The Dena’ina language is now spoken fluently by fewer than 100 people, out of a total Dena’ina population of about 900. Another 20 are learning the language from Elders and at the annual Dena’ina Language Institute sponsored by the Kenaitze Indian Tribe. In spite of the few speakers, we have a rich archive of hundreds hours of recorded stories made by Elders and linguists who have worked together for the past 35 years.
We present here, and on the Radio, short narratives from all four dialects of Dena’ina for the Dena’ina Lifeways radio series to represent the diverse information in the archive, including: How important places got their names Traditional hunting and gathering practices Events in Dena’ina history How to build houses, make recipes, and fashion tools and weapons Each recording is about one minute long and is followed by an English translation and commentary by Eklutna Dena’ina Chada Aaron Leggett.
The stories are heard on the Radio through the month of November on Monday's, Wednesday's and Friday's at 8:50am and 4:57pm on KNBA 90.3 FM which is also streamed at www.knba.org.