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This is Thread, Tás áyá

The Tlingit language is such an elaborate language. It needs to be lived: It is a living language — Vivian Mork Yéilk’ (*Article by Vivian Faith Prescott previously appeared in the Capital City Weekly Planet Alaska column)
I was afraid. I sat down in the small chair, my knees bent upward. I set a few stuffed animals, a set of color cards, and a cheat sheet on the round table in front of me. I cleared my throat. Four kindergarteners stared at me, waiting. I didn’t realize it then but I was embarking on a life-changing journey. My children’s ancestral homeland is Glacier Bay, and the nearby village of Hoonah is filled with their relatives. They were born of place and language; Born of Táx’ (Snail) and Yéil (Raven) of Xuniyaa (Hoonah) of Lingít Aaní. Their identity is a social relationship to the landscape; therefore, learning my children’s ancestral language would deepen relationships with them, their relatives, and to the land. As a family, we could learn the language togeth…

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