Tanana River at sunset, courtesy of Allan Hayton

We are into December and winter solstice is on its way, so in this month’s Native Word, we are pleased to share translations of “December” and “winter.” We’ve included the meaning of the words, where known. We hope you enjoy, practice and share this month’s Native words!

Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana)

December – Tach’enatht’onh

Winter – Khwyh

Deg Xinag

December Vinginh Q’inodle Chux (Big prayer month)

Winter – Xiyh

Denaakk’e (Koyukon)

December Høyh Kk’aatl’ot Le’onee (Compact object at the far end of winter)

Winter – Huyh

Dihthâad Xt’een Iin Aanděeg’ (Tanacross)

December – Wunenh Nach’ehjedh

Winter – Xey

Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim)

Winter – Hwsh

Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in)

December – Veegwaadhat, also Ch’atsal

Winter – Khaii


December – Sraa Tsäww Nän

Winter – Khayy


Winter – Xiyh or Xuyh


December – Siqiñġiḷaq (no sunshine) 

Winter – Ukiuq

Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana)

Winter – Xaiy

For more translations, view our Native word of the month archives on the Foundation website.

We also invite you to access free online language-learning lessons by signing up for Doyon Languages Online! We currently have lessons available for Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), Denaakk’e (Koyukon), Holikachuk and Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in), as well as a special set of Hän lessons based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby. All interested learners may sign up and access the courses at no charge – sign up today!