Denakkanaaga debuts new Gwich'in and Koyukon-Athabascan language tool

Denakkanaaga in February announced a new Native language tool for people interested in learning Gwich’in or Koyukon-Athabascan.

Denakkanaaga is the Fairbanks-based regional non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of and for Alaska Native elders of Interior Alaska.

In a Feb. 2 press statement, the organization explained that through a language revitalization grant from Doyon, Limited, Denakkanaaga has produced an everyday language video series in which elders teach commonly used words in the two Interior Alaskan dialects.

The video clips are available to any interested individual or organizations at

In the clips, Koyukon elder Marie Yaska and Gwich’in elder Irene Roberts, say commonly used words, such as “Mother,” “Father,” “cold,” “nice,” “where,” “when” and “moose.” The clips are intended to be a tool for beginners to learn and say words so they can begin to understand common Gwich’in and Koyukon words when hearing those languages spoken, according to the press statement.

Denakkanaaga Board First Chief Luke Titus said in the statement, “We are happy to be able to assist in teaching and preserving several of our Native dialects, which is a very important part of our Interior cultures. We hope people will utilize these video clips in schools, workplaces and at home to learn Koyukon or Gwich’in.”

For more information, visit or the Denakkanaaga page on Facebook.