Shtutda'ina Da'a Sheł Qudeł (My Forefathers are Still Walking with Me)

Front cover of My Forefathers Are Still Walking with Me, with book tile and photo of a stream with mountains in the background.

"There my forefathers used to walk about there. And my grandfathers also had walked about. There truly I am just so happy as I ascend there, I am. As I walk along alone there. My fathers are walking along with me." - Andrew Balluta

Read This Book


The 22 texts for the book are termed "verbals essays" because they were selected, reviewed, and ordered in the manner of written essays. The topics derive from the training and experiences the author, Andrew Balluta received with the Dena'ina intelligentsia since he was a young boy. They include thoughtful discussions of Dena'ina religious beliefs and values, of geography and travel, of animal and fish behavior, of technical skills, and some prehistoric events and legends. This book contains a CD with the voice recordings of the essays.


Part I. Essays on Dena'ina Beliefs and Values

  1. Deggech' Huyeshua Da (When I Ascend into the High Country)
  2. Htsast'a Naq'et'na Na'eł Nuhqulnex Ch'a (Long Ago Our Elders Used to Tell us Things)
  3. Shtutda Gavriel Ghila'en (Gabriel Trefon was My Uncle)
  4. Hutał Hnidengi'iy ('Flat rock that is embeded')
  5. Niłghuch'dutnihch' (How We Counsel One Another)
  6. Chitda Vekuya (The Old Lady's Grandchild, or The Boy who Listens)
  7. Łi Ta'a (Glacier Water)

Part II. Essays on Travel and Places

  1. Dghełchek' Ha Qeveł Łuhneshyu (When I was Small I Went Around with Them)
  2. Qałnigi Aqenlchix ('Rock that structure is built against')
  3. Qunsha Qeneh (The Ground Squirrel House)
  4. K'etnu Nuch'elggeshi (Crossing Streams)
  5. Chik'a Hnideyełi (Embedded Sticks-as trail markers in the snow)
  6. -T'q'uya Vena Qut'ana Qil Zdlan (People Perished at Kijik Lake)
  7. Qil'ihtnu Tl'ughu, Shchitda Qizdlan Qenq'a ('The headwaters of evil creek' and The House Where My Grandmother Was Born)
  8. Taz'in Vena Ch'enilgit (When We Got Scared at 'Fish trap lake')

Part III. Essays on Environment, Resources, and Technologies

  1. Qałnigi Nih Ghuhdiłt'ayi (They Would Use Various Rocks)
  2. Dach' Shughu Htast'ahdi Łig'a Iqu Qul'ih (How They Obtained Salmon Long Ago)
  3. Łiq'a K'qat Nułtu Idi (Regarding Salmon Foods)
  4. Łik'aha Qighishin Quldini Qa (Well-Trained Dogs)
  5. Ggagga Ahdults'ih Ha Ggagga Nił'unilyaxi (They Hunt for Brown Bear at Night and Bear Butchering)
  6. K'uhda'I Nił'unilyax (Moose Butchering)
  7. Qen Delch'etl'i (The Sound of a Crackling Fire)

Publication Details

Author: Andrew Balluta
Transcriber/Editor: James Kari
1st Edition Publisher: National Park Service, 2008

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