Quyaanna, Tatqaviñ

Iñupiaq revitalization lost one of its best teachers on Friday when one of the most dedicated Iñupiaq teachers and translators, Ruth Tatqaviñ Sampson, passed away unexpectedly. My sincerest condolences go out to her family.

I only met Tatqaviñ last year, when I took a distance ed conversational Iñupiaq course from her, but she was truly an amazing teacher. Always there for her students with kind, patient feedback and a gentle humor. She also had a gift for accommodating multiple dialects in her class.

Ruthie was not only a teacher but a tireless translator, author, and editor. Many of the existing Iñupiaq books for children were written or edited by her, and she was instrumental in getting Iñupiaq Rosetta Stone software produced. One of her edited texts available online is Maniiḷaq, a collection of elders’ recollections of Maniiḷaq, the Iñupiaq prophet. The list just goes on and on.

Piḷḷuataqtutin, Tatqaviñ, you did a good job. You certainly left big shoes to fill, but I know your students and colleagues will keep up the good work.