People Group Highlights

“All nations will come and worship before you."

- Revelations 15:4

Koyukon of United States

People Group Info

Total Population: 2,300

ROP3 Code: 105284
IMB Affinity Group: American Peoples
Affinity Bloc: North American Peoples
People Cluster: North American Indigenous
Language: Koyukon - (koy)
Religion: Christianity
Country of Origin: United States

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Majority Located Where

  Galena, AK - 294

  Huslia, AK - 254

  Nulato, AK - 248

  Tanana, AK - 212

  Kaltag, AK - 174

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Brief Profile

The Koyukon, also known as the Denaakk'e, are a Native Alaskan people group who occupy the largest territory of any Alaska Athabascan language. The name Denaakk'e [de-nae-kuh] derives from the word denaa 'people' and the suffix -kk'e 'like, similar', thus literally meaning 'like us'.

The Koyukon language, Denaakk'e, is spoken in three dialects - Upper, Central, and Lower - in 11 villages along the Koyukuk and middle Yukon rivers. Of the total population only about 300 Koyukon speak the language. A Jesuit Catholic missionary, Jules Jette, did extensive work on the language from 1899 through 1927. Since the early 1970s, native Koyukon speaker Eliza Jones has produced much linguistic material for use in schools and by the general public.

The majority of Koyukon adhere to traditional religious beliefs mixed with animism, Roman Catholicism, or Episcopalism.

The village of Kaltag is home to Saint Teresa Catholic Church, while Tanana is home to Saint James Episcopal Church and Huslia is home to the Good Shepherd (Episcopal) Mission.

Although the Koyukon people as a whole are considered no longer unreached, they actually have many villages with no evangelicals. Galena is home to Galena Bible Church. Therefore, a little over 2.5% Koyukon are evangelical and are very under-served by evangelical Christians. No known evangelical resources are available in the Koyukon language.

Prayer Points

  • Pray evangelical Koyukon will grow strong in their faith and share that faith with unreached Koyukon.
  • Pray God will send evangelicals who will intentionally engage unreached Koyukon villages and share a contextualized and clear message of God's grace through Jesus Christ.


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Native Americans - Worldview and Trends
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"After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb."
(Revelation 7:9, NIV)
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