Correctly spell this American Indian tribe in AK: Tainian

A few weeks ago, I was in Alaska, and on one of the plaques there was a reference to the fact that many river names between Anchorage and Fairbanks end in “-tna” (like Talkeetna and Susitna) because the “-tna” prefix actually means “river” in a local Indian dialect.

Unfortunately, I did not write down the name of the dialect, since I knew I would remember it. :dubious: Anyway, I could have sworn that the Indian tribe was spelled something like “Tainian.” but the closest match I’ve been able to find so far are the Taino, which are, uh, somewhat removed from the interior of Alaska.


Don’t know, but here are Wiki’s list of Alaskan Native cultures
Wiki’s list of Alaska Native tribal entities

According to wikipedia:

So, “Dena’ina” would be the answer. Dena’ina, sometimes spelled Tanaina.

Aha! Many thanks!

The Dena’ina have gotten little respect over the ages from white settlers in this area. A small tribe, it has been largely ignored and forgotten until more recently. There are efforts to save the language now, and the new convention center in Anchorage will be named after them.