from the experience of participants of many years of outsiders painting inaccurate pictures of their communities, and from a desire to make this a true indigenously enterprise, defined in terms of indigenous models of inquiry. The second set of challenges facing the assessment group is more intellectual in nature. Through firsthand experience and past surveys, in particular those conducted by linguists in close collaboration with community members (see especially Vakhtin 1992, 2001), and information from indigenous community members,2 we know that the details of micro language ecologies differ in the Arctic, and language vitality can vary from village to village, even within the same region. Yet policy makers, administrators and leaders often do not have the time, interest i