Our Language Revitalization Efforts
The Yukon Flats valley covers 35 million acres and is located over a 100 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska - primarily north of the Arctic Circle. The region encompasses the ten Athabascan (Gwich’in and Koyukon) villages and tribal governments that formed the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments (CATG). Communities in the Yukon Flats use both Gwich’in language and the Upper Koyukon dialect, both in the Athabascan (or NaDene) language group.
The long-term educational goal of our language revitalization effort is that, “The Gwich’in people must be educated in second language acquisition and instructional methodologies to integrate the Gwich’in culture into the formal Western educational K-12 and Higher Education system” (Fisher & Sikorski, 2011). In order to achieve this goal, the YGS partnership brings together certified teachers, elders, language instructors and archivists to develop values based integrated academic course work using the “Understanding By Design” model.
In June 2018 YGS created an annual “Yukon Flats Indigenous Language Revitalization Institute” where participants developed the initial curriculum units based on the Gwich’in Language Framework which includes four realms; T’eediraa’in (our way of life), Tr’igehił’ee (respect), Shroodiinyaa (sacred), and Diiginjik (language).