Iḷisaqativut has been covered and appeared on a variety of local media outlets, including the Arctic Sounder, KBRW, KNOM radio, Nome Nugget and QargiZine.

We also created a video recapping the program, as well as final report. You can find both of those on this page as well, following the media articles.

2018 Coverage

nome nugget

“Twenty learners of the Inupiaq language spent an intense two weeks together in Nome and the surroundings to develop their ability to build phrases and sentences from the words they already know and thereby take their knowledge of the language to a new level.”

“Ilisaqativut, which means “Those who learn together,” began last year in Utqiaqvik and was conceived as an intensive two-week class that rotates through Inupiaq country. Next year the class will be in Kotzebue.”

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“We All Learn Together” was the slogan of the class; in Inupiaq, it’s “Ilisaqativut” (ih-lih-suh-KAA-tee-voot). The concept not only conveyed a sense of camaraderie, but also plans for the future. This year’s teachers intend their students to become future Inupiaq instructors, so that each class continues a cycle of learning and teaching, receiving and giving back.”


2017 Coverage

The Arctic sounder

"Learning while teaching and teaching while learning was the way of Iḷisaqativut, the intensive language academy that took place over two weeks in May in Utqiaġvik.

"Centered around the experience of second-language learners, not fluent speakers, the camp was meant to be a space of safe practice, mistakes, and new understanding for students of the Inupiaq language."



"After fourteen days of speaking only Inupiaq, participants in the first-ever Inupiaq Language Intensive held in Utqiagvik returned home to their respective regions last week.

"According to co-facilitators of the intensive, Cordelia Kellie and Reid Magdanz, three Inupiaq-speaking regions in Alaska were represented during this unique language program held at Ilisagvik College. 12 total participants came from places like the North Slope and the Northwest Arctic region."


Qargi zine 

"As typical for the latter two weeks of May, Utqiaġvik hosted thousands of niġligit, plenty of snow and mud, and community members working hard to refill their freezers. In 2017, Utqiaġvik also hosted something new during those long spring days: Iḷisaqativut.

"Twelve Iñupiaq language learners, representing all regions where Iñupiatun is spoken, met those two weeks on the Iḷisaġvik College campus. Together, we devoted ourselves to full-time Iñupiaq study, working with each other, talking with speakers in the community, struggling at times, but always laughing."


Final Report

"In May 2017, twelve Iñupiaq language learners lived together for two weeks with the sole purpose of going deeper into the language.

"Iḷisaqativut is dedicated to the premise that stronger Alaska Native languages will lead to a stronger Alaska. Iḷisaqativut aims to develop young, second-language Iñupiaq speakers, drawing from all regions in Alaska where Iñupiaq is spoken and encouraging sharing of dialects. At Iḷisaqativut, we taught with and learned from community elders, games, songs, and most importantly each other."