Birch bark texture.

Ahtna Kanas Fall 2022

Jessica Denny Selected for Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship

Please join us in congratulating Ahtna Shareholder and Director Jessica Denny on being named a member of the third cohort of Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellows. She and nine other Indigenous leaders were chosen from more than 300 applicants for their cultural knowledge and insights. Jessica is a member of the ‘Ałts’e’tnaey (One Way People) clan. Her parents are Agnes and Tom Denny, and her grandparents are Lena and the late Jerry Charley.

The fellowship is facilitated by the First Nations Development Institute under a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation. According to a release from the Institute, the fellowship is designed to “identify, support, and convene Native American knowledge holders and knowledge makers who embody exceptional creativity and progressive and critical thinking, and who have the potential to significantly move forward their fields in ways that will ultimately lead to broad, transformative impacts for Native communities and beyond.”

The fellowship is a two-year, self-directed enrichment program which includes a $75,000 monetary award. Jessica plans to use her fellowship to further efforts toward becoming a language warrior, building partnerships, and creating a place to gather and share the Ahtna language.

Jessica Denny, Cheesh’na Tribe
Knowledge Field: Ahtna Language Specialist

Jessica’s vision is to become an Ahtna scholar and expert of the language; create a collection of high-quality Ahtna sound files and videos; design a program that can be utilized virtually and in Ahtna Language retreats; and create an inclusive Ahtna language community through the hosting of an annual Ahtna Athabascan Language Symposium.