Eyaks are Making History!

January 1, 2014

lAXiishuh! 

2014 will be bringing a lot of exciting and ground-breaking changes for the Eyak People.  We’ve had the tragic distinction of being the first tribe in Alaska to have its language declared ‘extinct.’ Now, we have the opportunity to become known as the first tribe in Alaska to make its language live again.   We now have all the resources for this history-making effort:  a major grant from the Administration for Native Americans - the help of a lot of other partner organizations including the Eyak Preservation Council, The Eyak Corporation, the Alaska Native Languages Archive, and the National Geographic Genographic Fund - the talents of a dedicated academic and technical team - and most importantly - the commitment and vision of our community – dAXunhyuuthe Eyak People.

You’re already seeing some of the first changes here at eyakpeople.com which is being remodeled to make way for the new dAXunhyuuga’ eLearning Program and Learner’s Dictionary. We’ve also ramped up our facebook page -  Eyak Language Revitalization DaXunhyuuga’ - to keep you up-to-date on all things Eyak.  And there is a lot coming up soon.  Here’s a quick overview so you can save some dates:

January

dAXunhyuu Learner's Dictionary  This online collection of written words and audio clips is set to go live on Sunday, January 12.  You’ll have a chance to contribute your own suggestions to this expandable online resource.  And you’ll even have a chance to model some words if you want.

Eyak Yak  This is the nickname for our monthly Language Circle which brings community members from near and far together to just have fun with each other while learning more about the language. You can join us in-person in Anchorage or by SKYPE from anywhere else in the world.  The first Eyak Yak of 2014 is set for Saturday, January 11.

Annual Eyak Revitalization Survey  Watch your inbox in the coming weeks for a link to this short, anonymous survey.  This is your chance to provide vital information and feedback that will help guide the growing revitalization efforts.

February

dAXunhyuuga’ eLearning Lessons This cutting-edge interactive eLearning Program will have you speaking Eyak like you were born hearing it in no time.  The weekly online materials and fun, family activities will let you take from the language and culture  what you want to make Eyak a part of your every day life.  And, as if learning isn't its own reward, you'll have a chance to pile up points that will earn you a chance at some pretty cool prizes.  Look for a roll out toward the beginning of the month.

Eyak Immersion Workshop  You can super-charge your Eyak language learning by taking part in this light-hearted and interactive session on February 15.  We’ll start at noon with a community potluck and then get busy with the singing and dancing that’s become a trademark of  a very intriguing language learning technique known as Total Physical Response – TPR.

Language Modeling  Are you ready for your closeup? We’re looking for Eyaks to do some WORD modeling for the dictionary and the eLearning lessons. Y ou’ll get Eyak speaking coaching help and a k’udzuudah feeling for pitching in. Production dates vary in February.  email if you’re interested.

This is just the beginning.  There will be much more in the months and years ahead.   We are looking forward to reconnecting with and honoring our culture, our language and each other.  By working together, we can revitalize the Eyak language and build relationships for our future as a community.  It will take all of us working toward this vision as we redefine history and give hope and possibilities to our children and dAXunhyuu - our people.

AwA'ahdah

The  dAXunhyuuga‘ Advisory Committee
Jenna May
Barbara Sappah
Jo Anna Westmoreland