|Regions with significant populations|
|USA ( Alaska)|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Ahtna, Deg Hit'an, Chugach Sugpiaq, Yup'ik|
The Dena'ina (formerly Tanaina) are an Alaska Native people and Athabaskan Native Americans in the United States. They are the original inhabitants of the south central Alaska region ranging from Seldovia in the south to Chickaloon in the northeast, Talkeetna in the north, Lime Village in the Northwest and Pedro Bay in the Southwest.
The name means "The people," and is related to the autonym for the Southern Athabaskan Navajo people "Diné." The Dena'ina name for Cook Inlet is Tikahtnu meaning "Big Water River" or Nuti meaning "Saltwater."
The Dena'ina are the only Northern Athabascan group to live on saltwater and this allowed them to have the most sedentary lifestyle of all Northern Athabascans.
Their traditional language, Dena'ina, currently has about 70-75 fluent speakers out of a total population of about 1,400. Dena'ina is one of eleven Alaska Athabascan languages. There are four primary dialects of Dena'ina: Inland, Iliamna, Upper Inlet, and Outer Inlet.
Notable Dena'ina people
- Peter Kalifornsky, author and ethnographer, 1911–1993