Hän

The Hän language is spoken in two communities: Dawson City, Yukon and Eagle, Alaska. The speakers of the language are called Hän Hwëch'in which means, "people who live along the (Yukon) River." Hän is closely related to the Gwich'in and Upper Tanana languages. Some older Hän speakers can read the Gwich'in orthography of Robert McDonald and use his Tukudh Bible and prayer book. During the Klondike Gold Rush a reserve was established for the Hän people at Moosehide, a few miles downriver from Dawson City.

In Dawson City there is only a handful of fluent speakers remaining. The rapid decline of the language in this region is due in large part to the dramatic changes brought by the flood of outsiders with the Gold Rush of 1898. There are more speakers in Eagle and Fairbanks, Alaska, but probably fewer than fifteen. Recently, the Hän people in Dawson have been working actively to bring back the language and traditional songs. In these efforts they rely on their own elders as well as residents of Eagle, Fairbanks and other Alaskan communities.

The Hän Language program has been in operation since 1991 at Robert Service School in Dawson City. The Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in (formerly the Dawson First Nation) is supportive of preserving the Hän language. It sponsors an adult language class and organizes cultural gatherings, including a bi-annual summer celebration at Moosehide.

Shëtsǫ 'yul hè ä̀nëtl'ù' ts'ą̈̀' këntrą̈ ohtsey.

Downloadable Learner Resources

About These Resources

This page provides links to digital copies of language lessons, literacy session booklets, and story books that have been prepared over the past thirty years by the Yukon Native Language Centre and Hän Elders and community members, including from Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation in the Yukon. The work of all contributors to these materials is gratefully acknowledged here.

Recognizing the importance for Yukon First Nations governments, Elders, advocates, learners, and teachers of Hän to have access to language resources, the Council of Yukon First Nations' Yukon Native Language Centre and Yukon Education's First Nations Programs and Partnerships Unit have worked together to provide the language materials below with assistance from Christopher Cox. While these digital resources are still in early draft form, and are being made available here for non-commercial, information purposes only, it is hoped that they will provide additional support for all those interested in studying, learning, and teaching the Hän language. To order printed copies of any of these resources from YNLC, please consult the current catalogue of publications.

Hän Language Lessons

  1. Henry, Percy and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2011. Hän Language Lessons. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre. Download Printed Materials Download Audio
  2. Juneby, Isaac and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1994. Hän Language Lessons: Eagle, Alaska Dialect. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre. Download Printed Materials Download Audio

Hän Story Books

  1. Roberts, Edward and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1996. Tä̀ʼò Nä̀täzrè. Tä̀ʼò Goes Hunting. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  2. Roberts, Edward and Yukon Native Language Centre. 2008. Łuk Trʼohgąy Hä̀hjä̀k. The Fish Camp. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.

Hän Listening Exercises

  1. Juneby, Isaac, Yukon Native Language Centre, and Alaska Native Language Center. 1995. Hän Language Listening Exercises. Eagle, Alaska, Dialect. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  2. Roberts, Edward and Yukon Native Language Centre. 1996. Hän Language Listening Exercises. Trʼondëk Dialect (Dawson and Moosehide, Yukon). Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.

Hän Literacy Sessions and In‐Services

  1. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1992. Han Literacy Sessions. Dawson City, Yukon, June 3, 4, 5, 1992. Whitehorse, Yukon, December 7, 8, 9, 10, 1992. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  2. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1993. Hän Literacy Sessions. Dawson City, Yukon, June 2, 3, 4, 1993. Whitehorse, Yukon, December 8, 9, 10, 1993. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  3. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1994. Hän Literacy Session. Dawson City, Yukon, June 6, 7, 8, 1994. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  4. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1994. Hän Literacy Session. Whitehorse, Yukon, December 7, 8, 9, 1994. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  5. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1995. Hän Literacy Session. Dawson City, Yukon, June 6, 7, 8, 1995. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  6. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1996. Hän Literacy Session. Dawson City, Yukon, June 4, 5, 6, 1996. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  7. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1997. Hän Literacy Session. Hosted Jointly by Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation and Yukon Native Language Centre. Trʼondëk Heritage Centre, Dawson City, Yukon, June 3, 4, 5, 1997. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  8. Yukon Native Language Centre. 1998. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, March 4, 5, 6, 1998. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  9. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2001. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 4–6, 2001. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  10. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2002. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 3–5, 2002. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  11. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2003. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2–4, 2003. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  12. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2004. Hän Literacy Session. Dawson City, Yukon, June 1–3, 2004. Hosted by Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation Language Program. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  13. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2004. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 7–9, 2004. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  14. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2005. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 7–8, 2005. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  15. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2006. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 5–7, 2006. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  16. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2007. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 3–6, 2007. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  17. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2008. Hän Literacy In-Service. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 3–5, 2008. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  18. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2009. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 1–3, 2009. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  19. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2010. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, Novmeber 30–December 2, 2010. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  20. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2011. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, Nov 29–Dec 2, 2011. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  21. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2012. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, Nov 21–23, 2012. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  22. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2013. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 3–5, 2013. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.
  23. Yukon Native Language Centre. 2014. Hän Literacy Session. Yukon Native Language Centre, Whitehorse, Yukon, December 2–4, 2014. Whitehorse, YT: Yukon Native Language Centre.

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Interactive Language Lessons

Percy Henry - Moosehide Dialect

Audio Storybooks

Percy Henry — At Home

Percy Henry — Camping (under construction)

Edward Roberts — Fish Camp (under construction)

Edward Roberts — Moose Hunt (under construction)