• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 34s

Anchorage man hopes to revitalize Ahtna language with new children’s book

By Heather Hintze 9:32 PM December 17, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

It all starts with a story.

“Ndoxe Tiziyaas?” asked Grant Rebne.

That’s half of the title of his new children’s book, with the other half translating to English as “Where are you going?” Rebne hopes the book will inspire people to learn and preserve his native language, Ahtna.

“Our language shows our culture,” Rebne said. “It’s who we are. It teaches so much more than just how to speak in Ahtna. It tells about our people and where we’ve been and how our people think.”

The book is just in the beginning stages. Rebne still needs to find an artist to bring his story to life. He also has a Kickstarter page to raise $9,000 for publishing.

“Ndoxe Tiziyaas” would also come with an audio CD. Rebne worked with three elders to make sure the pronunciations were perfect.

“We wrote out how it would sound in Ahtna. They let me record it,” he said. “I spent time trying to translate it going back and forth, and this is the result of it.”

The Ahtna language isn’t easy on English speakers, and that goes for Rebne’s Native name as well.

“C’edahwdełdiixen,” he said. “It’s got a couple of guttural stops, the barred ł, the x in there, the hw.”

A lot of the letter combinations — dz, dl, tl — can’t be found in many of the romance languages.

“We have 39 different sounds in Ahtna and 19 of them are not found in English. It’s very different.” Rebne said.

Rebne is a new father; his 6-month-old daughter, Hadley, stars in his Kickstarter video. For him, the book is about taking the language of his ancestors and passing it on to a new generation.

“Yidi ts’ilaen?” he asked. “Who will we be after we lose our language?”

Latest Stories

  • Statue stands in honor of Iditarod founder

    by Dave Leval on Jun 24, 22:21

    He already has a school named after him, now, there’s another way to honor the man known as the “father of the Iditarod.” It took Palmer artist Pat Garley took roughly 18 months to complete the “Joe Redington, Senior on the Trail” statue that sits outside Redington Junior-Senior High School. The part of Redington weighs […]

  • Rookie musher first to sign up for 2018 Iditarod

    by Dave Leval on Jun 24, 22:19

    Shaynee Traska has what she needs as she prepares for the biggest challenge of her athletic career. The Yukon Qyuest 300 veteran from Two Rivers wants to play with the big dogs. Traska is the first person to sign up for next year’s Iditarod. “Very surprised, being a big Iditarod sign up day, I thought […]

  • News

    Pride Fest celebrates 40 years in Anchorage

    by Heather Hintze on Jun 24, 18:04

    Hundreds of people turned out in downtown Anchorage for the 40th annual Pride Fest. Mo Haddock and Callene Monasmith set their lawn chairs up early to get a front for the parade. “It’s a lot of fun. We like to people watch anyway but today is very fulfilling. Very heartwarming to see so many people […]

  • News

    Here’s what is pushing up U.S. home prices

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:53

    When it comes to buying a home in the U.S., the tide is turning in favor of sellers. The typical residential property that’s up for sale currently stays on the market for 77 days, according to Zillow — that’s the shortest listing time since the real estate service started tracking the data. While demand for […]

  • Mom left 2 children who died in hot car as punishment, police say

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:35

    A Texas woman told investigators that she left her 2-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son in a hot car last month to teach the girl a lesson, police said. The children died after spending several hours in the car. Cynthia Marie Randolph, 24, was being held Saturday on two counts of causing serious bodily injury to […]

  • Six inmates who saved guard’s life rewarded with shorter sentences

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:32

    Officer down. It’s one of the scariest calls a sheriff can receive. But when Polk County Sheriff Johnny Moats got that call on June 12, it didn’t turn into the nightmare scenario he might have expected. On the contrary, that hair-raising call was the start of something heartwarming. Its unexpected source? A group of selfless […]

  • Lifestyle

    How would the Senate health care bill actually affect Medicaid?

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:26

    Democrats and left-leaning think tanks say Senate Republicans’ health care bill would be disastrous for individuals and families on Medicaid, the federal program that provides health coverage to low-income Americans. But White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday said President Trump is “committed to making sure that no one who currently is in the […]

  • News

    How the U.S. Army counters North Korea threats

    by CBS News on Jun 24, 14:23

    SEOUL, South Korea — While “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell and her team were in South Korea, the U.S. Army took CBS News on an aerial tour to give us a first-hand look at what they are doing to counter threats from North Korea. We hitched a ride from Yongsan Army Garrison on a […]