Education and programs

Education and Programs

Diinzhii diiginjik zhit neera’aii
We are putting the breath back into our language
              Gwich’in, Athabascan

August Athabascan Language Gatherings to be Held in Anchorage

The Alaska Native Heritage Center will host two back-to-back week long Athabascan language learning gatherings in Anchorage this August. Each gathering will host 30 – 40 language learners and will include group check-ins, games, and various instruction methods such as “Where are your KEYS?” These gatherings are all-day events (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and are intended to create an interactive and supportive learning environment for students of all ages.

The first gathering Denaakk’e - Koyukon Athabascan language week, took place August 3rd and 8th. Bill and Madeline Williams of Hughes instructed Denaakk’e language learners with help from community members who participated in this same gathering the year before. Denaakk’e is mainly spoken along the Koyukuk and middle Yukon River villages of Interior Alaska. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR KOYUKON LANGUAGE GATHERING.

The second gathering focused on Dinzhii Zhuh K’yaa – Gwich’in Athabascan language, from August 11th to 16th and featured the Gwich’in language instructors Rochelle Adams of Fort Yukon and Allan Hayton of Arctic Village. Trimble and Mary Gilbert served as Elders in residence. The Gwich’in Athabascan language is mainly spoken by people in Northeastern Alaska into the Northwest and Yukon Territories of Canada. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR GWICH’IN LANGUAGE GATHERING.

The language workshops are funded by Doyon, Limited’s Athabascan language revitalization initiative, allowing The Alaska Native Heritage Center to offer it for free (including all learning materials and on site meals) to all whom are committed to learning and practicing the language. Instructors will be teaching participants with assistance from attending Elders whom so willingly offer their time for guidance.
Learn more about the upcoming gatherings or register by contacting Dewey Kk’oleyo Hoffman at or 907-330-8014.