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

April 

Gwahahgo’ = It is turning springtime.

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

Listen to an audio recording.

May 

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 haytona@doyon.com.

If you are planning to apply for a language revitalization grant or submit an RFQ for the Doyon Languages Online project, be sure these fast-approaching deadlines are on your calendar!
For additional information on the Doyon Languages Online RFQ, contact Allan Hayton at haytona@doyon.com or 907.459.2162.
For more information on the language grant, contact Sommer Stickman at stickmans@doyon.com or 907.459.2048.

Did you Pick. Click. Give. when you filled out your PFD application this year? If so, post this badge to your Facebook page or add it to your email to let everyone know you are supporting students and saving languages with Doyon Foundation!

If you haven’t yet made a Pick. Click. Give. pledge, please consider doing so today. Less than 5 percent of Alaskans are giving this year, and nonprofits across the state are feeling the decline (including Doyon Foundation). We need your help to reach our Pick. Click. Give. goal!

Already filed for your PFD? Don’t worry – it is easy to log back into your PFD application and add a Pick. Click. Give. donation. Need help? Check out these simple step-by-step instructions.

From all of us here at Doyon Foundation, thank you for your support!

Doyon Foundation is pleased to welcome Nathan Feemster, who was hired in December as the Doyon Languages Online project manager. In this role, Feemster is responsible for the coordination, implementation and evaluation of the Doyon Languages Online project.nathan-for-web

The Doyon Languages Online project is a partnership with 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning partially through software donated by Transparent Language. Funded with a three-year, $900,000 grant from the Administration for Native Americans, the project aims to create a total of 280 introductory online lessons for five of the endangered Doyon languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa. Ultimately, the Foundation aims to create online courses for all of the Doyon region languages.

Originally from Seward, Alaska, Feemster has a bachelor’s degree in linguistics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). He previously worked as a substitute teacher for the Anchorage School District, and was a production assistant for the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

Feemster was inspired to apply for the job at Doyon Foundation by Ruth Ridley, whom he met while pursuing his undergraduate degree at UAF. “Her nearly 50-year endeavor to help create a place for the Hän language in the future inspired me to apply to Doyon Foundation,” Feemster shared. “Through my work with Doyon Foundation, I hope to support her dream and the dreams of the many who work with the Athabaskan Dene languages. I am humbled to be working on the Doyon Online Languages project and I look forward to the many learning opportunities it offers.”

Outside of work, Feemster enjoys helping his community and is an active volunteer. “I’ve done everything from planting plots for the Stone Soup Community Gardens, to training cats at the animal shelter in my home town,” he said.

A self-described “lifelong learner,” Feemster said he fills his spare time with learning opportunities or projects, which most recently include a bed frame and epublishing a small “chose your own adventure” book.

For more information on Doyon Foundation and the Doyon Languages Online project, visit www.doyonfoundation.com.

As a first step since receiving the three-year, $900,000 Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance grant from the Administration for Native Americans, Doyon Foundation is seeking applications for a project manager for the Doyon Languages Online project.

“We are very excited to start working on this project and are looking for a dynamic individual to join our team,” said Doris Miller, Foundation executive director.

As part of the Doyon Languages Online project, a total of 280 introductory online lessons will be created for five of the critically endangered Doyon languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa. The lessons will be made widely available to language teachers and learners in Alaska and throughout the United States. Language teachers will also receive training in using the lessons in local educational settings, from schools to homes to community events.

Under the supervision of the Foundation’s Language Revitalization Program director, the Doyon Languages Online project manager will be responsible for all stages of the Doyon Language Online project, to include project development, implementation, oversight, and grant compliance requirements. In this exciting position, the project manager will design a curriculum template, oversee content creation and delivery, lead community outreach, and handle grant reporting.

Applicants should have at least three years experience in education or related field, a bachelor’s degree in education or related field, at least two years demonstrated experience managing federal grant awards and grant reporting requirements, and experience or studies in Alaska Native languages or linguistics.

View the job description for more information on essential functions; required knowledge, skills and abilities; minimum qualifications and other details. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply online. The job application closing date is November 1.

For more information on Doyon Foundation and the Doyon Languages Online project, visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact Doris Miller, executive director, at millerd@doyon.com or 907.459.2050.

Language learners from the communities of Rampart and Tanana came together for a five-day Denaakk’e workshop at the Rampart Community Hall July 11 – 15, 2016. The goal of the workshop, which was funded in part by an Our Language grant from Doyon Foundation, was for learners to be able to introduce themselves in Denaakk’e. Participants also learned common greetings and traditional place names. Each learner made a book of nouns and book of verbs in order to use the content in different combinations to create new and complete sentences.

Patty Elias, Faith Peters and Helen Peters traveled from Tanana to Rampart, joining Mary Ann Wiehl, Paul Evans, Jr., Brittany Woods-Orrison, Brook Wright, Frank Yaska, Liyana Woods, Ariyah Woods, Darian Woods, Ian Woods, Tristan Woods, David Wiehl, Jr., Janet Woods, Jennifer Wiehl, Sandy Cummings, Georgianna Lincoln, Toni Mallot, Joni Newman, Natalie Newman, Dee Wiehl, Fayleen Peters and Yavonne Woods, and the most important person of all, Rosemary Wiehl, who was hired as the cook for the week. In all, 25 people participated throughout the week.

Participants learned introductions, kinship terms, common expressions, verb conjugations, family trees, and traditional place names. A song was also created for Tanana Chiefs Conference Tobacco Prevention Program. The song will be featured in a play written by Frank Yaska, which will be touring six villages this school year.

During the workshop, Elder and teacher Helen Peters worked with everyone on how to make the sounds needed to speak correctly. A big highlight was a 4-year-old participant introducing herself, who her parents are, and that she lives in Rampart.

The workshop culminated in a community gathering where everyone enjoyed a meal of moose soup, king salmon, salads, fry bread and cake. The group held an overview of the week and selected what was to be incorporated in interactive books. They also developed a language plan to be used in the school this year, and have plans to meet monthly and practice their language to continue this revitalization effort.

For more information on the Our Language grants or Doyon Foundation’s language revitalization program, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact Allan Hayton at haytona@doyon.com or 907.459.2162.

Language revitalization in the Doyon region took a giant leap forward this week when the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) announced that Doyon Foundation has been selected to receive a Native American Language Preservation and Maintenance grant totaling $900,000 over a three-year period.Doyon_Language_Map

The 10 ancestral languages of the Doyon region, including nine Athabascan languages plus Inupiaq, represent half of the 20 Native languages in the state of Alaska. All of the Doyon region languages are severely to critically endangered, and will be lost within the span of a few generations if no action is taken. Doyon Foundation, with support from Doyon, Limited, established its language revitalization program in 2009 to support the revitalization of Interior Alaska’s Native languages.

“We are humbled and grateful to have been awarded in a highly competitive selection process. This news is very exciting, and this project will be a huge assist to those wanting to teach and learn their ancestral language,” said Allan Hayton, director of the Foundation’s language revitalization program.

The grant will help fund the Doyon Languages Online project, a partnership with 7000 Languages, a nonprofit that supports endangered language learning partially through software donated by Transparent Language. The Foundation first partnered with 7000 Languages in 2014 to create and provide learning content for the languages of the Doyon region in an accessible, engaging and proven online environment.

“As Native people, our languages are part of our identity and are very precious to us. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren deserve to have the opportunity to learn their language,” said Doris Miller, Foundation executive director. “We are honored to be able to assist in creating this learning and teaching software to further language revitalization in the Doyon region.”

During the three-year grant project, a total of 280 introductory online lessons will be created for five of the Doyon languages: Holikachuk, Denaakk’e, Benhti Kenaga’, Hän, and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa. Ultimately, the Foundation aims to create online courses for all of the Doyon region languages.

The lessons will be made widely available to language teachers and learners in Alaska and throughout the United States. Language teachers will also receive training in using the lessons in local educational settings, from schools to homes to community events.

“We’re thrilled that, after years of hard work, our partners at Doyon Foundation are finally getting the funding they deserve to revitalize their languages. We can’t wait to get started on this project,” said Alexa Little, executive director of 7000 Languages.

“We greatly enjoy supporting 7000 Languages, and I’m especially excited to see the Doyon Foundation 7000 Partnership using the Transparent Language technology platform for such a wonderful purpose,” said Michael Quinlan, CEO of Transparent Language, Inc.

ANA, which is an office of the Administration for Children and Families, promotes self-sufficiency and cultural preservation for Native Americans by providing discretionary grant funding for community-based projects, and training and technical assistance to eligible tribes and Native organizations.

For more information on ANA and its grant programs, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/ana/grants. For information on Transparent Language and 7000 Languages, visit www.transparent.com/about/7000-languages.html.

For more information on Doyon Foundation and the Doyon Languages Online project, visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact Doris Miller, executive director, at millerd@doyon.com or 907.459.2050.