Lingít Word of the Week: S’eek — black bear

Two black bear cubs wrestle at the Mendenhall Wetlands State Game Refuge on June 19, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

This is Lingít Word of the Week. Each week, we feature a Lingít word voiced by master speakers. Lingít has been spoken throughout present-day Southeast Alaska and parts of Canada for over ten thousand years. 

Gunalchéesh to X̱’unei Lance Twitchell, Goldbelt Heritage Foundation and the University of Alaska Southeast for sharing the recorded audio for this series.

This week’s word is s’eek, or black bear. Listen to the audio below to learn how to say s’eek, or black bear.


The following transcript is meant to help illustrate the words and sentences.

Kaxwaan Éesh George Davis: s’eek.

That means black bear. 

And here are some sentences.

Kaxwaan Éesh George Davis: S’eek du yátx’i ḵoowdzitee.

The black bear had cubs.

Ḵaakal.áat Florence Marks Sheakley: Yagéi tlein wé sʼeek.

That black bear is really big. 

Keiyishí Bessie Coolie: Lax̱ʼ loowú aatlein sʼeek has du tuwáa sigóo

Black Bears want lots of swamp blueberries.

Keihéenák’w John Martin: X̱áat has du x̱ʼéi yak’éi yá s’eek

Salmon taste good to the black bears.

You can hear each installment of Lingít Word of the Week on the radio throughout the week. 

Find biographies for the master speakers included in this lesson here. 

Learn more about why we use Lingít instead of Tlingit here. 

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