For the last five years, the language learning collective Iḷisaqativut has been doing groundbreaking work in supporting adult language learners of Iñupiaq, hosting three two-week language intensives and one weekend intensive in Utqiaġvik, Kotzebue, Nome and Anchorage, respectively, working to unify language efforts across regions. Our values have been to make space for all language learners, demonstrate that language learners can also be teachers, and promote all dialects as equal and important.
The covid-19 pandemic unfortunately affected our ability to hold our language gatherings, but in 2020-2021, we have focused instead on building more resources for language learners online. To that end, we created a new website: ilisaqativut.org. To demonstrate language equity, we decided we should have a version of the site that is all in Iñupiaq. However, due to being beginning language learners ourselves and also not having the necessary skills in translation work, the Iñupiaq version of the site remains almost entirely in English, except for the headers.
Like the Iñupiaq Facebook translation project before this, we already have the contacts and knowledge about how to get a large site translated, but we do not currently have the money to translate the site. We are asking the Awesome Foundation to help us translate ilisaqativut.org into Iñupiaq, so that Iñupiaq speakers and learners can have access to language learning material in their own language. We also want to demonstrate language equity and show that Alaskan websites can and should be multilingual. Supporting multilingual sites for Alaska Native languages demonstrates equity and progress, and our site would like to become a small part in pushing towards more language equity on our state.
Funded by Alaska (June 2021)