See below for our April and May Native words of the month in Gwich’in! Hai’ (thank you) to Allan Hayton for providing the translation and photography.P1120223


Gwahahgo’ = It is turning springtime.

Chiitaii gwahahgo’ ts’a’ shroonch’yaa gwilii. = It is becoming springtime and nice outside.

Listen to an audio recording.


Ch’at’an = Leaves

Aat’oo kat ch’at’an kwaii neegwahshii. = The leaves are spouting on the birch trees.

Listen to an audio recording.

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

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

Congratulations to Doyon Foundation board member Allan Hayton, who was featured today in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.

Allan is playing King Lear in “Lear Khehkwaii,” a “uniquely Alaskan adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy,” put on by Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre. Allan and director Tom Robenolt have worked together for more than a year on the play, which is divided equally between English and the Athabascan language of Gwich’in.

After its opening run in Fairbanks, the production will tour schools in Anchorage, Tok, Nenana, Healy, Kotzebue, Nome and Arctic Village.


Three new members and one incumbent were elected to the Doyon Foundation board of directors at the Foundation’s annual membership meeting on November 10. Joining the board are Joshua Peter, elected for a three-year term; Allan Hayton, elected for a two-year remainder term; and Lanien M. Livingston, elected for a one-year remainder term. Incumbent board member Julie Anderson was re-elected for a three-year term.

Joshua Peter

Joshua Peter

Allan Hayton

Allan Hayton

Lanien Livingston

Lanien Livingston

Joshua Peter, originally of Nulato and currently residing in Fairbanks, is the son of the late Hattie Peter, and the grandson of the late Simel and Vivian Peter. He and his wife, Margaret Matthew, have two sons, Daniel and Mathias. Peter, a Doyon Foundation alumnus, holds an associate’s of applied science degree in computer and information technology systems from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). His 14-year career in IT services included employment at UAF and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Peter is now working as an assistant professor with the UAF Community and Technical College. He also serves on the Gana-A’Yoo investment and shareholder committees.

“I’ve been fortunate to have guidance and motivation from amazing mentors and leaders. What I hope to accomplish as a member of the board is to share my experience with Doyon shareholder students,” Peter said.

Allan Hayton (Diton) is Gwich’in Athabascan and grew up in Arctic Village (Vashrąįį K’ǫǫ), Alaska. His parents are Lena Pauline Hayton from Fort Yukon, and James T. Hayton. His grandparents are Robert and Lena Albert from Tanana and Fort Yukon. Hayton, a Doyon Foundation alumnus, studied theatre at Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas, finishing his bachelor’s of arts degree in 1992. Hayton is currently finishing a master’s of arts degree in applied linguistics at UAF, and has been teaching Gwich’in language to new generations of speakers. He previously served on the Doyon Foundation language revitalization committee, and is active at St. Matthew’s Church.

Hayton said he believes in the goals of the Doyon Foundation and has benefited from their support in pursuit of his educational goals. He hopes to return that support by working to create educational opportunities for others.

Lanien M. Livingston is originally from Anchorage and makes her home in Fairbanks. She is the daughter of Phyllis Sing Garrett from Sitka and the granddaughter of the late Sam Sing from Sitka and the late Sarah Frances Lindgren from Kenai. She is Tlingit/Kenaitze. Livingston, a Doyon Foundation alumna, holds an associate’s of applied science degree in applied business and a business management certificate from UAF. She is also a 2004 graduate of the Doyon Management Training program. Livingston currently works as a recruiter for Tanana Chiefs Conference in the human resources department.

“I am honored to serve on the Doyon Foundation board. I hope to help the Doyon Foundation support the educational needs of our students. Furthering one’s education is very important and will provide many rewards for years to come,” Livingston said.

Julie Anderson, an incumbent board member who served as board secretary and treasurer last year, was re-elected to the board. Read more about Anderson on the Foundation’s website.

Peter, Hayton, Livingston and Anderson join Paul Mountain, Victor Nicholas and Teisha Simmons on the Foundation’s seven-member board of directors.