X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell was born in Skagway and now lives in Juneau. He is of Tlingit, Haida, and Yup’ik heritage and carries the Tlingit names X’unei, Du Aani Kawdinook, and the Haida name K’eijáakw. Twitchell is a professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast and has been teaching the Tlingit language since 2004. He received his Ph.D. in Hawaiian and Indigenous Language and Culture Revitalization at Ka Haka ʻUla o Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in 2018. His studies are in creating safe language acquisition spaces and achieving revitalization through counterhegemonic transformation, which means a rejection of external definitions and fragmentation and promoting the think the world of the ancestors of language movements. In 2017 he completed a Tlingit language workbook based on the teachings of Richard and Nora Dauenhauer, published through Sealaska Heritage. His grandfather, Gooshdehéen Silas Dennis Sr. of Skagway, was his first teacher.