Welcome to the Iñupiat Language UAF Community site! Here you will find lessons, activities, and additional resources for the Iñupiat language.
Language is a central component of any culture. In our Alaska Native traditions, language is held sacred, especially as the number of fluent speakers becomes fewer. In 2014, a bill was signed that declared the 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages. We have made leaps and bounds in the instruction of native languages in the past century. However, the number of fluent speakers for many of those languages continues to dwindle, even as interest and resources for language learning increases.
After recognizing the need for an updated Iñupiat textbook, this site was created in order to provide an alternative and updated textbook-like resource for the Iñupiat language. The original intent was to aid in the instruction of UAF’s INU courses. However, it is our hope that Iñupiat language teachers and language learners from across the state (and farther) will use this site for their instruction and learning.
Notes on Dialect
The lessons in this site teach the grammar of the North Slope Iñupiaq dialect for the sake of consistency and in order to be used in tandem with Edna MacLean’s North Slope Iñupiaq Grammar, which is the primary textbook for UAF’s Iñupiaq courses. However, many of the grammar rules taught here are directly applicable to other dialects, such as the Upper Kobuk dialect or the Qawiaraq dialect. However, each dialect has as least some differences in pronunciations, words, and grammar rules. As you are using this site, I encourage you to research your own dialect by asking your elders and teachers, and by researching published resources on your particular dialect.