Geographic names board approves Troth Yeddha’ naming

February 26, 2013

Marmian Grimes

James Kari

The United States Board on Geographic Names has unanimously approved a university-backed proposal to officially recognized the ridge that is home to the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus as Troth Yeddha’. The ridge previously had no official name.

Troth Yeddha’, Athabascan for “Indian potato ridge,” refers to the Hedysarum alpinum, a plant with edible roots that is a traditional food for Native people throughout Alaska.

The drive to have the name officially recognized started with Athabascan experts Robert Charlie of Minto, James Kari of the Alaska Native Language Center and Annette Freiburger of the UAF Interior-Aleutians Campus. They made the initial proposal to university committees and leaders.

“Troth Yeddha’ has deeply rooted importance to the Athabascan people,” said Charlie. “The vision we have for Troth Yeddha’ is for UAF and the Alaska community to recognize the importance of those who came before – the ancient people of Interior Alaska. The view from Troth Yeddha’ is a vision of the future.”

The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved the naming in June and, on Thursday, students dedicated the opening night of the Festival of Native Arts to Troth Yeddha’.