Inupiaq learners have a new online tool to help them navigate the Native language.

University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student Chelsey Zibell worked with faculty members to create an Inupiaq website.

It features an introduction to the language, which consists of 21 consonant sounds and three vowels.

There’s also an interactive page where people can match vocabulary words to corresponding pictures.


Zibell, whose Inupiaq name is Qaggun, grew up in Noorvik about 45 miles east of Kotzebue.

She didn’t grow up speaking her language as a child and wants to change that for other families.

“It is incredibly important for me. Language and culture are so intertwined. You really can’t separate them,” Zibell said.

The website is a work in progress but Zibell hopes to eventually have a year’s worth of learning materials and lesson plans.