Alaska’s North Slope Borough and Rosetta Stone, a Virginia-based company that produces multimedia language courses, are planning to launch a new program this spring that is designed to teach the North Slope Inupiaq dialect, Anchorage Daily News reported.
There are 1,500 fluent speakers of Inupiaq in Alaska left, estimates linguist Michael Krauss, professor emeritus at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
According to the Arctic Sounder, the project was launched by the school district, Ilisagvik College and the North Slope Borough’s Inupiat History, Language and Culture (IHLC) commission in February 2009. Its goal is to assist Inupiaq language learning in communities and schools across the region. The project is funded through grants from Shell Oil and the U.S. Department of Education’s program Education through Cultural and Historic Organizations (ECHO), the Arctic Sounder reported.