Native Place Names Workshop, April 29
The upcoming meeting of the Council of Geographic Names Authorities (COGNA) in Anchorage will feature a Native Place Names Workshop on April 29.
'Never Alone' game features Iñupiaq story
"Kisima Inŋitchuŋa" ("Never Alone"), a video game based on an Iñupiaq legend, invites players to guide an Iñupiaq girl and a playful arctic fox as they try to save her village from a long-lasting blizzard. The game has been described as a way to pass old stories to a generation attuned to electronic communications.
Ronald Brower, who teaches Iñupiaq at the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, narrates the game's trailer.
New oral history of the Lower Yukon
Nunamta Ellamta-llu Ayuqucia / What Our Land and World Are Like is a collaboration between community members in Kotlik, Emmonak, Alakanuk, and Nunam Iqua who have worked together with the Calista Elders Council to record the history of their land and lives. Oral historian Alice Rearden and anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan produced this book, which is richly illustrated with maps and historical and current-day photos. The 656-page paperback is $35 and can be ordered from the ANLC.
Gwich'in site focuses on caribou
Vadzaih.com, a fascinating new site, examines the role of caribou in the Gwich'in culture.
Elders in western Alaska have compiled "A Guide to the Ethnobotany of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region." It describes many plant species and provides the Yup'ik names and the meaning of the name. Also shown are the English and scientific names, and many entries are illustrated with photos. Chapters are devoted to trees and shrubs, edible berries, mouse foods, other edible plants, medicinals, poisonous plants, grasses and sedges, ferns, mosses, miscellaneous plants, algae, lichens, and fungi. Download the PDF.
Quinhagak elders pass along history
Erinaput Unguvaniartut / So Our Voices Will Live is a collaboration between the community of Quinhagak and the Calista Elders Council, the major heritage organization for southwest Alaska. It was initiated by the people of Quinhagak to both preserve and share the history and oral traditions unique to their homeland at the mouth of the Qanirtuuq River on Kuskokwim Bay. Quinhagak elders gathered in the village and well as traveled to Anchorage to work with oral historian Alice Rearden and anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan where they worked together, for the sake of their young people, "so that their voices will stay alive." (Order the book)
UAF ridge named Troth Yeddha'
The ridge along which the University of Alaska Fairbanks is built now officially carries the name Troth Yeddha, or Indian Potato Ridge.
The name was approved in 2013 by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. The ridge previously had no official name. Read about Troth Yeddha' and how the name came about.
Tanacross Dictionary App
The Tanacross Learner's Dictionary (originally published in print form in 2008) is now available as an App for iPhone/iPod. Like the print dictionary, the mobile app is a reference for anyone wanting to learn the spoken Tanacross language. The subject matter and the level of complexity are varied enough to make the dictionary a useful resource for a wide range of users, from people who know nothing of the language to people already know some words and phrases or have heard the language being spoken by their parents or grandparents. The dictionary consists of about 2000 English entry words with nearly 4500 Tanacross words and example sentences and links to about 3800 audio recordings of the Tanacross words and sentences. Audio files are embedded in the App and do not require wi-fi or 3G to play.
Mount McKinley or Denali?
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has proposed officially giving the name Denali to the continent's tallest peak, Mount McKinley. Shem Pete's Alaska, a book by James Kari and James Fall published in 2003 by the University of Alaska Press, has a three-page section, "Names for Denali/Mt. McKinley in Alaska Native Languages." [download]
Download the Alaska Native Language Center's catalog for a full view of our books and music.
Download the catalog. (PDF, 4 MB)
Yup'ik Eskimo Dictionary, Second Edition
The second edition of the Yup'ik Eskimo Dictionary has arrived from the printer. This is the greatly expanded, two-volume edition of Professor Steven A. Jacobon's well-known dictionary, first published in 1988. The cost for the two-volume set is $50.
Volume 1 contains the introduction and bases. Volume 2 contains the postbases, endings and enclitics, loan words, and English-to-Yup'ik index.
Lower Tanana Athabascan Place Names
More than a thousand place names in the Lower Tanana Athabascan language are identified. A CD and a print version of the book list the locations and explain the meaning of the names and discuss how they were derived. Large maps that accompany the book and CD are available separately from Date-Line Digital Printing in Fairbanks. The CD and book are for sale at $10 each from the ANLC. [Buy]
Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska [map]
A new edition of the groundbreaking map showing the indigenous language regions of Alaska—and related languages of neighboring areas of Canada and Russia—is now available. Native villages now are identified in the local language as well as in English. It is the first revision in nearly 30 years. The map, generated with geographic information system (GIS) technology, is the joint product of the Alaska Native Language Center and UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research. This work updates the map originally compiled in 1974 by former ANLC Director Michael Krauss and last updated in 1982. [Buy]
[Download a smaller, free version suitable for PowerPoint and classroom/office presentations]
The Talking Alaska blog provides reflections on Alaska's Native languages.
Focus Group on Language Revitalization
Learn more about how Native and non-Native scholars are studying the dynamics of language revitalization. A list of programs concerned with revitalization is offered, as is a PowerPoint presentation on Alaska Native languages.
UAF's Applied Linguistics program and the Lower Kuskokwim and Lower Yukon School Districts have launched a new site, Piciryaramta Elicungcallra, about language immersion and programming.
New Iñupiaq-English dictionary
Edna MacLean's new Iñupiaq-to-English dictionary is available in the Alaska Native Language Archive.
- Dene-Yeniseian Connection at ANLC
For information about the Dene-Yeniseian languages visit the Dene-Yeniseian page. Professor Edward Vajda's 2010 article work illuminated the similarities between the languages of the Ket people of Siberia and North America's Tlingit, Eyak, and Na-Dene peoples. Vajda's 2013 article is available online.
About the ANLC
The Alaska Native Language Center was established in 1972 by state legislation as a center for the documentation and cultivation of the state's 20 Native languages. [Mission statement]