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or Ath·a·bas·can  (ăth′ə-băs′kən) also Ath·a·pas·can (-păs′-)
1. A group of related North American Indian languages including the Apachean languages and languages of Alaska, northwest Canada, and coastal Oregon and California.
2. A member of an Athabaskan-speaking people.

[After Lake Athabasca from Cree athapaskaaw, there is scattered grass.]

Ath′a·bas′kan adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


or Ath•a•bas•can

(ˌæθ əˈbæs kən)

also Athapaskan

1. a family of American Indian languages spoken or formerly spoken in inland Alaska and NW Canada, and by peoples of W Oregon and NW California, as the Hupa, and the U.S. Southwest, as the Apache and Navajo.
2. a member of an Athabaskan-speaking people.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Athabaskan - a member of any of the North American Indian groups speaking an Athapaskan language and living in the subarctic regions of western Canada and central Alaska
American Indian, Indian, Red Indian - a member of the race of people living in America when Europeans arrived
Apache - any member of Athapaskan tribes that migrated to the southwestern desert (from Arizona to Texas and south into Mexico); fought a losing battle from 1861 to 1886 with the United States and were resettled in Oklahoma
Chipewyan - a member of the Athapaskan people living in western Canada between Great Slave Lake and Hudson Bay
Hupa - a member of the Athapaskan people of the Trinity River valley in California
Mattole - a member of the Athapaskan people living in northwestern California
Navaho, Navajo - a member of an Athapaskan people that migrated to Arizona and New Mexico and Utah
2.Athabaskan - a group of Amerindian languages (the name coined by an American anthropologist, Edward Sapir)
American-Indian language, Amerind, Amerindian language, American Indian, Indian - any of the languages spoken by Amerindians
Apache - the language of the Apache
Navaho, Navajo - the Athapaskan language spoken by the Navaho
Hupa - the Athapaskan language spoken by the Hupa
Mattole - the Athapaskan language spoken by the Mattole
Chippewaian, Chippewyan, Chipewyan - the language spoken by the Chipewyan
U.S.A., United States, United States of America, US, USA, America, the States, U.S. - North American republic containing 50 states - 48 conterminous states in North America plus Alaska in northwest North America and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific Ocean; achieved independence in 1776
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Ongoing Exhibition-Ends July 2019 Lifeways of the Southern Athabaskans
The Athabaskans were the first people to arrive in North America by crossing the Bering Strait from Russia.
There was some strife at the school between the Inupiaqs and the Athabaskans, with the church teachers not seeming to understand the history or difference between cultures.
"As Dena'ina Athabaskans, we are super hypersensitive to the environment," says McQueen.
They served their people as inspirational and effective spiritual and political leaders (David Salmon became the traditional chief of all Athabaskans), and by their example, let multiple generations know that they could be native, Christian and whole.
Kenny Thomas is a master storyteller and he has succeeded in telling his story to a general public and in passing on cultural traditions to a new generation of young Athabaskans. Craig Mishler has served their collaboration well.
mainstream White Americans) and Athabaskans, and they are quick to advise their audience of the diversity encompassed by the term "Native": "We cannot make generalizations about 'Alaska Natives' and hope that they will be fair to many individuals" (17).
There are cultural differences (even within Alaska - natives in Southeast Alaska, for example, have more in common with Pacific Northwest Indians than with Eskimos, Athabaskans, or Aleuts).
The people we know as being Navajos are, in reality, a product of the coming together of two distinct peoples, the Athabaskans and the Pueblos.
Here she also discusses briefly the importance of Jette's and Chapman's work as earlier recorders and commentators on Dena stories (she also dedicates the book to these two scholars) and acknowledges her use of major works by other scholars of Interior Athabaskans. In addition to the standard works known outside Alaska, these include the three volumes of Koyukuk River Koyukon stories told by Catherine Attla (1983, 1989, 1990) and translated by Eliza Jones, with a companion volume of analysis by Chad Thompson (1990).
The Gwich'in are one of eleven distinct Athabaskan Indian groups inhabiting a portion of interior Alaska and northwestern Canada (the Athabaskans are the northernmost of all North American Indian groups and are related linguistically to the Navajo and Apache).