Dena’ina Elena: A Celebration – A Window into Dena’ina Culture

This week on Addressing Alaskans listen to Karen Evanoff’s keynote address at the Bioneers in Alaska conference. Recorded October 16 at UAA, Karen describes Denaina traditions on place-naming, name meanings, and traditional ways of seeing and being of the Dena’ina (“the people”– one of 11 Alaskan Athabascan groups). The music and photos presented above are from Nondalton, the community located closest to proposed Pebble Mine.

About Nondalton and IRMP

by Karen Evanoff

Nondalton Tribal Council is a federally recognized Dena’ina Athabascan tribe. Nondalton is located approximately 150 air miles southwest of Anchorage and is situated between  two well-known large lakes in Alaska: Lake Clark (Qizjeh Vena – ‘a place where people gathered’) and Lake Iliamna. The population of Nondalton is 180 people. The community is facing many challenges specifically in regards to potential mining, Pebble mining exploration is located only 15 miles from Nondalton and if permitted will be the world’s largest open-pit mine. The Nondalton Tribal Council has taken a leading role in voicing their concern regarding this mine. Part of their efforts includes obtaining funding to support a project for an Integrated Resource Management Plan (IRMP) which will document the important resources in the Sixmile Lake and Chulitna watersheds. This slide show highlights some of the photography conducted in the summer 2010 for the IRMP project and captures the  importance of salmon to residents in Nondalton. This also shows how vital salmon is to sustaining and preserving our Dena’in culture and way of life.

BROADCAST ON KSKA: Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 2:00 p.m., repeats Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

RECORDED: Sunday, October 16, 2011 at University of Alaska Anchorage, Wendy Williamson auditorium

SPEAKER: Karen Evanoff, cultural anthropologist, Lake Clark National Park Service

EVENT HOST: Bioneers in Alaska


Addressing Alaskans features local lectures and forums recorded at public events taking place in Southcentral, Alaska. A variety of local organizations host speakers addressing topics that matter to Alaskans. To let us know about an upcoming community event that you would like to hear on Addressing Alaskans, please Contact Us with details.

SUBSCRIBE: Get Addressing Alaskans updates automatically — via e-mail, RSS or podcasts.


Download Audio (MP3)

Previous articleAleutian Region Listed As State’s Top Fisheries Earner
Next articleAnnual Stand Down Aims to Help Veterans in Need