I˝upiaq Cultural Lessons

Discover Inupiaq cultural knowledge that illuminates the northern lights with vocabulary, stories, and dance.

Mary Ahkivgak                                Ronald Brower                                  Fannie Akpik

Learn Iñupiaq vocabulary for terms used in aurora science. Explore the pronunciation guides online on the Cultural Connections website. Download vocabulary games for elementary or middle school to practice with a group or partners. Download the vocabulary flash cards here in North Slope Iñupiaq or Seward Peninsula Iñupiaq.

Online Cultural Content
Listen to stories from elders in communities across the North Slope and Northern Seward Peninsula about the northern lights, listen to songs from Selawik and Utqiagvik, and watch a dance shared by Fannie Akpik that welcomes the sun. Your portal to this content can be found here on the Cultural Connections website. Download activity guides and story reflection sheets for elementary school or middle school. Also, download an elementary school response sheet for the Welcome the Sun dance.

Interview Elders in Your Community
Ask an elder in your community, "Can you tell me about the northern lights?" and listen carefully to what they say. Download an activity guide (elementary school or middle school), take notes and share something that stuck out in your memory: it may be a song, an observation of when they are visible in your area, or a particular time they remember seeing the northern lights.

This project was funded under NASA cooperative agreement NNX16AL65A. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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