Writing Style Guide

The purpose of the NANA Writing Style Guide is to standardize and resolve questions of usage, punctuation and standard publishing style when writing for NANA collateral, publications and online content. Much of this is based on the AP Stylebook. The intention is to develop consistency in writing for NANA communications with consistent use of writing style as well as spelling, punctuation, capitalization and abbreviations.


aarigaa (ah-ree-gah) Iñupiaq for “good” or “nice”

academic degrees use an apostrophe and lowercase as follows: bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc. If mention of degrees is necessary to establish someone's credentials, the preferred form is to avoid an abbreviation and use instead a phrase such as: John Jones, who has a doctorate in psychology. Use B.A.M.A.Ph.D. only when identifying many individuals by degree on first reference would make the preferred form cumbersome. Use these abbreviations only after a full name–never after just a last name: John Snow, Ph.D., spoke; see Dr.  

accept, except accept means to receive; except means to exclude

ages always use figures. Ages used as an adjective before a noun use hyphens (a 5-year-old boy); when used after a noun they are not hyphenated (the law is 8 years old); see numbers under NANA style rules

akutuq (AHH-kuh-tuk) Iñupiaq for Eskimo ice cream

Alaska (not abbreviated in dateline or text)

Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN on second reference)

Alaska Highway (never Alcan unless used in a direct quote)

Alaska Miners Association (no apostrophe in Miners)

Alaska Native (not native Alaskan, who is someone born in the state and may be of any racial background)

ANCSA Native 1/4 blood 'quantum'

Alaskan of Indian, Eskimo or Aleut descent a person’s Native Alaskan heritage from paternal or maternal bloodlines  and usually recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs with a certain blood quantum

Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA on second reference)

Alaska Native Language Center (the center on second reference)

Alaska Pacific University (APU on second reference)

Alaska Permanent Fund (permanent fund on second reference); also called PFD; see permanent fund

Alaska Railroad (don’t abbreviate)

Alaska State Legislature (capitalize Legislature in all references; lowercase legislator(s), legislative, legislation); see legislative titles for more information)

Alaskan (n.) (never an adjective unless in a proper name)

Alliance Alaska Support Industry Alliance is a trade association for companies that support the oil industry

Alyeska (al-lee-YES-ka) Aleut word for “great land” from which the state of Alaska derives its name.

a.m., p.m. lowercase with periods

Ambler village in NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Ivisaappaat

ANC refers to one of the Alaska Native corporations

Anchorage Bowl as a region, capitalize.

Anchorage Fur Rendezvous (Fur Rondy on second reference)

ANCSA December 18, 1971

annual an event is not annual until its second year (the first year of any event should not be called annual, although you can state the event may or will become an annual event)

annual meeting (lowercase)

Aqqaluk Trust (ah-KAH-look) NANA scholarship and education foundation named for Robert “Aqqaluk” Newlin, NANA’s first chairman of the board (“the Trust” on second reference)

arctic, arctic fox, Arctic Slope, subarctic, Arctic Ocean

Arctic Circle capitalize for region around the North Pole

Association of Village Council Presidents (AVCP or the council on second reference)

at-large shareholder when an Alaska Native is enrolled in a Native corporation but not in a village corporation as well


bachelor’s degree


blanket toss a traditional Eskimo trampoline called naluqataq in Iñupiaq

blood quantum a process that the federal government uses to determine whether a person is considered Native American

board member always lowercase, unless used directly before an individual's name

Board of Directors capitalize when referring to NANA or NDC Board of Directors (Board or the Board on second reference)

Board of Education

Board of Fisheries (is also referred to as fish board)

Board of Game (also referred to as game board)

borough (capitalize only when part of a formal title: Northwest Arctic Borough)

breakup (n. or adj.) time of year when snow and ice melt; when used as a verb it is break up

Buckland village in NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Nunatchiaq

bunny boots large, white rubber, insulated originally developed for the Army.

Bush (capitalize when referring to rural Alaska)

cabin fever referring to mental state that develops during long, dark Alaska winters

cache (cash) tiny cabin raised on stilts to store food

Carhartt clothing brand recognized by traditional russet-colored canvas outerwear worn by hunters, construction and oilfield workers

CEO is acceptable in all references for chief executive officer;

chairman, chairwoman capitalize as formal title before a name and lowercase when used on its own

chief operating officer (COO)

in general, confine capitalization to formal titles used directly before an individual’s name

Chugach Mountains (CHOO-gatch)

corporation abbreviate corporation as Corp. when a company or government agency uses the word at the end of its name: Gulf Corp., the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Spell out corporation when it occurs elsewhere in a name: the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Spell out and lowercase corporation whenever it stands alone. The form for possessives: Gulf Oil Corp.'s profits.

cross-cultural (adj.)


Dall sheep (capitalize Dall)

Dalton Highway formely known as the North Slope Haul Road

Daylight light of day, one word

Deering village in NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Ipnatchiaq Dena’ina (deh-NINE-ah) name of the Alaska Native Athabaskan people of Southcentral Alaska

Dena’ina Center

Denali (deh-NAL-ee) “The Great One”an Athabaskan word for Mount McKinley

Denali Commission an independent federal agency charged with improving governmental effectiveness

Denali National Park and Preserve, Denali State Park

department lowercase for general business departments, but capitalize when referring to a formal government department; do not abbreviate


dividends distributions of money, periodically dividend among shareholders of NANA. The dividend is based on net income, and also from monies received from revenue sharing

dog sled (used in sled dog races)

Dr. use only in first reference as a formal title before the name of an individual in the medical field. Don’t use for honorary doctorates

8(a) Business Development Program was enacted to help small disadvantaged businesses compete for federal contracts



e.g. meaning “for example” (always followed by a comma)

Egan Civic & Convention Center (useEgan Center on second reference)

Eielson Air Force Base (EYE-ull-sun) located near Fairbanks: do not abbreviate; Eielson is acceptable on second reference

Elder when used as a noun, the NANA preferred style is to capitalize Elder to show respect; Elders are 65 or older

Elders Settlement Trust 

Elmendorf Air Force Base  located in Anchorage (Elemendorf is acceptable on second reference)


Eskimo use actual cultural group (e.g., Iñupiaq, Yupik or Cup’ik)

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Federal lowercase when used as an adjective; capitalize when used as part of a formal name of a government body

fiscal year

Fort Greely, Fort Richardson, Fort Wainwright, Fort Yukon

49th State nickname for Alaska (use only in direct quotes)

freezeup (n. and adj.)

freeze up (v.)

full-time hyphenate when used as a compound modifier: He works full time. She has a full-time job.

Fur Rondy (use Anchorage Fur Rendezvous on first reference)


gas line

government always lowercase, never abbreviate when referring to federal, state, or U.S. government

Great Land nickname for Alaska (use only in direct quotes)

highway (never abbreviated)

honey bucket

hypothermia a subnormal body temperature

ice fog

ice pack

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (eye-DIT-uh-rod) (use Iditarod on second reference)

i.e. abbreviation for “that is” (always followed by a comma)


ii (ee) Iñupiaq for yes

lifestyle (adj.)

incorporated abbreviate and capitalize Inc. when used as part of a corporate name. It usually is not needed, but when it is used, do not set off with commas: J.C. Penney Co. Inc. announced ...

Interior Alaska, the Interior capitalize when referring to the Tanana, Yukon and Kuskokwim River valleys of Alaska


Internet (always capitalized)

intranet (lower case) for reference to private, internal company networks

Inuit Circumpolar Conference (ICC on second reference)

Iñupiaq (in-you-PACK) (n.) refers to the language, or to one person; (adj.) used as an adjective such as Iñupiaq values

Iñupiat (in-you-PATE) refers to the people, plural

it’s (contraction for “it is”)

its (possessive pronoun)

Juneau (joo-no) Alaska’s capital city

kayak Iñupiaq spelling is qayaq

Kenai Peninsula (KEY-nigh) the Kenai, or the Peninsula, on  second reference; located south of Anchorage

Kiana (kai-ANN-uh) village in NANA region, Iñupiaq name is Katyaak

Kivalina (kiv-uh-LEE-nuh) village in NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Kivaliniq

Kobuk (KOH-buck) village in NANA region; Iñupiaq name Kuuvak

Kotzebue (KAWT-zuh-byoo) largest village in NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Qiqiktagruk

Kuparuk (koo-PARR-uk) second largest onshore oil field in U.S.; located 40 miles west of Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope


Last Frontier nickname for Alaska (use only in direct quotes)

Last Great Race nickname for Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (use only in direct quotes)

Legislature (capitalize in all references to Alaska Legislature; lowercase legislator(s), legislative, legislation)

legislative titles Use Rep.Reps.Sen. and Sens. as formal titles before one or more names. Spell out and lowercase representative and senator in other uses. Example: Rep. Reggie Joule

long-term (adj.) hyphenate when used as a compound modifier

Lower 48 refers to the contiguous 48 states; lowercase when used as an adjective (use only in direct quotes)

maktak muktuk, adapted from the Iñupiaq word maqtak; whale skin with fat, a delicacy shared among villages and eaten fresh or frozen with a little salt and frozen or dried fish

Maniilaq Association (muh-NEE-luck) nonprofit health and social services organization that serves NANA region and village of Point Hope

master’s degree

Matanuska-Susitna Borough (mat-uh-NOO-skuh soo-SIT-nuh) Mat-Su borough is acceptable on second reference

Matanuska-Susitna Valley the Palmer and Wasilla area, can be called the Valley on second reference, see Mat-Su and Valley

Mat-Su acceptable on second reference for Matanuska-Susitna (but not with valley)

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) a business that is at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled on a daily basis by one or more (in combination) American citizens of a certain ethnic classification

moose both singular and plural

Mount McKinley North America’s tallest peak; Denali is the Athabaskan name

Mt. McKinley do not spell out Mt. when used as part of a proper name, for example of a business.


muskeg mossy bog often covered with short plants such as blueberries and crowberries; covers much of Alaska


Naami?(NAH-mii) means “where?” in Iñupiaq

nalukataq (na-LOOK-ka-tuck) Iñupiaq word meaning “whale feast,” referring originally only to the blanket toss

NANA should always appear in all caps (originated as Northwest Alaska Native Association, but this is no longer used)

NANA Development Corporation the business arm of NANA Regional Corporation, Inc. NDC is acceptable on second reference

NANA Family of Companies the terminology used to reference the entire portfolio of NANA-owned and operated businesses

NANA region lowercase region NANA Regional CorporationInc. the parent company, (Corporation should be spelled out and NANA is acceptable on second reference)

NANA WorleyParsons (no space between WorleyParsons; do not abbreviate to NWP)

nanook (naa-NOOK) University of Alaska Fairbanks mascot from the Iñupiaq word nanuq for polar bear

nanuq (naa-NOOK) polar bear in Iñupiaq

nakuuruŋ(na-KOOR-roong-ah)  means “I am fine” in Iñupiaq

nakuuruq (na-KOOR-rook)  means “good” or “fine” in Iñupiaq

Native when capitalized, refers to an Alaskan of Indian, Eskimo or Aleut descent

native when lowercased, refers to someone born in Alaska but may or may not be of Alaska Native descent

Native American

Native regional corporations refers to the 13 regional corporations formed under ANCSA (do not capitalize regional or corporations)

NWALT (Northwest Arctic Leadership Team) partnership among the Northwest Arctic Borough, Maniilaq Association, Northwest Arctic Borough School District, and NANA Regional Corporation, Inc.

niqipiaq (ni-ki-PACK)refers to Eskimo foods in Iñupiaq

Noatak (NO-uh-tack) village in the NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Nautaaq

Noorvik (NOR-vick) village in the NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Nuurvik

non-contiguous state refers to Alaska or Hawaii



North Slope region north of the Brooks Range in Alaska

northwest Alaska

Northwest Arctic Borough offices located in Kotzebue



offshore, onshore both one word

Outside anywhere in the U.S. that is not Alaska (capitalized)

Panhandle another name for Southeast Alaska

paniqtaq (puh-NEEK-tuck) air-dried meat or fish similar to jerky eaten by Iñupiat

Parks Highway

part-time (adj.)

permafrost ground that stays frozen year-round

permanent fund capitalize Alaska Permanent Fund and lowercase permanent fund

PFD short for Permanent Fund Dividend


Prudhoe Bay

ptarmigan (TARR-mih-gan) (p is silent) Alaska state bird

Qanuq itpich? (KAH-nook iit piitch) means “How are you?” in Iñupiaq

qiviut (KIH-vee-yoot) soft undercoat of a musk ox that is knitted or woven


quyanaq (koo-YAH-nahk) Iñupiaq pronunciation for “thank you”


Railbelt (uppercase) parts of Interior and Southcentral Alaska lying along Alaska Railroad route from Seward to Fairbanks

Red Dog Mine In operation since 1989, Red Dog is a zinc-lead mine located in Northwest Alaska, near Kotzebue, and one of the world's largest producer of zinc concentrate

region(s) (lowercase)

regions of Alaska include: Aleutians, Arctic Coast, Arctic Slope, Gulf Coast, Interior, the Kenai, Mat-Su, North Slope, Railbelt, Panhandle, Southeast, Southcentral, Western, West Coast, Canadian Border

Resource Development Council statewide organization educating and advocating for economic and resource development issues (RDC on second reference)

RuralCAP acceptable on all references for Rural Alaska Community Action Project Inc.


salmon (lowercase) five species: king salmon (chinooks), silver salmon (cohos), pink salmon (humpbacks), red salmon (sockeyes), chum salmon (dogs)

Selawik (SELL-uh-wick) village in the NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Akuligaq

Seward’s Day commemorates signing of treaty when U.S. bought Alaska from Russia on March 30,1867

7(i) of ANCSA required the 12 land-based Alaska Native regional corporations to share 70 percent of their natural resource revenues among all other Alaska Native regional corporations

shareholder (lowercase when used as a noun; capitalize only when used as part of a formal title or name)

short-term (adj.)

Shungnak (SHUNG-nak) village in the NANA region; Iñupiaq name is Isifaq

sno-go, snow, snowball, snowbank, snow blanket, snow-blind, snow blindness, snowblower, snow boot, snowbound, snowbridge, snow bunny, snowdrift, snowfall, snow fence, snowflake, snow goggles, snow goose, snow guard, snowhouse, snow job, snow knife, snow line, snowmachine, snowmachiner, snowmachining,

snowman, snowmelt, snowmobile, snowpack, snowplane, snowplow, snowshoe, snowslide, snowstorm, snowsuit, snow tire, snow under, snow water, snow-white, Snow White 

solstice occurs twice a year, when the tilt of Earth’s axis is most inclined toward or away from the sun; in Alaska it marks the shortest day of the year in December and longest day of the year in June

Southcentral Alaska

Southeast Alaska

state of Alaska lowercase state when referring to the geographical location; capitalize State when referring to the legal and political entity

steelhead trout

Subarctic (see also arctic)


subsistence an economic lifestyle characterized by living off the land. People who live a subsistence existence harvest wildlife and gather berries and vegetables. This generally low-cash way of life is practiced by many who live in the Bush. Subsistence hunters and fisherman have a constitutionally protected priority for taking Alaska fish and game higher than other users.

Susitna (soo-SIT-nuh)


taikuu (tay-KOO) Iñupiaq for “thank you”

temperatures use figures; do not use “above” following the numeral, e.g. “above zero); use “below” following the number when below zero, e.g. “20 below”; do not use minus sign

termination dust first snowfall on the mountains (use only in direct quotes)

territory (lowercase)

T\trans-Alaska oil Pipeline never TAPS

tsunami seismic sea wave often called tidal wave

tundra treeless area covered with low-lying plants

ugruk (OO-grook) Iñupiaq for bearded seal

ulu (OO-loo) Iñupiaq for semilunar-shaped knife

umialik (oo-me-AH-lick) Iñupiaq for whaling captain; rich man

umiaq (OO-me-ack) Iñupiaq for large, open skin-covered boat used for whaling and hunting sea mammals

United States use periods in the abbreviation, U.S. within texts; in headlines, it’s US (no periods)

University of AlaskaAnchorage, University of Alaska Fairbanks UAA and UAF on second reference

uvlaalautaq (oov-lah-low-tuk) Iñupiaq for “good morning”

uvva means “here” in Iñupiaq


Valdez (val-DEEZ)

Valley the Valley is acceptable on second reference for Matanuska-Susitna Valley in Southcentral Alaska, see Mat-Su and the Valley

village lowercase unless part of a formal title


well-prepared (adj.)

well prepared (adv.)

Western Alaska


World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (known more commonly as WEIO)

workers’ compensation

Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Yukon Quest

Yukon Territory the Yukon on second reference

Iñupiaq Language

Iñupiaq is the language spoken by our shareholders in northwest Alaska. Iñupiaq is not only an expression of our culture, it is also how we communicate with one another, to continue our heritage and traditions.

Iñupiat people speak Iñupiaq, the language. This is an important distinction and it’s very important that one does not misuse the words Iñupiat and Iñupiaq or interchange them for the other.

Iñupiaq is comprised of four major dialects in Alaska: Bering Strait, Qawairaq, Malimuit and North Slope. The people of the NANA region speak the Malimiut dialect which consists of two subdialects, Coastal and Kobuk. The Coastal dialect is spoken in Kivalina, Noatak, Kotzebue, Deering and Buckland. The Kobuk dialect is spoken in Noorvik, Kiana, Selawik, Ambler, Shungnak and Kobuk.

Iñupiaq Language Tools


The Iñupiaq Language CD-ROM, a software program developed by NANA with Rosetta-Stone, will be instrumental in preserving the Iñupiaq Language in the Northwest Arctic and beyond.


Coastal and Kobuk dialects are available for purchase.


Iñupiaq Pronunciation

Below is a basic pronunciation guide to the Iñupiaq language.

q k, back of throat

ġ g, back of throat, like French or German r

ł voiceless L

x like ly in million

Ł voiceless L, added y

ñ like ny (Spanish mañana)

ŋ like ng (singer)

sr voiceless r, like shr (shrink)

r like r (or z in azure)

kh like ch in German (ich)

qh like ch in German (ach)

a ah

i ii

u oo

ai like lie or lay

au like cow or sew

ia like ee-ah

iu ee-oo

ua oo-ah

ui oo ee

NANA Region Villages

Ambler – In Iñupiaq called Ivisaappaat

Buckland – called Nunatchiaq

Deering – called Ipnatchiaq

Kiana (kai-ANN-uh) – Iñupiaq name is Katyaak

Kivalina (kiv-uh-LEE-nuh) –Iñupiaq name is Kivaliniq

Kobuk (KOH-buck) – Iñupiaq name is Kuuvak

Kotzebue (KAWT-zuh-byoo) – Iñupiaq name is Qiqiktagruk

Noatak (NO-uh-tack) – Nautaaq in Iñupiaq

Noorvik (NOR-vick) – Nuurvik in Iñupiaq

Selawik (SELL-uh-wick) –Akuligaq in Iñupiaq

Shungnak (SHUNG-nak) spelled Isiŋaq in Iñupiaq

NANA Style Rules

Use of Abbreviations & Acronyms

An acronym is a word formed from the first letter or letters of a series of words. Generally omit periods in acronyms. Spell out in first reference, followed by the acronym in parentheses. Avoid using periods in the acronym.

(In general the words that make up an acronym are spelled out on first reference followed by the acronym in parentheses; acronym can be used in second and future references.)

A.D., B.C.

a.m., p.m. (lowercase with periods)

company names OK to abbreviate the following after a corporate name: company (Co.), corporation (Corp.), incorporated (Inc.), limited Ltd.)

e.g., meaning for example, it is always followed by a comma

i.e., abbreviation for the Latin id est or that is and is always followed by a comma

U.S. the abbreviation is acceptable as a noun or adjective for United States; in headlines, it’s US (no periods)

street names abbreviate the following when used with house numbers: avenue (Ave.), boulevard (Blvd.), and street (St.); always spell out alley, drive, road, terrace

titles abbreviate the following when used before a full name: Dr., Gov., Lt. Gov., Mr., Mrs., Rep., Sen.


annual meeting lowercase 

business titles capitalize

when they precede a name:

President Helvi Sandvik; Helvi Sandvik, president

Elder always capitalize

shareholder lowercase

job titles capitalize formal titles when used immediately before a name. Lowercase formal titles when used alone or when set off from a name by commas. (Example: President Helvi Sandvik; Helvi Sandvik, president of NDC.)


• Spell out one through nine in text; use figures for 10 and above

• 1,710/10,500/14 million

• $10 million

• 5 percent

• 11a.m.–2 p.m.

• noon (not 12 noon/12 p.m.)

• Friday, June 10, 2007

• October 2007

• 1960s / class of 2007

• 18-year-old (adj.)

• 18 years old


• Spell out one through nine in text; use figures for 10 and above

• 1,710/10,500/14 million

• $10 million

• 5 percent

• 11a.m.–2 p.m.

• noon (not 12 noon/12 p.m.)

• Friday, June 10, 2007

• October 2007

• 1960s / class of 2007

• 18-year-old (adj.)

• 18 years old

Useful Iñupiaq Words

Iñupiaq (in-you-PACK): (noun) The language, also singular for one person; (adjective) as in Iñupiaq values

Iñupiat (in-you-PATE): The people, plural (“The Iñupiat of the NANA Region)

Taikuu (tay-koo): Thank you

Quyanaq (koo-yah-nahk): Thank you

Aarigaa! (ah-ree-gah): Good or nice

Ii (ee): Yes

Uvlaalautaq (oov-lah-low-tuk): Good morning