In the September 2021 edition of Language Journeys, LaVerne Demientieff shared her experiences of reconnecting with and learning her language, Deg Xinag, from Elders in a class at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, when she was in her early 20s. That time was a transformative period in her life when she began to reclaim her identity as a Deg Xitan woman through learning her language.

Through the love and care the Elders showed her on her language learning journey, LaVerne decided she would like to create the same kind of space for other Deg Xinag learners, so she began to teach the language. Over the years, she has supported and uplifted her language through working on Deg Xinag language lessons with Doyon Foundation and holding weekly Deg Xinag language groups.. LaVerne is passionate about teaching the younger generations and takes pride and joy in hearing them speak the language.

This program is the sixth episode of Doyon Foundation’s Language Journeys series, hosted at the Morris Thompson Center. Please join the Morris Thompson Center and Doyon Foundation as they bring in Alaska Native language learners from across the Interior to share their journeys learning their languages.