Alaska Native youth practice Native sports events in the Alaska Native Heritage event space.

Ilakucaraq 2023-2024: Free Cultural Immersion Program for Alaska Native Youth

Are you a student between the ages of 13-17, currently enrolled in grades 8-11? Do you want to travel to different Alaskan communities, make new friends, and learn from Culture Bearers? If so, then the Ilakucaraq 2023-2024 Program is for you!

Ilakucaraq (pronounced Ee-la-cou-jaw-ga-ck) means “way of being together” in Yugtun, the language of the Yup’ik people of Southwest Alaska. This free program is open to Indigenous Youth across the state, and it is an amazing opportunity to build self-confidence and strengthen your support network. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Alaska Native Education Program and is a partnership between the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Alaska Humanities Forum, and Mt. Edgecumbe High School.

The program starts and ends with a week-long immersion trip in two different Alaskan communities with 14 other Indigenous students. In between these trips, virtual sessions will keep you connected with your peers. The first immersion trip will take place in Anchorage during the summer of 2023. From September 2023 to May 2024, there will be one to two virtual sessions each month. The program will conclude with a summer 2024 immersion trip in a rural location. Past communities include Bethel, Kodiak, and Kenai.

To learn more and apply, visit here. The application will be open starting February 27th and close on March 20th. If you have any questions, please contact Helen Panruk John at or (907) 717-1256.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to explore your culture and connect with other Indigenous students!

ANHC is temporarily closed to the public from February 2024 – May 2024 for renovations to ANHC’s facility.