In our May Native Word of the Month, we are pleased to share the compilation of our recent COVID-19 campaign, featuring important reminders in our Native languages.

A very special thank you to our amazing translators: Eliza Jones and Marie Yaska (Denaakk’e/Koyukon), Steven Nikolai Sr. (Dinak’i/Upper Kuskokwim), Kenneth Frank and Allan Hayton (Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa/Gwich’in), Ruth Ridley (Hän), and Polly Hyslop and Olga Lovick (Nee’aanèegn’/Upper Tanana).

As always, we welcome additional translations – if you have one, please share here on our blog or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.


Keeping everyone safe and healthy is top of mind for all of us at Doyon Foundation these days. We’ve worked with our terrific group of language speakers to develop a series of helpful translations in our Native languages. Here is our first, with the important reminder to “wash your hands.”


Continuing our COVID-19 translation series, we encourage you to “stay at home” in several of our Native languages.

  • Neyekh khwts’en’ tiyoyh. (Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga’/Lower Tanana)
  • Ngiyix dhedo. (Deg Xinag)
  • Yeh leedo. (Denaakk’e/Koyukon)
  • Nikayih zedo. (Dinak’i/Upper Kuskokwim)
  • Nakhwizheh khaihłan dook’ii. (Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa/Gwich’in)
  • Nzhoo dhįjaa. (Hän)
  • Aŋiḷaaqsimauraaq. (Inupiaq)
  • Shyah dhįįdah. (Nee’aanèegn’/Upper Tanana)


Our next set of COVID-19 translations remind us that we are taking all of these pandemic precautions to “protect our Elders and children.”


One of the most important things you can do to stay healthy is “don’t touch your face.” Here’s how to say it in several of our Native languages.


We’re hearing a lot about “social distancing” as the world addresses the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is how our Native languages refer to this important concept:

  • Vi’ogh Na’a Gholanh. (Deg Xinag)
  • Nedaakoon neełts’uhuhu lʉ (Denaakk’e/Koyukon)
  • Sich’odo’. (Dinak’i/Upper Kuskokwim)
  • Nihłeeghaih nohthat kwaa. (Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa/Gwich’in)
  • Łihghàt hontlʼä̀t dä̀hchʼee kǒo. (Hän)
  • Ka tim miu suNaqataguuq siak Laaq Gum miu raal lakta pakma, maana sakniGun nakungitchauq qaniqNailhani. (Inupiaq)
  • Ch’iduugn Dadhaltth’iign. (Nee’aanèegn’/Upper Tanana)


The sacrifices we are all making during this pandemic are challenging. However, in these COVID-19 translations, we remind ourselves that “we’re doing it for our people.”


This COVID-19 translation reminds us to “cover your cough and sneeze” in several of our Native languages:


“Listen to the news, stay informed” encourages these COVID-19 translations:


This time of staying at home is a great opportunity to “work on your house chores.” Here’s how to say it in several of our Native languages:


While we are all staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to keep your mind active and body moving. We enjoy cultural activities, like sewing boots, gloves and beadwork. Here is how to say “sew” in several of our Native languages:


From the bottom of our hearts, we encourage you to “take care” of yourself and others during this challenging time of COVID-19.

  • Idiyił uxdiniyh. (Deg Xinag)
  • Gwiinzii adak’ootii. (Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa/Gwich’in)
  • Hǫǫsu’ diik’anįlta’ de’. (Nee’aanèegn’/Upper Tanana)

For more translations, view our Native word of the month archives on the Foundation website.

We also invite you to access free online language-learning lessons by signing up for Doyon Languages Online! We currently have lessons available for HolikachukDenaakk’eBenhti Kenaga’ and Gwich’in, as well as a special set of Hän lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby. All interested learners may sign up and access the courses at no charge – sign up today!

Stay safe, stay healthy and take care of each other.