President’s Message

Dear Students,

I am both pleased and honored to welcome you to Iḷisaġvik College. You are about to embark on a wonderful adventure in continued education that, given your effort and dedication, will lead to a lifetime of success in your chosen field, in your life, and assist you in becoming a contributing member in your community.

As a Tribal College, we are blessed to hold our Iñupiaq values at the forefront. It is also important to keep in mind our local control and home rule government and what this means to our people. We must remember the late Eben Hopson Sr. and his dreams for the people of the North Slope.  As he shared during his Mayor’s Address on Education from December 1975, “We have the greatest opportunity to direct our own destiny as we have for the past millennia… Possibly the greatest significance of home rule is that it enables us to regain control of the education of our children.”

Iḷisaġvik College is grounded by our Iñupiaq culture and is proud to be Unapologetically Iñupiaq. As we say at the College, “It is Iñupiaq to be respectful to all people. Being Unapologetically Iñupiaq means that everyone is welcome, but when you elect to attend Iḷisaġvik, or when you elect to work at Iḷisaġvik, — because we are electing to — students, staff, and faculty are going to experience an Iñupiaq experience.” 

I recognize that many of our students are first-generation college students, like myself, and that attending Iḷisaġvik means also balancing family, relationships, cultural and societal roles, and for many,  full-time jobs. Iḷisaġvik College is here to provide you with the support you need to reach your training completion or graduation, with the acknowledgment of how much hard work and effort it takes to reach that day. 

With the presence and concern of COVID-19 in our communities, Iḷisaġvik College is here to support you during this particularly uncertain and challenging time. The College has developed a central hub for COVID-19 updates called the COVID-19 Information Page and Iḷisaġvik College contact numbers are listed on our website under Directory. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have. Together, we can both remain healthy and achieve your educational goals. 

My best wishes to you this academic year! 


President/CEO Justina Wilhelm

Justina Wilhelm