Introduction

Haa Léelkʼu Has Yoo X̱ʼatángi

Yakʼéi haat yee.ádi, ldakát yeewháan. Yá daakeit áwé, ldakát uháan yís áyá. Áwé, x̱ʼatulitseen haa léelkʼu has yoo x̱ʼatángi. Haa jiyís áyá wdudliyéx̱. Aaa. Haa Tlagu Ḵwáanxʼi Yan, Haa Yoo X̱ʼatángi, ḵa Haa Ḵusteeyí, haa jeet has awatée. Has du latseení dáx̱ áwé. Aaa, haa yoo x̱ʼatáng haa at.óowux̱ sitee. Haa x̱ʼaséigu tsu. Líl ḵut kei eeg̱íx’jiḵ! Haa hóochʼi dzaas yáx̱ áyá. Haa toowú s akaawas’ít. Aaa. Yee gu.aa yáx̱ xʼwán. Gaawt kawdixít. Yee gu.aa yáx̱ xʼwán. Yeedát áyá woosh jigax̱toonéiyi eetéenáx̱ haa yatée ḵúnáx̱. Yee gu.aa yáx̱ xʼwán. Haa léelkʼw has x̱á haa x̱ʼéit has wusi.áx̱ yeedát. Yee gu.aa yáx̱ xʼwán. G̱unéi ax̱ tu.aadí, haa shagóon has du tundatáani x̱oo.

Lingítx̱ haa sateeyí

Our Tlingit identity is born through our language, inherited through our mothers. In our traditional way of life, we know one another. We know the lineage of one another and what that means to us and to our clans and families. This is a difficult world. In Lingít we might say «yatʼéexʼi át áyá yá ḵusti» (this life is hard, frozen). As a people, we are faced with linguistic extinction. As a world, we are faced with choices of what to let go of, often by doing nothing about it.

Language revitalization is at the heart of this blog. The sources here are dedicated to the speakers, teachers, and students of the Tlingit language. We would have nothing if not for our Ancient Ones, for those who have immediately preceded us in our work and discoveries, and for those who will come after us (Haa eetí ḵáa).

As you encounter this information, this site, the users that are here, always remember that respect is the first thing we have, the last thing we have, the greatest thing we have. As students working in this language, remember to hold on to one another. Remember that you never have to quit; there are resources here, and that means more than just books and discussions. We are all climbing into this journey together. Regardless of who we are or where we come from, if we are human beings with compassion then we will never let our language die.

The learning curve is steep and there is so much to the language, but that means we have a chance to take a look at the way our ancestors truly saw the world around them. They had hard lives as well. That is why they bathed for strength, they lived in concert with land and animals, they respected and spoke to all things. In your journey with the language you will uncover many things about yourself, your role in the world, and what you now must do. We are united in our efforts to change the shift we are facing. We are pressing our hands against a glacier, and waiting for what it will reveal.

Gunalchéesh áwé, ḵúnáx̱. Sh tóog̱aa x̱aditee, ldakát yeewháan.

For more information, email X̱ʼunei.

Map of Tlingit Country on North America

Lingít Aaní – Tlingit Land (click to enlarge)