Celebrating the Advancement of Youth

We grow by learning from the past. Connecting with our traditions and making sure we share them with the next generation helps ensure our culture aids youth in finding their path.

By helping the youth of Chickaloon grow from learning their heritage, the Ya Ne Dah Ah School strives to pass along, renew, and retain the Ahtna Athabascan culture and history of the Chickaloon Village. This is accomplished by using a combination of traditional Athabascan and modern teaching methods. The education is not only from one person, but from Elders, parents, community members, and a teacher. Ya Ne Dah Ah School was established in 1992 and is Alaska’s only Tribally owned and operated school in the state.

According to the Chickaloon Native Village website the Ya Ne Dah Ah School is committed to all students receiving an education that instills respect for human dignity and diversity. These are values that validate the history and culture of all ethnic groups, and are based on academic success for every student. They also encourage students and parents to actively participate in the learning process. At the end of every school year, Ya Ne Dah Ah School holds a graduation ceremony to celebrate the advancement into the next grade and successes of the year. During the event, the students demonstrate the Ahtna language they learned and guests are treated to music.

For more information, visit http://www.chickaloon-nsn.gov/education.

by Benjamin Merkouris

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