Foundation to Award $64,000 to Nine Organizations 

 

Doyon Foundation has selected nine organizations to receive Our Language grants totaling $64,000 this year. Recipients include:

  • Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) – Indigenous Language Institute Annual Symposium in October 2018. With this grant support, ANHC will send its language project director and two language project instructors to the annual symposium, allowing project staff to learn directly from organizations and individuals running language revitalization programs across the U.S.

 

  • KRFF – Athabascan Fiddlers Association, Inc. (AFA) Word of the Day and Phrase of the Day Language Project through December 2018. AFA plans to edit KRFF 89.1 FM’s existing “Word of the Day” and “Phrase of the Day” electronic files and broadcast them out to KRFF’s listening audience in the interior of Alaska and beyond.

 

  • Native Village of Eagle – Revitalization of Hän Language Project through fall 2019. Through this project, the village will provide a forum for fluent Hän Hwëch’in speakers to become teachers. By the end of summer 2018, the goal is to have at least two fluent speakers living in the village providing language lessons to others in the community. By the end of the year, the project seeks to have audio lessons available to those outside the village.

 

  • Native Village of Fort Yukon – Youth and Cultural Language Program through October 2018. Community youth have their own council and have planned year-round cultural activities, which will have Gwich’in language immersed throughout. CDs will also be produced for local radio and presentations on the language skills and cultural knowledge learned through the activities.

 

  • Native Village of Tetlin – Enhancing Culture Camp with Language Sessions in June 2018. During the culture camp, participants will be exposed to language materials and learn basic Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana) Tetlin dialect expressions.

 

  • Nikolai Village – Nikolai Culture/Language Camp in August 2018. In partnership with the Iditarod Area School District – Top of the Kuskokwim School and Telida Village Council, Nikolai Village will offer a culture and language camp with a focus on preserving the Upper Kuskokwim language and igniting a spark in the younger generation.

 

  • Tanacross – Language and Culture Classes through September 2018. The effort will include recording culture and language, offering regular culture and language meetings, and documenting Native culture, including stories and language, with an overall goal of having youth speak the language.

 

  • Tanana Tribal Council – Tanana Cooperative Community Language Preservation and Revitalization Project through September 2018. This project will continue and expand work started in 2017 by creating video recordings of Elders, developing and piloting lesson plans, encouraging multi-generational learning, and building on previous Where Are Your Keys workshops.

 

  • Yukon Flats School District – Honoring the Past, Building for the Future Through Gwich’in Language through September 2018. In collaboration with the Council of Athabascan Tribal Government, the project will promote language revitalization through professional development of current Gwich’in language and culture teachers.

The goal of the Our Language grant program is to support efforts to revitalize the endangered languages of the Doyon region, which include Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana), Dihthaad Xt’een Iin Aanděeg’ (Tanacross), Hän, Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim), Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Deg Xinag, Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga (Lower Tanana), Holikachuk, and Inupiaq.

Doyon, Limited originally established the language grant program in 2012. The Foundation’s language revitalization program now administers the grants, which are available to Doyon region tribal governments/tribal councils/communities; nonprofit Alaska Native organizations, societies and community groups; and Alaska Native cultural, educational and recreational organizations/centers.

For more information, visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com.

 

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.