Want to know more about Doyon Languages Online – what it is, why we’re doing it, and how you can get involved? Check out these Doyon Languages Online FAQs to learn more!

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What is the Doyon Languages Online project?

Doyon Languages Online is an online language-learning platform for Doyon region languages. We are currently working on creating lessons for nine of the 10 Doyon region languages. The project is intended to revitalize the languages of the Doyon region, which are all severely to critically endangered, and are not being passed on to younger generations quickly enough to ensure their survival.

How is it being funded?

The first five language courses are funded by a three-year, $900,000 Administration for Native Americans grant. These courses will cover Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa.

The next four language courses are funded by a three-year, $977,423 U.S. Department of Education – Alaska Native Educational Program Grant. These courses will cover Denak’i, Dihthâad Xt’een lin aanděeg’, Née’aaneegn’, and Deg Xinag.

Is it going to be free?

Yes, access to the lessons will be free and available to all interested learners.

How will a user access Doyon Languages Online?

Users will access the platform through a link on the Doyon Foundation website.

When will this be available?

The first five language courses will be published before the end of 2018. An additional four language courses will follow in the coming three years.

Will my language be online?

The first five courses will be introductory lessons in Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa, Benhti Kenaga’, Holikachuk, Hän, and Denaakk’e. These will be available by the end of 2018. See a map of the Doyon region languages on the Foundation website.

Demo lessons for these courses are available on the Doyon Languages Online webpage.

Who is developing these courses?

Doyon Foundation is working with language community members, curriculum experts, and our software partner to develop these courses.

How are the communities being involved?

Doyon Foundation supports members of the language communities to become “content creators” – these are people who generate learning content and author lessons. For each language course, we try to have a team of at least two content creators. Materials are then reviewed for accuracy by speakers from the community, as well as by linguists or professional educators who ensure the lessons stay true to the Doyon Languages Online curriculum.

Who should I contact with comments or questions?

Please direct all questions to either Nathaniel Feemster, the Doyon Languages Online project manager, at 907.459.2107 or feemstern@doyon.com, or Allan Hayton, Doyon Foundation’s language revitalization director, at 907.459.2162 or haytona@doyon.com.

 

 

“When I’m learning my language, I feel like I’m finding myself and understanding who I am.”

 

Diloola Erickson’s parents are Susan Erickson from Kaltag and Arne Erickson from Tok. Her maternal grandparents are the late Irene and Alexander Solomon, Jr., of Kaltag. Her paternal grandparents are Joyce Erickson and the late John Erickson of Tok. Diloola’s language is Denaakk’e (Koyukon).

Diloola edited

Born in Sitka, Diloola Erickson was raised in the Tlingit village of Hoonah in Southeast Alaska, where her favorite part of school was Tlingit class. And though she loved learning Tlingit, she remembers feeling that something was missing.

“I grew up so far from my culture that I always felt distant from it – I always had a longing to know more,” she says.

To help ensure that her 3-year-old daughter, Tsee’ołyeets, is immersed in her language and culture from an early age, Diloola is focused on becoming fluent in Denaakk’e, the language of the Athabascan people of the central Koyukuk and Yukon rivers.

Along with Dewey Hoffman, who works with language revitalization in Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) language instructor Lorraine David, Diloola co-hosts a weekly language-learning group at her home and has enrolled her daughter in a language-learning classroom at Fairbanks Native Association. She practices Denaakk’e with her daughter daily, using a Denaakk’e weather wheel and family name chart. “I want to pass on my language and culture so that she’ll always know who she is and where she comes from,” Diloola says.

A Doyon, Limited shareholder, Diloola’s commitment to Denaakk’e fluency deepened when she attended the Alaska Native Studies conference in 2017. It was at an intensive workshop facilitated by Dewey Hoffman that Diloola met Lorraine David, a fluent Denaakk’e speaker who inspired Diloola to start her language journey. Lorraine is a former Doyon Foundation board member and veteran language instructor at UAF.

“I was craving more sessions like that,” Diloola says, and Lorraine agreed to meet with Diloola and her group weekly. She often records their sessions and tries to listen daily to gain vocabulary and pronunciation.

“Lorraine is passionate about passing on our language. She has been one of the biggest supporters in my journey,” Diloola says.

A UAF student graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in rural development and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Diloola plans to pursue work in positions that will allow her to help raise up Alaska Native people. She sees language revitalization as part of the efforts to create positive change in Alaska Native communities. DErickson

As a First Alaskans Institute summer intern at Doyon Foundation in 2017, Diloola contributed to the Doyon Languages Online team by developing multimedia materials promoting language revitalization in the Doyon region. The team’s favorites include stickers featuring beaded gloves conveying everyday phrases in Denaakk’e, like “Enee!” (“good!”). Familiar to any conference-goer, “Hello, my name is …” adhesive name tags were created by Diloola in each of the Doyon region languages. Name tags were available at school fairs throughout Anchorage and Fairbanks.

edzooDiloola also helped lead a workshop at the 2017 First Alaskans Institute Elders & Youth Conference, “Taking Language Revitalization Online – Using GIFs to Get the Word Out.” Participants developed their own GIFs – a format that animates images to easily share them online – and brainstormed other forms of social media aimed at encouraging people to take join in language revitalization.

“Ultimately my goal is to use my education to uplift my culture and the Alaska Native community,” Diloola says. “Learning my language is the biggest part of learning who I am.”

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.

Candidates sought for Doyon Languages Online II Project Manager

DF_15_Job Post Promotion_BlogDoyon Foundation is seeking a project manager for its Doyon Languages Online II project, which will work to increase the number of people who speak the Doyon region languages of Nee’anděg’ (Tanacross), Née’aaneegn’ (Upper Tanana), Deg Xinag and Denak’i (Upper Kuskokwim). Applications will be accepted until Wednesday, January 17.

The position is currently posted on the Doyon, Limited website, and interested applicants are encouraged to review the job description, which includes the duties and responsibilities, and applicant qualifications. Those interested in the position may also apply online through the Doyon website.

The Foundation received a three-year, $977,423 grant from the U.S. Department of Education – Alaska Native Educational Program for the project, which will create more than 220 online language-learning lessons, train teachers in the use of the technology, and field test the lessons with students.

This project builds on the progress of the existing Doyon Languages Online project, which is already in the process of developing online language-learning lessons for five of the Doyon region languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Benhti Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in).

The project manager will be responsible for the coordination, implementation and the evaluation of the Doyon Languages Online II project, and will work directly under the Foundation’s language revitalization program director. It is preferred that candidates have a master’s degree in the education field with experience in language teaching, curriculum development or evaluation, and past experience in program design, education planning, and teaching language.

To view the job description and to apply, visit the Doyon, Limited website. For more information on the Foundation’s language revitalization program, visit www.doyonfoundation.com.

 

Foundation Seeks Linguistics Consultants and Content Creators

Doyon Foundation is pleased to announce a second call for linguistics consultants and content creators for the Doyon Languages Online project. Interested applicants are encouraged to review the RFQs (request for qualifications) for linguistics consultants and content creators, and apply for the position of interest.

The Doyon Languages Online project is working to create 280 introductory online lessons for five of the endangered Doyon region languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa. Ultimately, Doyon Foundation aims to create online courses for all 10 of the Doyon region languages.

Doyon Languages Online is funded with a three-year, $900,000 grant from the Administration for Native Americans. The project is a partnership with 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning partially through software donated by Transparent Language Online.

For more information on the project scope, background, qualifications and selection process, and to access the application, please see the linguistics consultants RFQ and content creators RFQ.

For additional information on Doyon Foundation or the Doyon Languages Online project, visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact Allan Hayton at haytona@doyon.com or 907.459.2162.

The 2018 Pick. Click. Give. campaign kicks off Monday, January 1, with the opening of the Alaska PFD application period. We encourage you to consider Pick. Click. Giving to Doyon Foundation when completing your PFD application. The PFD application period runs January 1 – March 31, 2018. Alaskans can apply online at www.pfd.alaska.gov.

student with checkFunds from Pick. Click. Give. directly benefit the Foundation’s student scholarships and support programs, as well as the efforts of our language revitalization program.

Last year, 57 donors contributed $3,975 to support Foundation scholarships. While we are very grateful for all support, last year’s Pick. Click. Give. total was a significant decrease from previous years.

Since the Foundation was established in 1989, we have awarded more than $6 million in scholarships to thousands of high school, vocational and college students pursuing their educational goals and striving to achieve their life dreams. Many of these students have shared that they simply would not have been able to attend college without the support of the Foundation. Yet with that support, they have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, teachers and leaders in our communities, setting positive examples for future generations of students to follow.
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But the support of the Foundation is more than just financial. Homesick students far from family have found comfort in the support of Foundation staff and alumni, and at events designed to celebrate and connect students and Foundation supporters. We also strive to help students develop a deeper connection with and pride in their rich Native culture.
Elder and youth recording Native language translationsIn addition to scholarships, the Foundation also places emphasis on celebrating and revitalizing Native culture. Through our language revitalization program, and Doyon Languages Online project, we are currently developing hundreds of online language-learning lessons for nine of the 10 Doyon region languages.

For more information on Doyon Foundation, contact foundation@doyon.com or 907-459-2048, or visit www.doyonfoundation.com. For more information on Pick. Click. Give., visit www.pickclickgive.org.
 

Help us develop lessons for online language learning

Elder and youth recording Native language translations
Doyon Foundation
is looking for fluent speakers of Gwich’in (Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa) and Holikachuk to serve on our Native Speaker Review Committee. The volunteer members of this committee will assist us in reviewing lesson materials produced for the Doyon Languages Online project, and provide linguistic and/or cultural knowledge.

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Allan Hayton or Nathan Feemster by Wednesday, November 15, 2017, using the following contact information:

Committee members may be Elders or anyone else wishing to be involved with the Doyon Languages Online project.

The Doyon Languages Online project, funded with a grant from the Administration for Native Americans, aims to create 280 introductory online lessons for five of the endangered Doyon region languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa.

For additional information on Doyon Foundation or the Doyon Languages Online project, visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact Allan Hayton at haytona@doyon.com or 907.459.2162.

October 17 at Elders & Youth Conference

 

Planning to be at AFN? If so, don’t miss Doyon Foundation’s “Taking Language Revitalization Online – Using GIFs to Get the Word Out” workshop during the First Alaskans Institute Elders & Youth Conference on Tuesday, October 17 at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in Anchorage. We are currently on the schedule for 3:45 p.m., but please check the daily schedule for current details on time and location.

edzooThe workshop will introduce Doyon Languages Online (DLO), a project to create and publish introductory language lessons for Native languages of the Doyon region. FAI summer intern, Diloola Erickson, will share her experience creating media content for DLO using Native GIFs. During the workshop, we will create a GIF live with youth participants’ ideas and Elders’ leadership. We will also brainstorm other forms of social media that could be used to get people excited and engaged with language revitalization.

This fun workshop is ideal for anyone interested in social media, language revitalization, youth engagement, and those with a good sense of humor. We hope you’ll join us!

Learn more about Doyon Foundation and Doyon Languages Online on our website, www.doyonfoundation.com, or contact Allan Hayton at haytona@doyon.com or 907.459.2162.