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2020 Year of Inupiaq Langauge

January 15, 2020


WHEREAS, as with Indigenous peoples throughout the world, destructive colonial and assimilative actions have endangered the survival of Alaska’s Indigenous languages – and therefore the deep, irreplaceable knowledge of our homelands and ways of life encoded within them;


WHEREAS, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2019 the ‘International Year of Indigenous Languages’, raising awareness about the endangerment of Indigenous languages across the globe and the importance of Indigenous languages for strengthening Indigenous cultures and sovereignty;


WHEREAS, recognizing that one year is not enough, the United Nations declared an International Decade of Indigenous Languages to begin in 2022;


WHEREAS, in 2019, significant progress was made around Iñupiaq language revitalization in correspondence with the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages;


WHEREAS, in recognition of the vital importance of solidarity and alignment throughout the Iñupiaq nation of Alaska, the Kipiġniuqtit Iñupiuraallanikun (KI) Coalition was formed in 2018 to unify Iñupiaq language efforts across regions;


WHEREAS, the many decades of critical language revitalization work from many generations of teachers, learners, utuqqanaat, and community members has protected the language and set the groundwork for collective strengthening;


WHEREAS, language revitalization efforts can only be strengthened by renewed and focused attention and interest in the Iñupiaq language;


WHEREAS, we look forward to the continuation of Iñupiaq language efforts in 2020, including a comprehensive survey, the start of an Iñupiaq language Kindergarten classroom in Nome, the first statewide Iñupiaq spelling bee, first Iḷisaqativut winter workshop, and other important efforts;


THEREFORE, in recognition of our imperative to protect and advance our ways of knowing for all past, present and future ancestors, Kipiġniuqtit Iñupiuraallanikun (KI) Coalition does hereby proclaim the year of 2020 as the:


2020 Year of the Inupiaq Language Procla

2020 Timeline

January - First Iḷisaqativut Winter Workshop 
January - 2020 Language Survey Released
Spring - First Iñupiaq Spelling Bee to be held
Summer - Iḷisaqativut Language Intensive
August - Nome Inupiaq Kindergarten to open
November - 2020 Election - Naligagitchi!
December - Uuktuun Iñupiatun 2020 Survey to close
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