Doyon Foundation is pleased to announce that a language-learning course in Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim) is now available in Doyon Languages Online. The online course is available for free to all interested language learners; find more information and sign up at 

About the course

The Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim) course is designed to teach Dinak’i to people who want to learn how to speak in ways culturally relevant to our Upper Kuskokwim Dena (Athabascan) communities.

The course includes 13 units with up to six lessons per unit. Lessons include examples of everyday conversations, which expose learners to ways to use Dinak’i in a practical, culturally relevant way. It includes an alphabet course, conversational videos, practice activities in speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as information on Dinak’i grammar and culture.

About Dinaki

Dinak’i is a Dene (Athabascan) language spoken in the Upper Kuskokwim communities of Edze Dochak’ (Nikolai), Tilayadi (Telida) and Tochak’ (McGrath).

About the course developers

The Dinak’i team held focused work sessions in Fairbanks and Anchorage, and brought their many talents to this important work. The team would like to give special recognition to the late Steven Nikolai and the late Irene Nikolai, both of whose love for the Dinak’i language was felt by all who worked with them.

The developers of the course are our Elders: the late Steven Nikolai, the late Irene Nikolai and Oline Petruska; content creators: Stephanie Petruska, Debbie Esai Holm, Michael Alexia, Shalmarie Nikolai, Dora Stokes, Blake Nikolai, Miska Alexia and Larry Alexia; and linguistic consultant: Teresa Hanson.

Additional acknowledgements

Additional thanks go to Doyon Foundation staff Allan Diton Hayton, Myles Creed, Deloole’aanh Erickson, Doris Miller and Tiffany Simmons, as well as Transparent Language, 7000 Languages, and Doyon, Limited. This course was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Alaska Native Education Program, grant # S356A170021.

About 7000 Languages

7000 Languages empowers communities around the world to teach, learn and sustain their endangered languages. They are a 501(c)(3) public charity whose vision is one where all communities have the resources and opportunities to reclaim, strengthen and revitalize their languages. 

About Doyon Languages Online

Through Doyon Languages Online, Doyon Foundation is working to increase the number of people who can speak the endangered Native languages of the Doyon region.

Currently available courses include:

  • Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana)
  • Deg Xinag
  • Denaakk’e (Koyukon)
  • Dihthaad Xt’een Iin Aanděeg’ (Tanacross)
  • Dinak’i (Upper Kuskokwim)
  • Dinjii Zhuh K’yaa (Gwich’in)
  • Doogh Qinag (Holikachuk)
  • Hän (Doyon Languages Online course, plus special memorial course based on the work of the late Isaac Juneby)

The course in Nee’aanèegn’ (Upper Tanana) is in the final testing stage and is expected to be available soon.

Doyon Languages Online courses are available for free to all interested learners. Students can sign up and access the courses from a desktop or laptop computer, or via the Transparent Language app available for both Apple and Android mobile devices and tablets.

For more information on the Doyon Languages Online project and upcoming course releases, please visit or contact 907.459.2048 or For assistance signing up for or using Doyon Languages Online, view the instructional video series on YouTube.

Tsen’anh hwchuh!