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Athabascan word of the week: Dec. 8, 2012

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Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012 11:43 pm

FAIRBANKS — Three of us from the YKSD office spent this week at the Andrew K. Demoski School in Nulato. There are 40 students in grades K through 12 in five multi-grade classrooms, plus an additional 17 students in pre-school.

The teachers and students are busy preparing for holiday programs. In school students practiced Indian Christmas Hymn and K’edneltl’ees (Jingle Bells) in Denaakk’e. In addition to singing, I taught the high school students how to use arcGIS online to create maps. My co-worker, Andrea Durny, worked on goal setting and team building in the five classrooms. She held intensive basketball practices in the evenings. Bob Hawkins discussed career and technical education options with the junior high and high school students. Kudos to all the teachers at remote schools who work tirelessly every day. We were itinerant visitors, and we appreciate the hard work of all educators all year long.

Twice a week, the Nulato Tribal Council hosts Native singing nights at the Adult Recreation Center, at the new townsite. These practice sessions are in their fourth year. The students who have been attending for a couple of years are able to sing at least seven traditional songs by heart. An elder, Dorothy Sommers, leads the singing while the students sing and dance. The adults have song sheets, but the students learn by hearing the songs. In addition to teaching about the history of the songs, students learn about dancing properly, following (not overpowering) the main song leader, and behavior.

Anyone interested in classes can contact Susan Paskvan at about classes on Tuesdays (Denaakk’e) and Thursdays (Menhti Kenaga’), from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.Classes schedules may vary due to travel, so it is best to be on the email list for updated notices.

k’edneltl’ees bells are ringing

yoo’oone all over

go this

łeek dog

letonh it is there

(long object)

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