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We here at Arctic Slope Community Foundation (ASCF) are beyond excited to share with you one of our latest projects, combining Iñupiaq language preservation with modern technology; the language learning website www.iñ

First, the Arctic Slope Community Foundation and the regional federally recognized tribe, the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, have been working with contractors and an Iñupiaq expert, Dr. Edna MacLean, to digitize and bring to life the MacLean Iñupiat Dictionary. Her life’s work has been to study, translate and preserve Iñupiaq — a language with an extensive oral tradition but limited written practice. The linguist’s efforts come at a time when only about 5% of Iñupiaq speakers are fluent, and the need for language-learning tools, as well as comprehensive educational programs, is growing.

The website is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services and is administered by ASCF. The site was built by Alaska Native web developers Christopher Egalaaq Liu (Yup’ik) and Lonny Alaskuk Strunk (Yup’ik) in conjuncture with acclaimed Iñupiaq academic administrator, linguist, anthropologist, and educator Edna Ahgeak Paniattaaq MacLean, Ph.D.


The site references the North Slope Iñupiaq dictionary (which was primarily written by Dr. Edna MacLean in the 1980s) and combines innovative computer programming to make learning the Iñupiaq language easier for all.


www.iñ is not only a dictionary; it also has a sentence-building function and an audio library to hear the way the words are pronounced. Once a vocabulary is established the person learning can learn the proper way to structure the words in a sentence and then reference the correct pronunciation in the audio library.


Based on the highly successful language website Liu and Strunk made for their Yup’ik language a few years ago, Iñupiaq Online is the first of its kind for the North Slope Dialect of Iñupiaq.

Ikayuutisa avanmun Iñupiuraaġnikun.

Let’s help each other learn Iñupiaq.

Arctic Slope Community Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for the Iñupiaq  people of the North Slope as well as providing quality educational tools for preserving our language and our way of life.

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