Doyon Foundation News


118_People Promotion_Noah_FB-INIn honor of the 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic, we’d like to introduce you to another of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Noah Lovell. A University of Alaska Fairbanks student, Noah is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. He graduates in 2020.

His parents are Patrick Lovell of Chelan, Washington, and Sallie Lovell of Fairbanks. His maternal grandparents are Lillian Evans of Rampart and the late Joseph Burns of Fairbanks. Noah writes that his paternal grandmother was born and raised in Japan and his paternal grandfather is from the Midwest; both passed away before he had a chance to meet them. Noah’s hometown is Fairbanks.

Noah Lovell: I’m beyond grateful for the opportunities Doyon Foundation has provided for me. Because of the Foundation’s basic and competitive scholarships, I’ve been able to pay the cost of tuition and gas for my car, which I use to commute to and from school. I haven’t had to take out loans. I haven’t had to pay out of pocket to help get through college.

Doyon Foundation has made a financially stress-free college experience a reality. It’s an immense blessing to say, “I’m debt free.”

Doyon Foundation: That’s inspiring, especially when so many students find paying for college to be a real challenge.

NL: The biggest challenge I faced during my college education is the feeling that I may not be doing enough. The only way to combat this is to tackle your education head on, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.

I try my best in every project, essay or presentation. The reward isn’t just the feeling that you’ve done your best. It’s knowing that you’ve given it your all and made yourself proud.

DF: You believe that requires looking inside first.

NL: I think we go through life trying to make others happy. But we can easily check up on ourselves throughout the day, week or month or even the school year by asking, “Am I on track?”

Doing this makes you more self-aware. You’re able to build up maturity as an individual and when you do that, you become a builder of a stronger community and society.

DF: For you, asking if you’re “on track” started in childhood!

NL: I’ve played the violin since fourth grade and started playing the piano around three years ago. I love to read and write poetry. Painting has become a new hobby even though I’m not very good at it.

But that’s what life is all about — trying new things. I’ve centered my life around trying everything healthy at least once. If I’m good at it, then great, but if not, that’s OK. I can try another thing.

One of the most important qualities to have in life is the ability to try something new and not care if you’ll be judged or not.

DF: And if what you love is learning?

NL: If you love being a student, then go all the way to get your doctorate! The world is in your hands.

DF: What takes up your time outside of school?

NL: I volunteer regularly with the Fairbanks Concert Association and with Great Alaskan Accounting People. (The acronym, GAAP, is a play on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, the federally adopted accounting standards.) I was the information technology officer for GAAP this past school year but next year I’ll be the recruiter, which I’m really looking forward to.

DF: You’ve mentioned that you’re known for being optimistic. How did you come by that trait?

NL: Everyone handles disappointment differently, but I’ve learned that when you’re able to change your outlook so that the world isn’t something to be feared but instead has opportunities waiting for you, then everything will shift. This takes time, but it’s so worth it.

It’s not only about coping with that feeling you get when all your aunties and uncles are asking, “What are you going to do next?” and you realize that you haven’t put much time or thought into the goals and skills that life is asking of you. Instead it’s learning that life is always going to open up when you’re able to give.

Giving is what makes life enjoyable. My favorite thing to do is give love, which makes the whole entire world run.

DF: That sounds like a tip for success in college and beyond.

NL: First and foremost, believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it and everything else will fall into place. Success starts from within.

DF: Since you mentioned it — and aunties and uncles might be reading — what are you going to do next?

NL: My summer plans include interning in Washington, D.C., for U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska. I also plan to work toward my master’s degree in business and I hope to teach English in Japan one day.

Doyon Foundation has helped motivate me and inspire me. Without Doyon scholarships, I would have had a harder time going through college. Thank you! Baasee’

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students earn college degrees. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. This year’s golf classic took place June 13 and 14 in Fairbanks.

A special thank you to all of our 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic sponsors, including our bachelor’s-level sponsors: Alaska Airlines, Brice Inc., Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Calista Corporation, CIRI, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Doyon Drilling, Inc., Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Flowline Alaska, Inc., Saltchuk Companies, and Wells Fargo. Your support makes scholarships for students like Noah possible! View all 2019 sponsors on our website.

To learn about future opportunities to support the event as a sponsor, golfer or volunteer, visit the Foundation website for details. 

111_DLO_Course Promotion_Holikachuk_FB-INCourse now available for free to all interested learners

With no fluent speakers remaining, development of the Holikachuk language-learning course was perhaps the most challenging – and one of the most important – efforts of Doyon Foundation’s Doyon Languages Online project. Released today, Holikachuk is the fourth course release for Doyon Languages Online, which is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages. The online Holikachuk course, as well as previously released courses in Gwich’in, Denaakk’e and Benhti Kenaga’, is now available at no charge to all interested language learners through the Doyon Foundation website.

 

 

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Like the other Doyon Languages Online courses, the Holikachuk course was developed by a team of content creators, Elders and a linguistics consultant, with the support of Foundation staff.

“The Holikachuk content creation team was in the most difficult position in comparison with the other languages this project focused on. While language is still a part of the community in Grayling, the last fluent Holikachuk Elder passed away in 2012. Working from archival recordings, and Elders that have a working knowledge of the language, the content creation team drafted, proofed and recorded 10 units of material,” said Allan Hayton, director of the Foundation’s language revitalization program.

The finished Holikachuk – part 1 course includes five units, each with five lessons of content, reviews and unit assessments, as well as seven conversational videos with subtitles in English and Holikachuk, and 15 culture and grammar notes. A Holikachuk – part 2 course, including an additional five units, will be released in the fall. Supplemental resources, including a Holikachuk noun dictionary, are available in the Alaska Native Language Archive.

The Foundation extends a special thank you to the Holikachuk content creation team, Elizabeth Keating and Giulia Oliverio-Deacon, with special contributions from Tristan Madros, Elizabeth Painter, Mary Deacon and Harriet Nicholas; as well as the Organized Village of Grayling; Tribal Administrator Rachel Freireich; Chief Ivan Demientieff; Grayling School; Shirley Clark; Doyon, Limited; the Alaska Native Language Center and Alaska Native Language Archive; and all the people who worked with the Holikachuk language from the 1970s to today. Their work makes this course possible.

The Holikachuk people used to live in many villages on the Innoko River drainage near and above the Holikachuk Slough and on the Yukon River for seasonal salmon fishing. Starting in the 1800s the population was severely impacted by several waves of outsiders and diseases. Most people finally gathered at Holikachuk. A few families also moved to Shageluk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon) villages on the Yukon, and the Kuskokwim River area. In the 1960s, due to annual spring floods and erosion, the people of Holikachuk moved to Grayling on the Yukon. The Holikachuk language is most closely related to Lower Denaakk’e (Koyukon) Athabascan, but culturally the Holikachuk people are closer to the Deg Hit’an people of Shageluk, Anvik and Holy Cross.

The declining number of speakers, and the desire to preserve and pass along the Native languages of the Doyon region to future generations is the driving force behind Doyon Foundation’s Doyon Languages Online project. The project is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Deg Xinag, Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross) and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana).

Earlier this month, Doyon Foundation officially launched Doyon Languages Online with the release of the Gwich’in, Denaakk’e and Benhti Kenaga’ courses. This spring, the Foundation gave a preview of Doyon Languages Online with the release of a special set of Hän language lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby, an Alaska Native leader, respected Elder and language revitalization pioneer.

The Doyon Languages Online launch coincides with the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which Doyon Foundation is a partner organization of.  In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. At the time, it was estimated that 40 percent of the 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing.

Doyon Languages Online is a partnership between Doyon Foundation and 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning through software donated by Transparent Language. It is funded by a three-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), awarded in 2016, and an additional three-year grant from the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP), awarded in 2017.

For more information on the Holikachuk course and the Doyon Languages Online project, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com. For assistance signing up for or using Doyon Languages Online, view the instructional video series on YouTube.

ANA Language Revitalization Grant #: 90NL0626. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication, and all others associated with the Doyon Languages Online project, do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Administration for Children and Families, or the Administration for Native Americans.

The 2019 Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic took place under mostly sunny skies earlier this month, raising money for scholarships and honoring the memory of the late Morris Thompson.

The 19th annual event was held June 13 and 14 at Chena Bend Golf Course on Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks. The two-day event included a skills tournament and reception with Calcutta on Thursday, followed by the golf tournament and banquet on Friday. See more event photos on Facebook.

 

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The event raised more than $119,000 for Doyon Foundation competitive scholarships. The total includes fundraising at the Calcutta, where supporters bid on the golf team they think will win in the tournament.

At Thursday night’s reception, guests viewed a video tribute to the event’s namesake, Morris Thompson, an avid supporter of education who served as the president/CEO of Doyon, Limited from 1985 until his passing in 2000. Guests were also introduced via video to some of the Foundation’s students and alumni, who shared how Doyon Foundation’s support has made a difference in their educational journeys.

During the reception, the Foundation made a special gift presentation to Charlene Marth, who has faithfully volunteered for the event every year for the past 19 years. Marth, who is the niece of the late Morris Thompson, is retiring from Doyon, Limited this year and said she will continue to volunteer even when retired.

The reception also included a spirited live auction, where guests bid on items including a trip to Peppermill Resort in Reno, a seven-day Holland America cruise, a Houston Astros super fan experience, and a Callway golf package.

The Friday golf tournament, which featured 32 teams of four players, was once again sold out, with a waiting list of interested players. Congratulations to this year’s winning team, Rick Boyles, John McAbee, Scott Jepsen and Rick Schok, Jr., who took first place with their score of 114. See more tournament results on the Foundation website.

The golf classic, which raises money for the Morris Thompson competitive scholarship fund, relies on the support of both sponsors and volunteers, both of which increased this year. The Foundation was pleased to welcome Associated Pipe Line Contractors, Inc. as a new $15,000 doctorate-level sponsor, and is thankful for the more than 60 volunteers who gave of their time at the event this year. See a list of 2019 sponsors on the Foundation website.

A special thank you to Explore Fairbanks and MAC Federal Credit Union, sponsors of the new dice roll game, which replaced the hole-in-one contest at the 2019 event. Congratulations to Stuart Thompson, who won the top prize of $5,000.

The 2020 event is tentatively scheduled for June 11 and 12; watch for additional announcements on the Foundation website.

111_DLO_Course Promotion_Denaakk’e_FB-INDenaakk’e course now available for free to all interested learners

Doyon Foundation today released the third course in its Doyon Languages Online project, which is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages. The Denaakk’e course joins the previously released Benhti Kenaga’ and Gwich’in courses. All three courses are now available at no charge to all interested language learners through the Doyon Foundation website.

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Denaakk’e, also called Tl’eeyegge Hʉkkenaage’ or Koyukon Athabascan language, originates from the areas surrounding the middle Yukon River, the Koyukuk River and the Lower Tanana Rivers in the central region of Alaska. Its traditional territory covers 78,000 square miles, approximately the size of the entire state of Minnesota.

“While our current population of over 3,000 people now live all across Alaska and the world, we estimate that there are 250 active Denaakk’e learners of all ages and races, striving to continue our arts, songs and practices in their schools and individual families. It is a living language that continues to change, evolve, grow and adapt, just like our communities,” said members of the Denaakk’e course content creation team.

Like the other Doyon Languages Online courses, the Denaakk’e course was developed by a team of content creators, Elders and a linguistics consultant, with the support of Foundation staff.

“The Denaakk’e content creation team relied on the expertise of the Denaakk’e language Elders and the materials they published from the 1970s to today,” said Allan Hayton, director of the Foundation’s language revitalization program. “The course has some wild turns in it, from how to talk with your baby to how to butcher a spruce hen you hit with your car on the way back from Minto. Special attention was paid to making these lessons relatable to today’s learners.”

The finished Denaakk’e course includes 10 units, each with five lessons of content, reviews and unit assessments, as well as 10 conversational videos with subtitles in English and Denaakk’e, and 25 culture and grammar notes. Supplemental resources include an extensive Denaakk’e (Koyukon) dictionary available for purchase through the Alaska Native Language Center, and additional free materials through the Alaska Native Language Archive. The Yukon Koyukuk School District currently hosts a Denaakk’e language program delivered via distance technologies to schools in rural Alaska.

The Foundation extends a special thank you to the Denaakk’e content creation team, including Elders Eliza Jones and Marie Yaska, and content creators Susan Paskvan, Dewey Kk’ołeyo Hoffman and Bev Kokrine; as well as Doyon, Limited; Paul Mountain; Denakkanaaga, Inc.; Yukon Koyukuk School District; Alaska Native Language Center and Alaska Native Language Archive; and the people who worked with the Denaakk’e language from the 1970s to today. Their work makes this course possible.

The declining number of speakers, and the desire to preserve and pass along the Native languages of the Doyon region to future generations is the driving force behind Doyon Foundation’s Doyon Languages Online project. The project is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Deg Xinag, Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross) and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana).

In the past week, Doyon Foundation officially launched Doyon Languages Online with the release of the Benhti Kenaga’ and Gwich’in courses. Earlier this spring, the Foundation gave a preview of Doyon Languages Online with the release of a special set of Hän language lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby, an Alaska Native leader, respected Elder and language revitalization pioneer. The Foundation plans to release one additional course later this week.

The Doyon Languages Online launch coincides with the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which Doyon Foundation is a partner organization of.  In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. At the time, it was estimated that 40 percent of the 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing.

Doyon Languages Online is a partnership between Doyon Foundation and 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning through software donated by Transparent Language. It is funded by a three-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), awarded in 2016, and an additional three-year grant from the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP), awarded in 2017.

For more information on the Denaakk’e course and the Doyon Languages Online project, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com. For assistance signing up for or using Doyon Languages Online, view the instructional video series on YouTube.

ANA Language Revitalization Grant #: 90NL0626. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication, and all others associated with the Doyon Languages Online project, do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Administration for Children and Families, or the Administration for Native Americans.

 

 

111_DLO_Course Promotion_Gwich'in_FB-IN

Gwich’in course now available for free to all interested learners

Doyon Foundation released the second course in its Doyon Languages Online project today: Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa, or Gwich’in, one of the 10 endangered languages of the Doyon region. The Gwich’in course joins the previously released Benhti Kenaga’ course. Both online courses are now available at no charge to all interested language learners through the Doyon Foundation website.

 

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Gwich’in is a Dene Athabascan language spoken in the northeastern Alaska villages of Fort Yukon (Gwichyaa Zhee), Arctic Village (Vashrąįį K’ǫǫ), Venetie (Vįįhtąįį), Chalkyitsik (Jałgiitsik), Circle (Danzhit Haiinląįį), Birch Creek (Deenduu), and Beaver (Tseeduu), as well as Old Crow (Vuntut) in the Yukon Territory and Fort McPherson (Teetł’it Zheh), Aklavik, Tsiigehtchic, and Inuvik in Northwest Territories. The Gwich’in population is about 3,000, and of that number about 250 in Alaska and 300 in Canada are speakers of the language.

The declining number of speakers, and the desire to preserve and pass along the Native languages of the Doyon region to future generations is the driving force behind Doyon Foundation’s Doyon Languages Online project. The project is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Deg Xinag, Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross) and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana). The Foundation plans to release two additional courses over the next month.

Earlier this month, Doyon Foundation officially launched Doyon Languages Online with the release of the Benhti Kenaga’ course. This spring, the Foundation gave a preview of Doyon Languages Online with the release of a special set of Hän language lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby, an Alaska Native leader, respected Elder and language revitalization pioneer.

The Doyon Languages Online launch coincides with the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which Doyon Foundation is a partner organization of.  In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. At the time, it was estimated that 40 percent of the 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing.

“After years of dedicated efforts, we are so pleased to share this language revitalization work with all interested learners,” said Doris Miller, the Foundation’s executive director. “It is even more special to launch Doyon Languages Online in conjunction with the International Year of Indigenous Languages.”

Like the other Doyon Languages Online courses, the Gwich’in course was developed by a team of content creators, Elders and a linguistics consultant, with the support of Foundation staff. The Gwich’in content creation team was one of the first teams to be involved with Doyon Languages Online.

“As experienced teachers and curriculum developers, the members brought a lot of experience and knowledge into the design of their course. We would often talk about ‘How would a grandma talk to her grandson? And what would he say back?’ All of the members of this team are speakers, and each is passionate about documenting and passing on their culture and language,” said Allan Hayton, director of the Foundation’s language revitalization program.

The Foundation extends a special thank you to the Gwich’in content creation team, including Kenneth Frank, Caroline Tritt-Frank, John T. Ritter and Irene Roberts; as well as Doyon, Limited; the Yukon Native Language Center; the Alaska Native Language Center and Alaska Native Language Archive; Hishinlai’ Peter; and the people who worked with the Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa language from the 1970s to today. Their work makes this course possible.

The finished Gwich’in course includes 10 units, each with five lessons of content, reviews and unit assessments, as well as nine conversational videos with subtitles in English and Gwich’in, and 22 culture and grammar notes.

Students interested in supplementing their learning resources are encouraged to consider the college-level beginning Athabascan – Gwich’in course taught by Hishinlai’ Peter at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. There are also a number of reading materials, such as stories and a junior dictionary, published by the Alaska Native Language Center or available in the Alaska Native Language Archive.

Doyon Languages Online is a partnership between Doyon Foundation and 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning through software donated by Transparent Language. It is funded by a three-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), awarded in 2016, and an additional three-year grant from the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP), awarded in 2017.

For more information on the Gwich’in course and the Doyon Languages Online project, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com. For assistance signing up for or using Doyon Languages Online, view the instructional video series on YouTube.

ANA Language Revitalization Grant #: 90NL0626. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication, and all others associated with the Doyon Languages Online project, do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Administration for Children and Families, or the Administration for Native Americans.

111_DLO_Course Promotion_Benhti Kenaga'_FB-INCourse now available for free to all interested learners

Doyon Foundation officially launched its Doyon Languages Online project today with the release of a language-learning course for Benhti Kenaga’, one of the 10 endangered languages of the Doyon region. The online course is now available at no charge to all interested language learners through the Doyon Foundation website.

 

 

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Benhti Kenaga’ is one of the string of Athabascan languages and dialects spoken on the Tanana River in Alaska. Benhti, Toghotili, Ch’eno’ and Salchaket are all members of this group, but only Benhti Kenaga’ is spoken now. Benhti means “Among the lakes” and Kenaga’ refers to “the language.”

“Today, language use is strongest within our songs, either alone or in a group. Singing gives us the ability to express a connection to the past. Growing up hearing Elders sing these songs of yesterday prepared us for today, and gives strength to move forward. This also is a part of who we are, something that makes us unique,” shared the Benhti Kenaga’ content creation team.

The course was developed by a team of content creators, Elders and a linguistics consultant, with the support of Foundation staff. The team drafted the initial course over a two-week time period last year. Over the past year, with linguistic consultation and coaching from speakers, the team finalized and recorded the course, and developed supporting content including videos, slides and interactives.

“The Benhti Kenaga’ content creation team is an inspiration,” said Doris Miller, Doyon Foundation’s executive director. “Witnessing them coming together to speak their language, share their stories and develop lessons that would allow them to pass their language on to future generations was an incredible experience. Doyon Foundation is so pleased to have played a role in facilitating this language revitalization.”

The finished course includes 10 units, each with five lessons of content, reviews and unit assessments, as well as 15 conversational videos with subtitles in English and Benhti Kenaga’, and 13 culture and grammar notes. The Benhti Kenaga’ Pocket Dictionary, published in 2009 and available through the Alaska Native Language Center, is a recommended supplemental resource for anyone taking the course.

The Foundation extends a special thank you to Elders Sarah Silas, Vernell Titus, Anna Frank and Andy Jimmie; the Benhti Kenaga’ content creators/contributors David Engles, Vera Weiser and Bertina Titus; linguistic consultant Siri Tuttle; the Village of Minto; the City of Nenana; Doyon, Limited; Doyon Facilities; Julian Thibedeau; and all of the authors and contributors who created materials for the Benhti Kenaga’ language from 1970 to today, making the creation of this course possible.

The Benhti Kenaga’ course is the first in a series of courses to be launched through the Doyon Languages Online project, which is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Deg Xinag, Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross) and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana). The Foundation plans to release three additional courses over the next month.

Last month, Doyon Foundation gave a preview of Doyon Languages Online with the release of a special set of Hän language lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby, an Alaska Native leader, respected Elder and language revitalization pioneer.

Doyon Languages Online is a partnership between Doyon Foundation and 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning through software donated by Transparent Language. It is funded by a three-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), awarded in 2016, and an additional three-year grant from the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP), awarded in 2017.

The Doyon Languages Online launch coincides with the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which Doyon Foundation is a partner organization of.  In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. At the time, it was estimated that 40 percent of the 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing.

For more information on the Benhti Kenaga’ course and the Doyon Languages Online project, please visit the Foundation website or contact 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com. For assistance signing up for or using Doyon Languages Online, view the instructional video series on YouTube.

ANA Language Revitalization Grant #: 90NL0626. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication, and all others associated with the Doyon Languages Online project, do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Administration for Children and Families, or the Administration for Native Americans.

111_DLO_Course Promotion_General_FB-IN

First course to be released tomorrow; three additional to follow

Tomorrow, Friday, June 21, after three years of dedicated efforts, Doyon Foundation will officially launch its Doyon Languages Online project with the release of the first online language-learning course featuring Benhti Kenaga’, one of the 10 endangered languages of the Doyon region. Over the next two weeks, the Foundation will release three additional courses: Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Denaakk’e (Koyukon) and Holikachuk. All courses will be available at no charge to all interested language learners through the Doyon Foundation website.

Earlier this spring, the Foundation gave a preview of Doyon Languages Online with the release of a special set of Hän language lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby, an Alaska Native leader, respected Elder and language revitalization pioneer. Those lessons are currently available through the Doyon Foundation website.

The declining number of speakers, and the desire to preserve and pass along the Native languages of the Doyon region to future generations is the driving force behind Doyon Foundation’s Doyon Languages Online project, which began in 2016.

With the support of teams of content creators, Elders and linguistics consultants, the project is creating introductory online lessons for nine of the 10 endangered Doyon region languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Deg Xinag, Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross) and Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana).

“The content creation teams have been an inspiration,” said Doris Miller, Doyon Foundation’s executive director. “Witnessing them coming together to speak their language, share their stories and develop lessons that would allow them to pass their language on to future generations was an incredible experience. Doyon Foundation is so pleased to have played a role in facilitating this language revitalization.”

The Doyon Languages Online launch coincides with the International Year of Indigenous Languages, which Doyon Foundation is a partner organization of.  In 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. At the time, it was estimated that 40 percent of the 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing.

“After years of dedicated efforts, we are so pleased to share this language revitalization work with all interested learners,” Miller said. “It is even more special to launch Doyon Languages Online in conjunction with the International Year of Indigenous Languages.”

Doyon Languages Online is a partnership between Doyon Foundation and 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning through software donated by Transparent Language. It is funded by a three-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), awarded in 2016, and an additional three-year grant from the Alaska Native Education Program (ANEP), awarded in 2017. Doyon Foundation is the private foundation of Alaska Native regional corporation, Doyon, Limited.

For more information on the Doyon Languages Online project and upcoming course releases, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com. For assistance signing up for or using Doyon Languages Online, view the instructional video series on YouTube.

ANA Language Revitalization Grant #: 90NL0626. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication, and all others associated with the Doyon Languages Online project, do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Administration for Children and Families, or the Administration for Native Americans.

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