Native Word of the Month

Doyon Foundation is pleased to present the Native Words of the Month. Each month, a new Native word or phrase and definition will be shared here on the website, along with an audio recording of the pronunciation. Have a translation in another language? Share it with us on Facebook! Have an idea for a Native Word of the Month? Please email your idea to haytona@doyon.com.

View the most recent Native Word of the Month posts below, or click here to view all of the posts.

January 2022 Native Word of the Month

For our January 2022 Native Word of the Month, we wanted to share a new feature on our website: interactive flashcards in Benhti Kokhut’ana Kenaga’ (Lower Tanana), featuring artwork by Natilly Hovda and audio translations by David Engles. (Read more about the project...

December 2021 Native Word of the Month

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...

November 2021 Native Word of the Month

In our Native languages, the names of the months aren’t just words – they describe what is taking place during that time of year. For example, November is referred to as Sooge Zo’, or marten month in Denaakk’e/Koyukon. In Inupiaq, November is Nippivik, or sunset time,...

October 2021 Native Word of the Month

Our October Native Word of the Month honors Every Child Matters Day, a National Day of Remembrance for U.S. Boarding Schools, which was recognized on September 30. Residential schools impacted all Native people and the effects on our people, language and culture...

Let’s Celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day 2021!

Today is Indigenous Peoples Day, and Doyon Foundation invites you to celebrate by sharing YOUR language! In 2017, Gov. Bill Walker signed legislation recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day in Alaska. The law establishes Alaska as the second state in the nation...