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Lance (X̱’unei) A Twitchell, M.F.A., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages 
Arts and Sciences - Humanities


907-796-6406 (Fax) (Visit Website)

Whitehead Bldg 229, Juneau Campus



  • Ph.D, Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization (2018) — Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, University of Hawaii Hilo
  • MFA, Creative Writing (2010) — University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • BA, English & Minor in American Indian Studies (2007) — University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Tlingit Immersion Camps — University of Alaska Southeast & Sealaska Heritage Institute
  • Certification, Village Management Institute — Sheldon Jackson College


Language and Culture Documentation (YouTube):

Tlingit Language Blog:


Literary Publications:

  • “When the Heart Skips a Beat,” and “Sable Voices” poems, published in Ice Box (2010).
  • “Nanook Sweats,” “Release, Definition: Trickster,” “Ode to Tlingit, Yellow Hair Takes the Fat and We Lament His Seedy Departure,” and “Dark Skin and Betraying Uncle,” poems, published in Yellow Medicine Review (Spring, 2009).
  • “The Saving Son,” a short story, published in Tidal Echoes literary magazine (Spring, 2007).
  • Tlingit Dictionary: Northern Dialect, self-published 2005

Writing, Editorial and Administrative Experience:

  • Column Author, Juneau Empire (2012). Contribute a bi-weekly column on Alaska Native Languages & Studies, as well as a “Tlingit Words of the Week” series.
  • Blog Author, Huffington Post (2012). Contribute periodic blog entries to the “Education”, “College”, and “Politics” sections.
  • Tlingit Culture & Language Consultant, Perseverance Theatre (2012). Assisted with development of Defenders of Alaska Native Country by Ishmael Hope.
  • Study Guide Author, Tlingit Language Consultant, & Poetry Editor, Vivian FaithPrescott (2009–2010). Reviewed and consulted on poetry and use of Tlingit language in the collection Ax̱ L'óot' Doogú: Hide of my Tongue.
  • Tlingit Language & Culture Consultant, Musician, Dugout (2011). Assisted with the development of the film Dugout by consulting on content, translating Tlingit, and soundscaping the film.
  • Fiction Reader, Poetry Reader, Web Consultant, Permafrost Literary Magazine (2008–2009). Reviewed and critiqued submissions and consulted editors and assistant editors on developing web content.
  • Graphic Design Consultant, 40 Below: A Journal about Writing and Teaching (2009). Assisted editors with layout of multimedia magazine contents.
  • Assistant Tribal Administrator, Organized Village of Kasaan (2005–2007).  Worked to improve operational capacity and economic development for OVK, Managed the computer network in Kasaan, developed forms, and worked with committees to develop a Strategic Plan, Organizational Charts, and Policies and Procedures for Administration and Finance.
  • Tribal Administrator, Skagway Traditional Council (1999–2005). Worked with Native community to develop a Tribal Council, built administrative capacity of the Tribe to deliver Tribal Programs and to manage multiple grant programs & projects,
    and oversaw the construction of a 5,000 square foot facility that was the first Native owned community structure in over a hundred years in the Skagway area.

Courses Taught:

  • Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages, University of Alaska Southeast.
    Teaching:  AKL105 & 106: Elementary Tlingit I & II, AKL205: Intermediate Tlingit I, AKL241: Alaska Native  Oratory, AKL397: Placenames among  the Tlingit of Southeast Alaska, AKL497: Teaching  Alaska Native  Languages,  AKL497: Alaska Native  Language Revitalization, ANTH200/493: Alaska Native  Cultures, and ANTH475: Alaska Native  Social Change.  Directing  the Alaska Native  Language  program, which  includes supervision of all Alaska Native  Languages  adjunct professors, and developing the Alaska Native  Studies Program at UAS. Faculty  Advisor for Alaska Native  Studies.
  • Northwest Coast Formline Design Instructor, Jinéit Art Academy.
    Teaching community workshops sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Institute that teach the basic principles of Northwest Coast Formline Design, with special focus on Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian styles, crests, and cultures.
  • Assistant Professor of English, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2010 - 2011).
    Taught ENGL111: Introduction to Academic Writing, ENGL213: Academic Writing about Natural & Social Sciences, ENGL271: Introduction to Creative Writing—Fiction, and ENGL314: Technical Writing.
  • Teacher, UAF Upward Bound (2010).
    Taught Introduction to ART104: Introduction to Drawing (Northwest Coast Native Art) and team-taught Introduction to Alaska Native Languages with Allan Hayton.
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2007–2010).
    Taught the following courses: ENLG111: Introduction to Academic Writing, ENGL 211: Academic Writing about Literature, and ENGL213: Academic Writing about Social and Natural Sciences.
  • Tlingit Language Instructor, Carcross-Tagish First Nation (2006, 2009 & 2010).
    Worked with Staff and community members to develop a language curriculum and initiate classes at the community level and within the band office. Worked individually with a language apprentice on acquisition, teaching skills, and as a consultant for cultural projects. Coordinated Tlingit language immersion camps in 2006 & 2010.
  • Research Assistant, University of Alaska Southeast (2007 & 2010).
    Worked under Richard Dauenhauer and Alice Taff to develop materials for the Intermediate Tlingit language program, including an update of verb diagram charts, development of verb analysis worksheets, and development of multimedia sentence analysis materials. Worked on Tlingit language videos entering transcriptions and translations of recorded fluent speakers.
  • Tlingit Language Teacher, Skagway Traditional Council (2004–07).
    Coordinated community courses in the Tlingit language for adults and children.


  • Assistant Professor of English, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2010-2011)
  • Teacher, UAF Upward Bound (2010)
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2007-2010)
  • Tlingit Language Instructor, Carcross-Tagish First Nation (2006, 2009, 2010)
  • Research Assistant, University of Alaska Southeast (2007, 2010)
  • Tlingit Language Teacher, Dzánt’iki Héeni Middle School (2007)
  • Actor & Tlingit Language Teacher, Perseverance Theatre (2007)
  • Tlingit Language Teacher, Skagway Traditional Council (2004-2007)


Native Names

  • Xh’unei (Tlingit)
  • Du Aaní Kawdinook (Tlingit)
  • Kh’eijáakw (Haida)

Current Projects

  • Alaska Native Languages & Studies Column, Juneau Empire
  • Alaska Native Languages & Studies Entries, Huffington Post
  • Northwest Coast Native design projects
  • Alaska Native Modern Art projects
  • For the Love of Our Grandchildren: Tlingit Language & Knowledge Bearers, a film
  • Never Forgotten: The Story of Tlingit Veteran’s of Combat, a film
  • Beneath the Foot of the Sun, a book of poetry
  • Raven Speak, a play
  • Pebbles from the Beach, a screenplay
  • Coyote’s Song, a novel
  • Lingít Language Curriculum (2nd edition)
  • Tlingit Language Documentation, Transcription, & Translation

Professional Awards & Service

  • Top 40 Under 40, The Alaska Journal of Commerce award for up-and-coming leaders who demonstrate professional excellence and a commitment to community.
  • Alaska Native Heritage Center Language Advisory Committee Member.
  • Moment of Birth, giclée print—entry, 2012 Celebration Juried Art Show.
  • Commissioned artist for Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indians of Alaska (2010-12).
  • Commissioned artist for 2010 Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 Tribal Leaders Summit.
  • Raven and the Beauty of the Eagle Spirit, giclée print—third place, Celebration Juried Art Show
  • 2010 Dennis Demmert Appreciation and Recognition Award from Native Alaskan Business Leaders at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in acknowledgement of support for Alaskan Native and rural Alaskan students.
  • 2009 Alaska Native Visionary Award from the Alaska Native Heritage Month Committee in acknowledgement of artistic and cultural contributions to the Native community.
  • 2009 Vine Deloria Jr. Memorial Scholarship from the American Indian College Fund.
  • Recipient of a 2009 Vine Deloria Jr. Memorial Scholarship from the American Indian College Fund.
  • “A Voice in the Dusk: Language and the Modern Day Warrior,” essay—third place, University of Alaska Harold McCracken Award for Outstanding Fiction and Nonfiction Writing About Alaska and the North Country (Spring, 2009).
  • “In a Backstroke of Pedals,” short story—second place, University of Alaska Farthest North Fiction Contest (Spring, 2009).
  • Xíxhch’, giclée print—third place, Fairbanks Arts Association Digital Media Art Contest (January, 2009).
  • Du Xoonx’í Yán, Dleit Geedí, giclée print—winner, Alaska Native Heritage Month Art Showcase (November, 2008).
  • “Kids in Schizophrenia,” memoir—winner, University of Alaska Harold McCracken Award for Outstanding Fiction and Nonfiction Writing About Alaska and the North Country (Spring, 2008).
  • George McDaniel Writing Fund (2008–2009).
  • Logo design & web design for Southeast Alaska Tribal Department of Transportation (2007).
  • Anna Augusta Von Helmholtz Phelan Scholarship in Creative Writing (1998).
  • University of Minnesota Alumni Association Student Leadership Award (1998).
  • University of Minnesota President’s Student Leadership & Service Award (1998).

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