Holikachuk (own name: Doogh Qinag[5]) was an Athabaskan language formerly spoken at the village of Holikachuk (Hiyeghelinhdi) on the Innoko River in central Alaska. In 1962, residents of Holikachuk relocated to Grayling on the lower Yukon River. Holikachuk is intermediate between the Deg Xinag and Koyukon languages, linguistically closer to Koyukon but socially much closer to Deg Xinag. Though it was recognized by scholars as a distinct language as early as the 1840s, it was only definitively identified in the 1970s.[6] Of about 180 Holikachuk people, only about 5 spoke the language in 2007.[7] In March 2012, the last living fluent speaker of Holikachuk died in Alaska.[3]

Doogh Qinag
Native toUnited States
RegionAlaska (lower Yukon River, Innoko River)
Extinct2012, with the death of Wilson Deacon[1] or 2023 with the death of Mary Deacon[2][3]
Latin (Northern Athabaskan alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3hoi

James Kari compiled a short dictionary of Holikachuk in 1978, but Holikachuk remains one of the least documented Alaska Native languages.[8]

Examples edit


  • łoogg fish
  • łoogg dood mininh iligh November (literally: 'month when the eels come [swim]')
  • giggootth scales
  • q’oon’ fish eggs
  • nathdlod Indian ice cream

References edit

  1. ^ "Alaska Native Language Loses Last Fluent Speaker - Indian Country Media Network". indiancountrymedianetwork.com. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
  2. ^ https://doyonfoundation.com/2021/05/expanded-holikachuk-course-now-available-for-language-learners/
  3. ^ a b ICTMN Staff. "Alaska Native Language Loses Last Fluent Speaker." Indian Country Today Media Network. 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. [1] Archived 2012-04-22 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Chappell, Bill (21 April 2014). "Alaska OKs Bill Making Native Languages Official". NPR.
  5. ^ Beth R. Leonard (2007), Deg Xinag oral traditions: reconnecting indigenous language and education through traditional narratives, a thesis presented to the Faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, May 2007
  6. ^ Krauss, Michael E. 1973. Na-Dene. Linguistics in North America, ed. by T.A. Sebeok, 903-78. (Current Trends in Linguistics 10). The Hague: Mouton.
  7. ^ Krauss, Michael E. 2007. Native languages of Alaska. In: The Vanishing Voices of the Pacific Rim, ed. by Osahito Miyaoko, Osamu Sakiyama, and Michael E. Krauss. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  8. ^ Kari, James. 1978. Holikachuk Noun Dictionary (Preliminary). Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center. ERIC ED172528
  9. ^ "Technical report" (PDF). state.ak.us. Retrieved 8 June 2023.

External links edit