Athabascan language training opportunities

The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) is coordinating two week-long Athabascan language trainings this summer. Instructors will lead each group on personal introductions, storytelling and hands-on games with the help of two apprentice instructors and guidance from Elder speakers.
The upcoming session will teach Denaakk’e, the Koyukon Athabascan language. ANHC will host the training in Anchorage at the Athabascan Ceremonial House Aug. 4 through Aug. 9. Koyukon occupies the largest territory of any Alaska Athabascan language, is spoken in 11 villages along the Koyukuk and middle Yukon Rivers and has three dialects: Upper, Central and Lower. Susan Paskvan of Koyukuk/Fairbanks and Esther McCarty of Hughes/Ruby are the main instructors.
The first session provided the opportunity to learn Nee’aaneegn’, the Upper Tanana Athabascan language. It was hosted July 15 through July 20 up river from Northway at the Native Village of Northway’s culture camp. Upper Tanana Athabascan is spoken mainly in the Alaska villages of Northway, Tetlin and Tok, but has a small population across the border in Beaver Creek, Canada. Ruth Johnny of Northway/Beaver Creek and Cheryl Silas of Northway/Fairbanks were the main instructors.
The Athabascan language training opportunities are free and open to those committed to strengthening their language in a fun and family-friendly environment. Travel and lodging are not provided; however, food and all materials are supplied.
For more information, contact Dewey KkÒLeyo Hoffman, ANHC development manager, at (907) 330-8914 or by email at [email protected]. The registration forms are available online at