C3 Program Contacts


General Program Inquiries
Amanda Dale: (907) 272-5503 | adale@akhf.org

North Slope Region

Erica Khan: (907) 770-8401 | ekhan@akhf.org

Lisa Ragland: (907) 272-5332 | lragland@akhf.org

Northwest Arctic Region

Kirstie Willean
(907) 362-1229 |


Southwest Region

Zach Lane: (907) 770-8402 | zlane@akhf.org

For thousands of years, Alaska Native communities have developed rich and varied traditions that encourage the values of Sharing and Cooperation, Respect for Others, Hard Work, Respect for Nature, Spirituality, and Humor. Today, people in remote, rural Alaska constantly navigate the tension between sustaining their traditional culture and thriving in a changing world. The teachers who serve these communities are challenged to negotiate these tensions themselves, while adapting to a way of life that is unfamiliar, and discovering who they are within a new cultural context.


The Alaska Humanities Forum partners with communities, Alaska Native organizations, and school districts across three rural regions to provide the Creating Cultural Competence (C3) program. Newly hired teachers participate alongside Elders, culture bearers, local youth, and peers in a cultural immersion during the summer under the structure of a university-level multicultural studies course. 


This journey invites teachers not only to learn about the culture of the community they'll become a member of, but also to develop a deeper understanding of their own racial, ethnic, and cultural identities and how those identities shape their values and assumptions about teaching. Through the C3 program, teachers build relationships that help them connect with the people, communities, and region where they will be teaching.

Program Regions and Partners:

North Slope Region
Partners: Arctic Slope Community Foundation, Iḷisaġvik College, North Slope Borough School District

Revised summer 2020 schedule:

C3 remote programming and Multicultural Studies for AK Teachers course will begin in June.

Northwest Arctic Region
Partners: Maniilaq Association, Northwest Arctic Borough School District

Revised summer 2020 schedule: 

C3 remote programming will begin in June; Multicultural Studies for AK Teachers course will begin in July.

Southwest Region
Partners: Calista Education and Culture, Inc., Kuspuk School District, Lower Kuskokwim School District, Lower Yukon School District, St. Mary’s School District, and Yupiit School District

Revised summer 2020 schedule:

C3 remote programming will begin in June; Multicultural Studies for AK Teachers course will begin in July. 

C3 is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Alaska Native Education Program.

A 2017 five-year study shows significant impact:

  • Twice as many C3 teachers chose to stay in LKSD compared to non-C3 teachers; in NWABSD, 1.7 times as many C3 teachers chose to stay compared to non-C3 teachers.

  • The C3 induction model becomes cost effective by year 2 or 3, depending on the scale of teacher replacement in a district.

  • Increasing cultural competency, as the C3 Project does, increases teachers' grit and growth mindsets.

See the "5 Year Evaluation Report" to learn more about the full study.

(Song credit: Cauyaqa Nauwa performed by Pamyua.)

Cross-Cultural Experience

Orientation, immersion, and debrief to gain knowledge of the region as well as local communication, learning, and teaching styles.

Earn Graduate Credit
Free enrollment for teacher participants in multicultural studies course required for Alaska certification or renewal credits.

Experiential Learning
Cultural immersion experience with local Elders, youth, and community members alongside your peers.

All Expenses Paid

Airfare, meals, accommodations, and course credit are covered by the program.