Online Gwich’in Łanguage Resources
How we speak. Clickable audio for days of the week, greetings, months of the year, weather terms, and plants
Fascinating talking map with place names and stories
List of publications including many language resources available for free download and some newer material for purchase
The latest edition of the dictionary including both Gwichyah and Teetł’it dialects can be downloaded from
Language Nest Videos
Chief Atahm School, founded by Kathryn Michel who shared her story with us at the 2018 Gwich’in Language Gathering in Fort McPherson
Here’s an example of Nest in New Zealand with some older children
These videos give a great view inside the Saanich BC Language Nest and shows how immersion is used with physical actions (TPR)
This video of the Saanich school shows the children progressing.
Immersion Teaching and Learning videos
Some of the following videos may be helpful. Each video will have more and less helpful information, but the main thing I hope you take away from watching these is how important it is to
Learn the language by staying in the language
Prepare for each immersion session by finding props such as toys or pictures of activities (avoid pictures of things; make sure there is something happening in the picture so your mentor will have something to talk about. A series of pictures that tell a story would be ideal.)
Don’t be shy to make mistakes. The more mistakes you make the faster you will learn to speak correctly.
Though at the beginning you will just be repeating words and phrases, you goal as soon as possible is to begin using them to communicate your own ideas. This is why learning “what is this?” “Is this a…” “Yes this is a….” “No this isn’t a…..it’s a ….” Already this is a conversation.
Terrible tips for language learners
5 techniques to speak any language
Lakota language nest
A very concrete and well explained language learning strategy
Example of the above WAYK method in practice at a very basic level of language done over Skype
Universities and Language Centres
The Yukon Native Language Centre has some very nice audio storybooks and other resources. The organization is shifting its priorities and plans to upload many more resources in the near future, so keep an eye on this site as it will likely provide many new resources soon
There is an excellent online program offered through the University of Alaska Fairbanks that gives a very good starting point. Be aware that this dialect may be slightly different from the one you are studying, but it will still give you a foothold into issues around grammar, word order, and how to build words. Keep in mind that dialects are regional differences in how a particular language is spoken, as British, Canadian, and Jamaican English are all dialects of English. These differences hold variations in accent, some vocabulary, and even some grammatical differences, but speakers can usually still understand each other.
Check out their resources page for more resources
The Tlingit Mentor Apprentice Program has an excellent document with some very well described tools for getting the most out of your Mentor Apprentice program (beginning on page 23)
Other online resources
Vuntut Gwich’in has a page on First Voices with a long clickable wordlist, phrase book, two songs and two stories
You might also find the First Voices Han language page interesting
This page has some information about the writing system that might be helpful, a video with a subtitled story, and links to more resources at the bottom of the page.
This page has links to more information on and about Gwich’in
For computer fonts and keyboards (plugins that allow you to type language specific characters such as ł, ą, ǫ̀, î ) can be found through Language Geek. It takes a little bit of tech knowledge to install, but the information on the site is quite helpful. You can also contact me or First Voices and we will do our best to help.
CBC host and Gwich’in speaker, William Firth has a daily show from 1-2 pm, called Nantaii. Here is a link to some episodes on the CBC website.
Not really a language link, though there are some phrases and place names. This is a fascinating and poignant documentary by Paul Kennedy on Gwich’in legends