We are a grassroots collective of second-language learners and volunteers who want to offer fellow language learners a new opportunity to learn Iñupiaq.

Iḷisaqativut is every person who has ever participated, shared, contributed, and volunteered to create this space and time together.

It's not easy to learn Iñupiaq, especially as a young working person. Study groups compete with busy lives. Classes cost money. There's nowhere to go (in Alaska) where one can be enveloped by the language.

We have each spent years picking up Iñupiaq here and there, working with fluent speakers when we can, paying out of our pockets for college courses, gathering resources as we find them.

We envision Iḷisaqativut as a way to make the path to learning Iñupiaq more fluid. With two weeks to focus on the language and a community to learn with with people from across Iñupiat Nunaat (Iñupiat Nation), our vision is that every person leaves in a markedly different place than when they arrived.

Iḷisaqativut offers an opportunity to learn Iñupiaq in a dedicated space, pooling together our language resources to enhance accessibility for aspiring speakers. Many second-language speakers have spent years picking up a little here, a little there, working with fluent speakers when we can, paying out of our own pockets for college courses, gathering resources as we find them. Iḷisaqativut is driven by the philosophy that learning Iñupiaq should be no harder than learning Spanish, Chinese, or French.


Iḷaanni payyagniuġuurugut aglaan quvianaqtuq Iñupiuraaqtuni. Aglaan Mark Ahsoam, Utqiaġviŋmium, uqallautigaatigut, “Qapiġnasi.”
— Sometimes we struggle but it is fun to speak Iñupiaq. Mark Ahsoak from Utqiaǵvik told us, "Never give up."