Language speakers, teachers, learners and anyone else interested in revitalizing the lIMG_1063anguages of the Doyon region are invited to the Deg Xinag and Holikachuk Language Gathering, hosted by Doyon Foundation in Holy Cross on Sunday and Monday, June 4 and 5.

The gathering will begin with dinner at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 4. A meeting will take place 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday, June 5. Both events will be held at the Holy Cross School, and are free of charge.

IMG_1151The event will bring together Elders, speakers, teachers, learners and other stakeholders to create momentum for current and future language revitalization initiatives.

The goal of the gathering is to create a call to action, develop practical steps toward long-range goals, and share inspiration and hope around language revitalization.

The event is sponsored by Doyon Foundation with support from the Administration for Native Americans.

To RSVP for the gathering, or for more information on the event or the language revitalization program, contact Allan Hayton at 907-459-2162 or

Woman and child

Mary “Dzan” Johnson and daughter Lena, Fort Yukon circa 1916. Photo courtesy of Allan Hayton.

See below for our February Native word of the month in Gwich’in and Deg Xinag!


Dink’indhat – He or she grew up.
Shahan Gwichyaa Zhee dink’indhat. – My mom grew up in Fort Yukon.
Shiti’ Natick dink’indhat. – My father grew up in Natick.

Listen to an audio recording. Hai’ (thank you) to Allan Hayton for providing the translation.

Deg Xinag

Nadhiyonh – He or she grew up in
Singonh Deloychet nadhiyonh. – My mom grew up in Holy Cross.
Sito’ Qay Xichux nadhiyonh. – My dad grew up in Anchorage.

Listen to an audio recording. Dogidinh (thank you) to George Demientieff Holly for providing the translation.

Each month, a new Native word or phrase and definition will be shared on our website, as well as on our blog and Facebook page, along with an audio recording of the pronunciation.

Have a translation in another language? Share it with us on Facebook!

Have an idea for a Native Word of the Month? Please email your idea to

Doyon Foundation recently hired Malinda Chase as its new language revitalization program director. In this role, Chase will work with the Foundation’s language revitalization committee to develop and implement the goal of revitalizing Interior Native languages, making language-learning opportunities available to all Doyon, Limited shareholders and non-speakers.Malinda Chase

Chase lives in Fairbanks with her 17-year-old daughter, Deenaalee, however her home is Anvik, where she is an enrolled tribal member. Her father is Rudy Chase, from Anvik, and her mother is Sandra McClain, originally from California.

Chase comes to the Foundation from the Association of Interior Native Educators (AINE), where she continues to serve as the volunteer executive director, working with the AINE board on educational initiatives that support Interior Alaska Native educators and students.

Chase has a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Wellesley College in Massachusetts and a master’s degree in cross-cultural studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is a Doyon Foundation alumna and a graduate from two dynamic programs – the Alaska Native Leadership Project and the 2010 Doyon Management Training. She also attended the Athabascan Language Development Institutes, when held. She has a strong interest in and is a second-language learner of Deg Xinag, the Athabascan language of the Anvik-Shageluk area.

“I have a background in learning styles from my work with AINE and I am fascinated with how the brain learns and works. I hope to weave that into the Foundation’s language revitalization program,” Chase said.

Currently, Chase serves on the board of directors for Deloy Ges, Anvik’s village corporation; is a parent representative for Education Northwest, a nonprofit educational organization that serves the northwestern states; and is involved with the newly formed Alaska State Policy Research Alliance that focuses on college and career readiness issues in Alaska.

“Malinda’s experience is in nonprofit management, program administration, community planning, editing, post-secondary distance education and youth programming,” said Doris Miller, the Foundation’s executive director. “We are thrilled to have someone with her background and expertise leading this exciting new endeavor.”

Chase enjoys reading, journaling and learning about Alaskan and Athabascan history. She loves to be outdoors berry-picking, picnicking, boating, kayaking, hiking or walking, especially with her daughter, Deenaalee.

The Foundation launched the language revitalization program in 2012 to address the rapidly decreasing number of fluent speakers of Alaska’s Interior Native languages, which are not being passed on quickly enough to ensure their survival.

For more information on Doyon Foundation, visit, or For details on the language revitalization program, contact Malinda Chase at 907.459.2162 or