New website helps save Kenai Peoples language (Alaska)
Their language is nearly dead. Maybe a new website can revitalize Kahtnuht’ana Qenaga: The Kenai Peoples Language in Alaska? For more than two years, the two anthropologists Alan Boraas and Michael Christian have taken pictures, navigated through HTML and digitized old audio recordings of Native writer Peter Kalifornsky in order to present vocabulary, grammar, stories and place names in an interactive Web site that went live last month, the Peninsula Clarion reports.
“I hope people of all ages go to it and gain insights into both the language and the culture,” Boraas says. This project is the latest in the Kenaitze Indian Tribe’s endeavor to revitalize their Native language. Finding people who actively speak the Dena’ina language is one of the most difficult parts of revitalizing it. The credit for much of the Dena’ina revitalization goes to James Kari, who spent 30 years working on a dictionary.