Published October 18, 2018
This video was recorded by Sam Osborn in the US state of Alaska and features Gwich'in speaker Allan Hayton. Gwich'in was spoken by as few as 370 people in Canada as of a 2011 census, with an international population of 670. Gwich'in is an Eyak-Athabaskan language of the northern Athabaskan group of the Na-Dene language family, which also includes the Eyak and Tlingit languages. Also referred to as Kutchin, Takudh, Tukudh, and Loucheux, Gwich'in is listed by UNESCO as "severely endangered" while Ethnologue reports its status as "Shifting", indicating that while older generations still use it, it is not being passed along to younger generations who increasingly speak English. That being said, Gwich'in remains vigorous in a few communities, and has been taught in an Old Crow school since the 1970s. Its official recognition as a language of the Gwich'in First Nation in Canada and the Alaska Native People of the United States has aided in its vitality.