FORMER NATIVE LANGUAGE COORDINATOR OF YUKON-KOYUKUK SCHOOL DISTRICT
“Connections to Land Through Indigenous Language Revitalization”
Susan Paskvan, known as “K’etsoo” in Denaakk’e (Koyukon Athabascan) is the daughter of Benedict and Eliza Jones of Koyukuk, Alaska. She was the Native Language Coordinator of Yukon-Koyukuk School District, which serves ten interior Alaska Schools. In this role, Susan taught Denaakk’e over two-way video conference, developed the curriculum lessons and materials, and coordinated professional development workshops for language speakers and educators. She believes there is no greater joy than watching a child have fun learning their language. Throughout her 15 years at Y-KSD, Susan has worked with many elders, most often with her mother, Eliza Jones, to document Native place names throughout the interior. These hundreds of hours of recordings have led to an increase in the number of people who are able to sing their traditional songs at memorial potlatches.