Thursday, November 5, 2009

Breakdown: Athabaskan


There are now many ways of spelling the word "Athabaskan". There's Athapascan, Athabaskan, and Athabascan. According to the Alaska Native Knowledge Network, the name "Athabaskan" comes from the Canadian, Cree Indian word "athabasca". In Cree, the word "athabasca" means "grass here and there". This is the name they gave to a lake in eastern Canada, Lake Athabasca. The Cree Indians lived east of this lake and the people that lived west of the lake were known as Athabaskans.

In Alaska, there are eleven different languages in Athabaskan. These people are not limited to one region though. They can be found in Canada, Oregon, some parts of California, and the southwestern United States. People may not realize that Navajo and Apache languages are in Athabaskan language groups. Since these different groups are in different places, this is where the spelling of the word "Athabaskan" can be obscured.

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