Hän Indians

The Han Indians (also Hankutchin or Hän) are a Northern Athabascan people who speak (or spoke) the Hän language. Only a handful of fluent speakers remain.

Their traditional land centered around a heavily forested area around the Yukon River straddling what is now the Alaska-Yukon Territory border.

In later times, the Han population became centered around Dawson City, Yukon and Eagle, Alaska.

The name Han is a shortening of Hankutchin, which is the Gwich’in word hangʷičʼin for the Han literally meaning “people of the river”.

This word has been spelled variously as Han-Kootchin, Hun-koo-chin, Hong-Kutchin, An Kutchin, Han Kutchin, Han-Kutchín, Hăn-Kŭtchin´, Hän Hwëch’in, and Hungwitchin.

The French traders called the Han Gens du fou, Gens de Fou, Gens de Foux, Gens des Foux, or Gens-de-fine.

The name Gens de Foux (and variants) has also been used to refer to the Northern Tutchone, in which case the name Gens de Bois or Gens des Bois referred to the Hankutchin.