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Ahtna Athabascan Language Program


Tl’ac’usk’a (Fireweed)

Ahtna is one of the eleven Athabaskan languages native to Alaska. It is part of a language family called Diné. Many indigenous Native American languages are to have derived from this proto-Athabaskan language, Navajo is one language derived from this early language and consequently Ahtna and Navajo have many similarities.   There are four dialects in the Ahtna Athabascan language the Lower, Upper, Western, and Central dialects.  The Ahtna language that Chickaloon Village is learning is the Western and Central dialect.


Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kayax Dahwdoldiix Ce’e Project

(Chickaloon Village Learning Big Project)


Udii’a łudakudo’ohnii (Be respectful at all times)


Project Goals

“To rejuvenate the Ahtna Athabascan language for the Ya Ne Dah Ah School, Chickaloon Native Village Tribal citizens, and community through Elder interviews, mentoring, and immersion instructional teaching”.


Project Objectives

Objective #1: Includes hiring project staff, ensuring that project staff receive adequate immersion training, and that administrative compliance is achieved.

Objective # 2: Includes project planning, baseline assessment survey development, curriculum development, and assessment and ongoing methodology reviews.

Objective #3: Includes completion of Elder interviews and instructional sessions as well as completing learning assessments of students and project staff.


Project Outcomes

The language vocabulary usage and comprehension is assessed based on the Chickaloon Native Village Standards for Ahtna Athabascann Language and Culture Education Assessment and Ahtna Language Proficiency Guidelines.

By the end of the project, our goal is to increase the number of begining and intermediate Ahtna language speakers and all participates will have achieved increased vocabulary usage and comprehension.


Chickaloon Native Village Standards for Ahtna Athabascann Language and Culture Education Assessment:




Interactive Learning


Deniigi Dezes Nayghiłgaey (She is scraping a moosehide)

This project teaches the Ahtna Athabascan language and culture through a combination of classroom lessons and hands-on learning activities based around the seasonal calendar:

  • -Traditional Stories
  • -Weather/Seasons
  • -Climate Change
  • -Environmental Stewardship
  • -Songs & Dance
  • -Games
  • -Clan History & Values
  • -Harvesting Plants & Berries
  • -Beading/Sewing
  • -Cooking
  • -Hunting and Fishing


Nay’dini’aa Na’ Kayax Dahwdoldiix Ce’e Brochure:




Koht’aene k’e’ nadolghos (Everyone speak Ahtna language)!

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If you want to learn Ahtna Athabascan language download lessons below:


> Ahtna Athabascan Language Lessons
> Survival Skills Workbook [575kb .pdf]
> Survival Skills Workbook Answer Key [672kb .pdf]







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> Curriculum

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