Tanacross Athabascan Language Resources

Dihthaad Xt'een Iin Aandeg'

The word Tanacross has been used to refer both to a village in eastern Alaska and to the language spoken there. A more appropriate term may be Dihthaad Xt'een Aandeg' The Mansfield People's Language, refering to the traditional village of Mansfield, north of Tanacross. (See more on the history of the name Tanacross.) The modern village of Tanacross is accessible by a short access road from the Alaska Highway, and some speakers now reside in the regional center of Tok, located approximately ten miles east of the village on the highway. In addition several speakers now reside in the nearest commercial center of Fairbanks, located two hundred miles downstream from Tanacross village and accessible by all-weather highway. 

Tanacross is the ancestral language of the Mansfield-Ketchumstuk and Healy Lake-Joseph Village bands of Athabascan people, whose ancestral territory encompassed an area bounded by the Goodpaster River to the west, the Alaska Range to the south, the Fortymile and Tok Rivers to the east, and the Yukon Uplands to the north.


Tanacross Learners' Dictionary

The Tanacross Learner's Dictionary 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.

Language Classes

Past Language Workshops

  • Fall 2005 -- literacy classes (ANL 208) at UAF Tok Center
  • June 2005 -- Culture Camp
  • Upper Tanana Cultural Resources Summit -- March 22-23, 2005
  • April 12-14, 2004 -- UAF Tok Center
  • September 2003 -- Tanacross Community Hall

Tanacross Language Structure


Nee'aghndeeg' Dadzeldiix ("We're learning our language") 
The following "primers" or language booklets were translated in Tanacross by Alice Brean & Jeff Leer. They were originally printed in 1982 by the (now defunct) National Bilingual Materials Development Center for the Alaska Gateway School District in print runs of 100 copies each. They are reproduced here in Adobe PDF format for the benefit Tanacross language teachers and learners and may be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes. Please be sure to cite the original authors if you make use of this material in further curriculum development.

Note that the writing system employed here differs in several respects from the modern Tanacross orthography. See Introduction to the Tanacross Writing System for more information.


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