Arctic Indigenous languages exhibition

Language Map

More than 40 Indigenous languages are spoken in the Arctic. View an updated map on linguistic diversity in the region.

This is an updated version of a map originally designed by the Arctic Council CAFF Working Group (2013).

Map disclaimer

The map broadly demonstrates Arctic Indigenous languages spoken by members of the Arctic Council Permanent Participant organizations (Indigenous Peoples Secretariat, 2019). The borders between the language families and locations are illustrative and not entirely precise. Most languages are written in English and not in their traditional orthographies. Different dialects are marked in italics to demonstrate diversity within languages.

The present map is under further improvement with the help of a network of linguists and Indigenous language experts. The goal is to create a comprehensive online educational resource. Please submit improvements, corrections, or interesting information about the revitalization of Arctic indigenous languages to:

Map resources

Arctic Biodiversity Assessment (CAFF, 2013); GRID-Arendal (GRID-Arendal/UN Environment, 2019), W.K. Dallmann (Norwegian Polar Institute, 2012), experts from the Arctic Council Permanent Participant organizations. The language classification for Haida is based on Schoonmaker et al., 1997, for Yukagir on advice from the Institute for the Peoples of the North, 2019.

Recommended citation

Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat and UiT The Arctic University of Norway. 2019, Ságastallamin – Telling the story of Arctic Indigenous Languages Exhibition. Adapted from “Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, CAFF 2013 – Akureyri. Arctic Biodiversity Assessment. Status and Trends in Arctic biodiversity. – Linguistic Diversity (Chapter 20) page 656”.

Feedback on the map and future updates

The Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat (IPS) hope to gather feedback and comments to the updated map so that it can be made into the comprehensive language map of the region. Submit feedback to the IPS here.

File downloads

Download the original language map in PDF format

Download the language wall used in the exhibition in PDF format