Meet the "Alaska Youth" Litter

September 27, 2018 Posted by: Jennifer Raffaeli, Kennels Manager
We asked students from seven schools (Nenana, Cantwell, Nikolai, Minto, Manley Hot Springs, Tanana, and Effie Kokrine) across Alaska to suggest names for each of our seven pups. The students did an amazing job interviewing elders and community members, writing letters, making videos, sharing photos and brainstorming fantastic lists of names with great stories behind them. We are really excited about the names for this year's pups and so very grateful to the students and teachers who put so much time and energy in to this project.

Kusko
Male

Pronounced "kuh-sko." The youngest students in the Top of the Kuskokwim School helped brainstorm names for our pups. Nikolai is located at the northern-most part of the Kuskokwim River. Residents have been using their traditional lands and resources in what is now Denali National Park and Preserve since long before Congress established the park.

a park ranger holding a puppy

Gladys
Female

The students of Gladys Dart School in Manley Hot Springs interviewed several community elders and muhers and brainstormed puppy names that represent their community. One of the names suggested was Gladys. Gladys was the first teacher in the reorganized Manley Hot Springs School in 1958.

a park ranger holding a puppy


Elsie
Female

Students from the Nenana School wrote us many beautiful letters with a variety of name ideas. The name Elsie comes from the name of their student living center. The Nenana students have a strong connection to Denali and have participated in various events in the park over the years. In addition, we have taken our dog teams to Nenana several times to start and end mushing trips on the Old Mail Trail. 

a park ranger holding a puppy


Behnti 
Female

Pronounced "ben-tee." This pup was named by the Minto School students. Behnti means "People Among the Lakes" in the local language. We have run our dog teams to Minto on a few occasions when we have travelled on the Old Mail Trail, a historic trail from Nenana to Tanana.

a park ranger holding a puppy


Nucha
Male

Pronounced "new-cha" in the D'Nahka'n language. The students in Tanana told us their town has a festival every two years called Nuch'A'Lawoya which means "the place where two rivers meet." Tanana sits on the banks of the river just past the confluence of the Yukon and Tanana Rivers. We were excited to finally run our dog teams all the way to Tanana in the spring of 2018 in time for their Spring Carnival which is known for its world-class sprint dog races!

a park ranger holding a puppy


Tsaani
Male

Pronounced "chaw-nee." This pup was named by the students of Cantwell. Tsaani means black bear in the Ahtna language. The students interviewed local elders and asked them to share stories of favorite local dogs and suggest good dog names that would celebrate the land and people of the Cantwell area.

a park ranger holding a puppy



Daagoo
Male

Pronounced dah-goo. This pup was named by the students at the Effie Kokrine School in Fairbanks. Dagoo means ptarmigan in Gwich'in. The students have camped overnight with the sled dogs and kennels staff in the park in spring at the Savage River Campground. Since ptarmigan also frequent this area, we thought it was fitting to choose the name Dagoo from their list. 

a park ranger holding a puppy


 

Last updated: September 27, 2018

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