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The Deg Xinag course includes 10 units, with up to six lessons per unit. On completion of the course, learners will gain an awareness and an understanding of how to speak Deg Xinag conversationally and in Deg Xit’an cultural contexts, according to Dinayetr (Our Belief System). It includes an alphabet lesson, conversational and song videos, conversational and pronunciation practice, stories, information on Deg Xinag grammar and culture, and more.

Deg Xinag is the language of the Deg Xit’an, the Dene (Athabascan) language spoken in the communities of Xeyeghelinghdi (Grayling), Gitr’ingith Chagg (Anvik), Łegg Jitno (Shageluk), and Deloy Chet (Holy Cross).


The Deg Xinag course came about through the inspiration, dedication and creativity of the development team. Focused work sessions were held in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Holy Cross, Grayling, Shageluk and Soldotna, and created a sense of community among the collaborators.The team would like to recognize the late Jim Dementi for his tireless dedication to the Deg Xinag language; without his many contributions, this course would not have been possible.

The Deg Xinag knowledge bearers for the course were the late Jim Dementi and Grayling Elder Edna Deacon. Content creators included LaVerne Xilegg Demientieff, Jeanette Niłyagh Hall Dementi, George Yuxgitsiy Holly, Beth Ginondidoy Leonard and Samantha Quinn, and linguistic consultant Alice Niq’asrt’ay Taff. Contributors included Sigourney Sigiggeq Walker, Joshua Ghiligguk Hartman, Rebekah Gidinatiy Hartman, Dorothy Walker, Morris Demoski, Marlene Madros, Shirley Clark, Janet Afcan, Malinda Chase, and participants from the communities of Shageluk, Grayling, Holy Cross and Anvik.


Additional thanks go to Doyon Foundation staff Allan Diton Hayton, Myles Creed, Deloole’aanh Erickson, Doris Miller and Tiffany Simmons, as well as Transparent Language, 7000 Languages staff, and Doyon, Limited. This course was funded by the U.S. Department of Education Alaska Native Education Program, grant # S356A170021.

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