UAF


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Native American Heritage Month Series

Here are this week’s events! We hope to see you there!

Wood Carving Workshop – Tuesday from 5:30-7:00pm

Watch Da-ka-xeen Mehner demonstrate wood carving and listen to him discuss the cultural history of his style.

Koyukon Language Circle – Friday from 2-3:00pm

Led by Dewey Hoffman, join us for an afternoon of Koyukon language!

Positive Connection Night: Potluck-Style Family Dinner – Friday from 5-7:00pm

Join us for a potluck-style family dinner! Bring a dish, grab some food, sit down, relax, and enjoy everyone’s company. Stuffed moose heart and soup will definitely be there.

All events are free and will be in the Brooks Gathering Room.

If you have any questions, please contact Brianna Pauling at bpaulin1@alaska.edu.

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Rural Student Services

Fall 2017 Office Hours:
Monday through Friday – 8:00am-5:00pm

If you need to schedule an appointment with an advisor, please call (907) 474-7871 (locally) or (888) 478-1452 (toll free within Alaska).

You can also schedule online at:

http://www.uaf.edu/ruralss/advising-appointments/

Office location: Second Floor Brooks Buildling

Email: uaf-rss

Website: www.uaf.edu/ruralss/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/uafrss/

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Contact
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Rural Student Services
PO Box 756320, Fairbanks, AK 99775
(888) 478-1452
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“Student success is achieved with the help of family, a group of persons of common ancestry. At Rural Student Services, I feel at home.”

– Karly Gundersen, Port Lions

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Continuing a lifetime of language work

Ruth Ridley and John Ritter

Ruth recording lessons with John Ritter at the Yukon Native Language Centre

As Doyon Foundation continues to grow our language revitalization efforts in the Doyon region, we are noticing a group of people who are committed and dedicating their own time to learning and perpetuating their ancestral language. We are pleased to share some of these “Language Champion” profiles with you. If you know a language champion, please nominate him or her by contacting our language program director at haytona@doyon.com. Language champions may also complete our profile questionnaire here. You may learn more about our language revitalization program on our website.

Ruth Ridley is a fluent speaker of the Eagle, Alaska, dialect of the Hän Athabascan language. She has been a language champion for many years, following in the footsteps of her late mother Louise Paul. Ruth’s lifetime work of transcribing and translating Hän language began when she was a child. “I started off doing transcriptions for Hän language that mom recorded with John Ritter (of the Yukon Native Language Centre),” she explains.

Ruth Ridley

Ruth at home with sewing projects

Ruth was brought up by her parents Louise and Susie Paul in a mining camp just downriver from Eagle. “We grew up in Coal Creek mining camp. Our families lived there, summer and winter,” Ruth shares. “My mom’s parents were Eliza and Joe Malcolm in Eagle, and my dad’s parents were Elizabeth and Paul Josie in Old Crow.” Ruth has many good memories of growing up in the Eagle area. “There are creeks with grayling, and beaver ponds, and lots of porcupine, and lots of moose, caribou, and a lot of grizzly bear,” she says.

Ruth sometimes spent all summer with her grandparents. “We would go to fish camp with my grandma and grandpa and they spoke Loucheux or Gwich’in. My grandma didn’t speak English, so we had to speak to her in Hän, and then she would talk back to us in Gwich’in. So that’s how we learned too,” Ruth recalls.

Over the years, Ruth has maintained language connections with her Hän and Gwich’in-speaking relatives in Canada, attending workshops in both Dawson City and at the Yukon Native Language Centre (YNLC) at Yukon College, Whitehorse. “My dad’s sister was Edith Josie, who did lot of language work in Old Crow,” Ruth says.

Ruth has been involved in Hän language work since the late 1970s when she collaborated with professor Michael Krauss at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) to develop the first practical writing system for the language. She composed a collection of stories in Hän based on traditional village life, Eagle Hän Huchʼinn Hòdök, published in bilingual format by the Alaska Native Language Center in 1983. Also in that year, she served as Alaska chair of an important Athabaskan language conference held at UAF, a gathering that attracted participants from throughout Canada and the United States. She also served as principal speaker in a three-week Hän practicum offered as a part of CoLang 2016 at UAF.

Recently (2015-2016) Ruth has been a Hän language consultant for Doyon Foundation, working with YNLC linguist John Ritter to record and transcribe a set of basic Hän language lessons. These lessons will be shared first as a booklet with accompanying audio, and later posted on the internet as part of the Doyon Languages Online project, a partnership of Doyon Foundation and 7,000 Languages.

On the importance of creating language lessons such as these, Ruth shared, “I think it would be easier to speak in sentences than just one word at a time. And that way kids can look at the words and they could pronounce it, like my grandchildren they say they’re hungry and they’re thirsty in Hän.”

Ruth feels language is important because “you could really find out about your culture and the kind of person you are, if you could understand and speak your language. I think it’s important that people learn where they come from and where they are going.”

Ruth is looking forward to sharing these lessons with learners. “I guess the biggest challenge is to get started and get going in the right direction,” she remarks. “If they could get started with these lessons then they’ll know which way they’re supposed to go.”

Ruth is also curious about the next steps of posting the lessons online through the Doyon Languages Online project. “I’m just waiting for them to get on the internet to see how people like the language, or how useful they would be for teaching themselves on the computer,” she says.

According to the Alaska Native Language Center, “Hän is the Athabascan language spoken in Alaska at the village of Eagle and in Yukon Territory at Dawson. A writing system was established in the 1970s, and considerable documentation has been carried out at the Alaska Native Language Center as well as at the Yukon Native Language Centre in Whitehorse.”

For more information about how to get copies of Ruth’s Hän language lessons, or to learn more about the Doyon Languages Online project, please contact Allan Hayton at 907.459.2162 or haytona@doyon.com.

melody-hoffmanMelody Hoffman, daughter of Ronald and Cathleen Hoffman, and granddaughter of Mary Demientieff of Holy Cross, Alaska, has a lot to offer her community. As a mother and Doyon Foundation student, Melody juggles her family commitments with her daily workload at Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) as an operations support staff supervisor in Bethel, Alaska. There, she works with all of the village clinics that YKHC serves in the Yukon-Delta region.

“We are the ‘go-to’ employees for any questions they need to help serve them remotely,” explains Melody.

“My plan is to keep growing with the corporation and to become an advocate for not only our patients, but for our nursing staff too,” says Melody, who balances parenting and a class load at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “I received my acceptance letter from UAA (University of Alaska Anchorage) for the next nursing cohort that starts in January 2017 that is offered in Bethel. I plan to work at YKHC until December 2016 and when my nursing classes begin I plan to concentrate solely on my nursing classes and my children.” Melody has two children, Ronald, age 7, and Christian, age 2.

Her biggest challenge while pursuing higher education has been balancing her personal life, work life and educational life. “I have learned to manage my time effectively,” Melody shares. “My main priorities are my family and to succeed in any of my projects that are given to me at work and to work tirelessly on my college classes.”

Doyon Foundation has been an integral part of Melody’s success. “With Doyon Foundation’s support I am able to continue my education without the added stress of finding my own funds to pursue my educational dreams. This really shows that Doyon Foundation cares and supports our shareholders to become successful and to give back to our people. Thank you, Doyon Foundation!”

In addition to pursuing her educational goals and raising a family, Melody also contributes to her community. “I am a graduate from one of the Native management programs offered by YKHC and have moved into a leadership role because of the Alaska Native Development Pillar.”

Melody hopes that her educational achievements will be beneficial to not only her family, but her community as well. “In the end, it will be all worth it and I will be able to give back to my community in being an advocate for our people and to provide and be a great role model to my children.”

She attributes her success to time management and constantly having a source of motivation: her kids and family. “To all the parents out there who have dreams to get a college education, it is possible to raise our kids and work hard to get a college degree,” she says.

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Help Doyon Foundation support students like Melody – Pick. Click. Give. to Doyon Foundation when you fill out your 2017 PFD application!

noahNoah Lovell, born in Fairbanks, Alaska, is the son of Sallie and Patrick Lovell, and the grandson of Lillian J. Evans and Joseph W. Burns. He is currently enrolled as a freshman at the University of Alaska Fairbanks pursuing a degree in business administration with a minor in Japanese.

Since the age of 15, Noah has worked as a Native tour guide on the Riverboat Discovery, where he shares how Alaska Natives have lived for generations. Noah, who is Japanese and Alaska Native, says he has always had an interest in cultures, particularly his own. He has been able to experience both cultures, growing up in Alaska and traveling to Japan on a summer exchange in high school.

Noah also enjoys stories from his father about his youth and his grandmother about their indigenous heritage. “I love going to different cultural events, listening to elders sing and dance, as well as being active in the festivities myself,” he says. “Surrounding yourself in a community of strong people is the best thing for anyone, and I’m happy our Alaska Native community is as strong as it is.”

As a Doyon Foundation fall 2016 Competitive Committee Choice scholarship recipient, Noah says, “The Foundation has helped me financially to further my education and has been instrumental with connecting me with others in the community. It’s shown me that there are groups and organizations that can help Native students achieve their goals.”

Choosing a major has been one of the biggest challenges Noah has faced in college so far. “College catapults you into the workforce and picking the right major that suits you and your interests is very important,” he says, adding that he overcame this challenge by reviewing his options and personal strengths before picking a field that was right for him. “I chose business because it’s a strong field and allows people to understand the business side of the world around us as well as enabling me to possibly start my own business.”

Speaking to his fellow students, Noah says, “Realize that success is for everyone, and never forget where you came from. Wherever you go in life, always take with you a strong work ethic, dedication towards your goals, and a willingness to learn new things.”

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Help Doyon Foundation support students like Noah – Pick. Click. Give. to Doyon Foundation when you fill out your 2017 PFD application!

Doyon Foundation congratulates the Doyon, Limited shareholders who were included on the Dean’s and Chancellor’s Lists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for the fall 2016 semester!

  • Denae Benson
  • Ethan Cadzow
  • Christina Edwin
  • Julia Fisher-Salmon
  • Linda Folger
  • Sarah Henzie
  • Kyle Jones
  • Patricia Kriska
  • Jolie Murray
  • Jamie Desrochers
  • Selina Sam

Keep up the good work and best of luck during the spring semester!

If you made the Dean’s or Chancellor’s list at a school other than UAF, please let us know! Contact us at foundation@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

If you are planning to attend school this summer, remember to submit your basic scholarship application by March 15. Find more information at www.doyonfoundation.com, or contact us at foundation@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

Doyon Foundation Language Revitalization Program Director Allan Hayton recently gave a plenary talk on Language Revitalization & The Arts at the Institute on Collaborative Language Research (CoLang), an international conference that took place at the University of Alaska Fairbanks June 20 – July 24, 2016.

CoLang is a biennial gathering designed to provide an opportunity for community language activists and linguists to receive training in community-based language documentation and revitalization. The conference consisted of two weeks of intensive language revitalization workshops and presentations, followed by a three-week linguistics field methods practicum in endangered languages.

In his June 28 presentation, available online here, Hayton shared his experiences collaborating on endangered language theatre projects, including a Perseverance Theatre production of Macbeth in the Tlingit language that was presented at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, a Gwich’in adaptation of King Lear (Lear Khehkwaii), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring Tlingit, Yup’ik and Gwich’in languages (both productions with Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre).

The focus of Hayton’s talk was how the theatre can create a space for endangered languages to come to life, and how the arts can engage the imagination in the language classroom for educators and learners. A future production Hayton is currently dreaming up is a Romeo & Juliet in Gwich’in and Inupiaq languages.

In addition to the many wonderful workshops and presentations at CoLang, Hayton was especially interested in participating in the three-week practicum in linguistic field methods that closed out the conference. Participants could choose from among Hän (Athabascan), Unangam Tunuu (Aleut), or Miyako (Ryukyuan) practica. These practica provided excellent opportunities to sharpen documentation skills, engage with speakers, and make connections with others teaching and revitalizing these endangered languages.

Professor Dr. Willem De Reuse taught the Hän Athabascan practicum, with invaluable assistance from speakers Ruth Ridley, Ethel Beck, Adeline Juneby and Percy Henry. There were also young teachers and learners participating, including Shyanne Beatty from Eagle, and Georgette McLeod, Mary Henry, Angie Joseph-Rear, Melissa Hawkins and Erika Scheffen from Dawson, Yukon Territory. Graduate and undergraduate linguists from several different universities rounded out the class.

Hän is a very close sister language to Gwich’in, Hayton noted. “If you laid the two languages side by side, you would see many similarities,” he said. “But you cannot assume the rules for one language would automatically apply to the other. Each language in the world is unique, and the rules are implicitly decided among the speakers, changing fluidly over time.”

For example, he said, notice the similarities and differences in the translations below:

  • English: The moose walked towards the lake.
  • Hän: Jë̀jùu män ts’ą̈̀’ ä̀haww.
  • Gwich’in: Dinjik van ts’à’ ah’àl.

“It was a great experience in the classroom with the speakers, and everyone learned a great deal that will help in upcoming projects involving Hän, as well as other languages of the Doyon region,” Hayton said.

CoLang 2016 was an inspiring gathering of many different people from around the world, all focused on the work of documenting and revitalizing endangered languages, Hayton said. Endangered language communities face similar challenges, and this gathering allowed attendees to share their ideas, inspirations, solutions and hope with one another.

Hayton said he will take what he learned from his fellows at CoLang, and apply those lessons to work for languages in the Doyon region. “Adak’ohtii, ts’a’ diiginjk k’yaa kwaii eenjit tth’aii nihk’it gwiinzii gwitr’it t’agwahah’yaa yuu,” he said. “Take care, and keep up the good work on behalf of our languages.”

CoLang 2018 will be held at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Hon Doc.pdf

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