Upper Kuskokwim language

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Upper Kuskokwim
Native toUnited States
RegionAlaska (middle Yukon River, Koyukuk River)
Ethnicity160 Upper Kuskokwim (2007)[1]
Native speakers
<5 (2020)[2]
Latin (Northern Athabaskan alphabet)
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3kuu
ELPUpper Kuskokwim

The Upper Kuskokwim language (also called Kolchan or Goltsan or Dinak'i) is an Athabaskan language of the Na-Dené language family. It is spoken by the Upper Kuskokwim people in the Upper Kuskokwim River villages of Nikolai, Telida, and McGrath, Alaska. About 40 of a total of 160 Upper Kuskokwim people (Dichinanek’ Hwt’ana) still speak the language.

A practical orthography of the language was established by Raymond Collins, who in 1964 began linguistic work at Nikolai.

Since 1990s, the language has also been documented by a Russian linguist Andrej Kibrik.[4][5]


  • Alaska Native Language Center. Retrieved on 2007-03-14.
  • Collins, Raymond and Sally Jo Collins. 2004. Dichinanek' Hwt'ana: A History of the people of the Upper Kuskokwim who live in Nikolai and Telida, Alaska. (Online: Alaska Native Language Archive item UK964C2004)