An invited essay in applied anthropology, “Alan Boraas and Kahtnuht’ana Qenagu: Preserving and Renewing an Alaska Native Language” was published May 22, 2022 by Kerry D. Feldman and Phyllis A. Fast in Profiles in Anthropological Praxis: An International Casebook, ed. by Terry M. Redding and Charles C. Cheney.
Excerpt: “The project (a Dena’ina language self-learning website) of Professor Alan Boraas, and his professional life, reflects the goals of WAPA⸺to foster the practice of anthropological theory, methods, and ethics to better the lives of others. Not just “do it” for “them” but with them; in this case, with an Alaska Native Tribe determined to regain their cultural identity and confront the globalization of the 21st century with their own worldview that is enshrined in their language. For those not familiar with the Dené language of which the Kenaitze language is one dialect, it is one of the most geographically widespread language families in the world. Dené-Yenisiean is thought today to extend from the Russian Far East, through Alaska and Canada to the US southwest (current Navaho and Apache peoples who moved southward in the 13th century), and to the southern US Pacific Coast.”
Kerry Feldman (a 49 Writers member) and Fast are professors emeritus/emerita in the Department of Anthropology of the University of Alaska Anchorage. Fast (deceased, 2019) completed her MA at the University of Alaska Anchorage and her PhD in Social Anthropology at Harvard University. She is of Koyukon Athabascan and Kansas Caucasian (father) descent, recipient of the prose award from the University of Nebraska press for her published dissertation on Gwich’in Athabascan women in Alaska: Northern Athabascan Survival: Women, Community and the Future. Feldman is the author of Alice’s Trading Post: A Novel of the West (Five Star/Gale, 2022), Drunk on Love: Twelve Stories to Savor Responsibly (2019/20) and Kettle Dance: A Big Sky Murder (2022, both published by Cirque Press). Fast and Feldman have individually published scores of essays in books and professional journals in the U.S., U.K., and Canada.
Profiles in Anthropological Praxis is available, or soon will be, at the Consortium Library of the University of Alaska Anchorage.
“This book is terrific! The reader gets to travel around the world with different anthropologists, get exposed to important issues of the day, and observe how those anthropologists try to address those issues. Each chapter sheds light on how anthropologists bring their knowledge, perspective, and skills together to make the world a better place.” — Elizabeth K. Briody, Purdue University