Preserving the Language and Culture of the Inupiaq People on the Shores of the Arctic Ocean

By Heyden Enochson

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Preserving the Language and Culture of the Inupiaq People on the Shores of the Arctic Ocean

We’ve been working with the North Slope Borough School District for nearly a decade, and while their long-term vision has not changed, the people sitting around the table have. We were reminded that systemic change can often take years of dedication and focus to achieve – but without a solid plan and process in place, a plan can easily just become a stack of paper that is thrown away.

Through the years of change and transition, one thing has always remained at the heart of North Slope’s School Board – to make a positive impact on the lives of children in their community and to help preserve the language and culture of one of Alaska’s remote communities.

Here are the few takeaways that make the nearly 24-hour travel time completely worth it to our team:

  • Through it all, everyone wants the best for the community – We’re always impressed on how passionate the School Board is making an impact in the community.
  • A unified direction is a truly powerful thing – It aligns people to where you’re going and why.
  • The School Board brought a unique piece of culture to the meeting – A traditional candle was lit to bring part of the Inupiaq culture to the center of the meeting.


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