Hän Hënjìk

Our Language

Niyudhè thą ko tr’ogha’ tr’ëja tth’echą dähkhäl dähònch’e. We are still going to beat the drum, even if nobody listens (Elder Percy Henry, 2013)

Our History

The Hän language, spoken by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation and the Hän people in Eagle, Alaska, is a testament to the resilience and cultural richness of its people. As the traditional language of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Hän has faced significant challenges since the 1800s, particularly during the Gold Rush and the era of Residential Schools. In a visionary move, Chief Isaac, the leader of the Hän people during the Gold Rush, relocated the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to Moosehide village and entrusted relatives in Alaska with the preservation of Hän songs and dances. The efforts to rediscover and revive the language gained momentum in the 1980s and 1990s, with elders and citizens embracing their linguistic heritage. This cultural renaissance saw relatives from Eagle, Alaska, visiting Moosehide to share traditional songs and dances, sparking the biennial Moosehide Gathering. Today, as part of the Hän linguistic grouping, we celebrate a heritage rich in traditional knowledge, passed down through generations, enabling us to thrive in the challenging Yukon environment.

Hän Language Session 2017.

Let’s talk Hän today

The revitalization of the Hän language is being actively pursued through a variety of efforts. In-person Hän classes are offered at Tr’inke Zho and the Robert Service School, providing local students with direct instruction in their ancestral language. Additionally, online courses are available through Simon Fraser University and Yukon Native Language Centre, expanding access to citizen learners. Collaboration with native speakers in Eagle, Alaska, fosters a deeper connection and ensures the authenticity of language use. Research into Hän grammar is also underway, which is crucial for developing comprehensive teaching materials and resources. To further support these initiatives, engaging media content such as videos, mini-lessons, and photos are being created, making the language more accessible and appealing to a broader audience. These combined efforts are vital in preserving and promoting the Hän language for future generations.

Hän Resources

Our Language Will Live On

Watch our video 

Produced and directed by Lulu Keating

Nihënjìk trʼìnląy, nihënjëk wëtäde hänjit, hǫzǫ tr’ëhudè(y). We are our language, our language will live on, we are living good

Start Learning Hän now

Yukon Native Language Centre (YNLC) supports Yukon First Nations with language revitalization by providing training, capacity building, technical expertise, advocacy and being a central repository for all to access and use. 

Access language lessons, alphabet charts and learning resources here.

Join our Facebook group Hän Hënjìk

TH Art Work

CONTACT

Hän Language Administrator

Erika Scheffen

993-7100 ext. 163

Hän Language Administrator

Lydia Soulliere

867 993 7100 ext. 199