Department mission

The mission of the Department of Iñupiat History, Language and Culture is to document, preserve and perpetuate the history, language and culture of the North Slope Region and to ensure that cultural issues are given appropriate consideration during the planning process.



General information

The Department accomplishes its mission by:

  • Assisting with Iñupiaq language revitalization efforts.
  • Collecting and documenting cultural information.
  • Digitizing and cataloging cultural and historical information.
  • Sharing history, language and culture through tourism.
  • Developing dynamic exhibits and education programs.
  • Publishing material pertaining to Iñupiat history, language and culture.
  • Making cultural materials such as traditional clothing and goods more easily and widely available.
  • Assisting with Iñupiaq cultural orientation and translation services.
  • Researching and developing educational, historical and cultural materials for enrichment of classroom use by working in close cooperation with all stakeholders.
  • Utilizing the Iñupiat Heritage Center and the Simon Paneak Memorial Museum as dynamic repositories and conveyors of traditional cultural knowledge, values and skills.
  • Collecting, recording, preserving, documenting, displaying and interpreting artifacts and other associated materials relating to the history, culture and traditions of the Iñupiat people.

Drawing upon traditional Iñupiaq knowledge, the museums assume an active and supportive role in local and Borough wide cultural awareness, enrichment and educational programs.

The Department’s actions help fulfill the North Slope Borough’s founding commitment to document, preserve and perpetuate its Iñupiaq heritage.



Thomas Leavitt, IHLC Director
Phone Number: (907) 852-0422
Fax Number: (907) 852-0455

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