Dena (Athabascan) Languages

The language family with the largest number of languages in Alaska is the Na-Dené language family, which includes 11 Athabascan languages (as well as Eyak and Tlingit, see Southeast Alaska Languages).


Dené languages are spoken in Interior and Southcentral Alaska, but can also be found outside of Alaska in western Canada, Oregon and the southwestern United States (where the Navajo language is spoken by more than 150,000 people). 


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Updated March 2021. 

All images and maps are courtesy of the Alaska Native Language Archive and the Alaska Native Language Center

Original funding for this site provided by Alaska Humanities Forum with in-kind support from the Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council. Quyana to the volunteers who assist in keeping this website running. 

This website acknowledges the traditional territories of the many Indigenous Alaskan Nations that have lived in and taken care of the lands of Alax̂sxax̂ (Alaska) since time immemorial.