• 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

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

  • Politics

    Trump administration to issue new Syria sanctions

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 7:20

    WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. officials say the Trump administration will issue new sanctions against Syria as early as Monday as part of its ongoing crackdown on the Syrian government and those who support it. Two officials say that the sanctions are part of a broader effort to cut off funding and other support to Syria’s […]

  • Lifestyle

    At least global warming may get Americans off the couch more

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 7:09

    WASHINGTON (AP) – A new study says global warming’s milder winters will likely nudge Americans off the couch more in the future, a rare, small benefit of climate change. With less chilly winters, the study forecasts that Americans will be more likely to get outdoors, increasing their physical activity by as much as 2.5 percent […]

  • Lifestyle

    Astronaut breaks record for most time in space by American

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 6:04

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – Astronaut Peggy Whitson has another record under her space belt. Early Monday, the International Space Station commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in orbit by an American. That record was set last year by Jeffrey Williams. Whitson already was the […]

  • News

    Fairbanks recycling center project $150,000 over budget

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 5:57

    FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – The Fairbanks North Star Borough is seeking out additional funding to start up a recycling program, as the project is facing a $150,000 cost overrun. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the borough is looking to open a community recycling center at a warehouse in Fairbanks by July 1, when the Fairbanks […]

  • News

    Kodiak Borough legalizes commercial pot; city ban remains

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 5:53

    KODIAK, Alaska (AP) – The Kodiak Borough Assembly has voted to lift its commercial marijuana ban, although it is still illegal in the city’s jurisdiction. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the assembly voted Thursday 4-2 in favor of lifting the ban. It is unclear how soon people who have applied for state licenses will be […]

  • Bloomberg to world leaders: Ignore Trump on climate

    by Associated Press on Apr 23, 17:36

    NEW YORK (AP) – New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg says he wants to help save an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions. The former New York City mayor addressed his intensifying focus on climate change an interview with The Associated Press. Last week, he released a new book, “Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and […]

  • Sports

    BLM seeks public input on proposed Red Devil Mine cleanup

    by KTVA Web Staff on Apr 23, 17:17

    The Red Devil Mine is located on the Kuskokwim near the Red Devil Creek between Crooked Creek and Sleetmute. It started mining in the ’30s, picked up steam in the ’50s and ’60s but has not operated since the 1970s. The problem is that there’s mercury, arsenic and antimony in the soils left behind by […]

  • Students sue Trump administration over climate change

    by CBS News on Apr 23, 17:07

    EUGENE, Ore. — Avery McRae has been passionate about the environment for half a lifetime, and she’s been worried about climate change since kindergarten. Now, at 11, she is really getting serious. She recently signed on to sue President Trump and the U.S. government. “Trump is not doing anything to help stop climate change,” she […]