In the early seventies, linguists from the University of Alaska Fairbanks partnered with local experts to create a standardized written version of the Inupiaq language. Shishmaref is extremely lucky to have one of the local experts in our village. John Sinnok was instrumental in creating the written version of Inupiaq and preserving our local dialect. He taught a basic Inupiaq Writing class during Inupiaq Days, and Flat Stanley and I attended.
Many of my social studies classes have been consumed by our most recent project: the Inupiaq Dictionary.
Several forces combined to make the Inupiaq Dictionary a reality:
-my desire to learn the local Inupiaq language
-my first year teaching Alaska Studies Levels 3-5
-Ginger, one of my teaching idols, showing me a cool project that a school in Marshall, Alaska did using the Yup’ik language
Ginger and I put our digital heads together and we came up with the Inupiaq Dictionary project.