Na Dene and Ket

6 Jul 2010

This is probably an old story but it pops up at - researchers at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks claim there is an ancient language link between people of northern Siberia, namely the Ket, and possibly other small tribes of the Yenisei Valley, and North America, a discovery that has been endorsed by linguistic scholars. The Ket language is strikingly similar in many respects to Na Dene - which includes Tlingit, Koyukon, Navajo, Apache, and some 45 other languages spoken by a distinct ethnic group. The question now is - how did they get to North America? One clue might lie in some earlier research that showed people of northern Siberia, including the Yenisei region, were active in moving around the Arctic Ocean during the Late Pleistocene period. At this time Beringia would have existed and Alaska and a large part of the Yukon was free of ice. The geographical route of spread is there - but for the moment is not being joined up because the consensus view of the Ice Age inhibits such a conclusion.