What is required to attend

Iḷisaqativut is a grassroots, all-volunteer effort. We provide the curriculum, organization, and unique learning opportunity.

Participants will be personally responsible for:

  • TRAVEL: Roundtrip travel to and from Kotzebue.

  • GEAR: Expect to be camping at Camp Sivunniigvik and sleeping in a wall tent the first week. You will need to bring appropriate attire and personal supplies, accordingly. You should also expect to not have cell service the first week of the program.

  • LODGING: Finding lodging in Kotzebue the second week of the program (Aug. 11 - 17).

  • SOME FOOD: Responsible for at least some — and maybe most — of your food expenses. (Snacks and food for some group meals will be provided.)


expectations during participation

We welcome all learners of Iñupiaq. No prior knowledge of Iñupiaq is required to apply. That said, the speed and content is designed for those with some past exposure to the language.

  • Iḷisaqativut is difficult: as an intensive, participants can expect at times to be challenged, frustrated, and tired. However, it is also extremely rewarding.

  • Learners-As-Teachers model: those with language knowledge will help with sharing, while those newer on their language journeys can expect to spend time on individual study.

  • Speak as much Iñupiaq as possible: the single best way to learn a language is to speak it. However, learning some grammar will require use of English.

  • Self-study prior to attending: All attendees will be expected to study Iñupiaq in the months before the program. You can use your own learning resources or ones we provide.

  • Group and individual dynamics: Given the two-week programming, participants can expect a mix of group events but also individual study and personal time. Please be prepared to direct your own experience at times.

Nikaitchuatguuq piraqtut: Those who think they can, will accomplish something.
— Iñupiaq proverb