Applications are currently closed for the 2022-2023 IP Cohort(s)!

IP Cohorts bring rural and urban Alaska Native youth together to explore their heritages, share their cultures, and find strength in being Indigenous.  The year-long experience allows each cohort to become a tight-knit community that supports one another as participants build confidence in who they are and their relationship to their cultures.

Each cohort starts and ends with a week-long immersion trip in two different Alaskan communities to experience life in both a rural and an urban part of the state.  Virtual sessions between the immersions keep the cohorts connected and reflect on what it means to be Indigenous today.  

This program is offered at no cost to participants.

Helen John
Youth Program Coordinator
[email protected]

Applications: Applications are now closed for the 2022-2023 cohorts. We are thrilled with the amount of interest received, and are currently reviewing applications. 
Program Dates:

Summer 2022: In-person immersion in Yakutat, Kodiak, or Bethel
June 2-6, 2022 OR June 23-27, 2022 OR July 14-18, 2022

September 2022-May 2023: One or two virtual sessions each month

Early Summer 2023: In-person immersion in Juneau
May 28-June 2, 2023 OR June 25-June 29, 2023 OR July 23-27, 2023

You will be able to indicate if you are unavailable for any of these immersion dates in this application.


  • Open to all Alaska Native youth currently in grades 8-11 interested in connecting with Alaska Native cultures.  Youth must be at least 13 years old at the start of the program.
  • Rural and urban youth are encouraged to apply.  Internet service and a computer provided for participants who would otherwise not be able to participate.
  • If selected, youth must commit to participating for the entire cohort: one week of travel in summer 2022, one week of travel in summer 2023, and regular virtual sessions between travel weeks.
  • Please note that youth should be comfortable with traveling independently because some travel segments may be done on their own.  

COVID Policies
Our COVID Mitigation Policy for IP Cohorts is under development and will include mitigation measures such as testing and masking protocols. The final policy will be shared with accepted applicants. Participants will need to agree to follow the policy for all in-person activities. Participants will be strongly encouraged to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 Vaccines, including a booster shot if eligible, in order to minimize the risk for participants and the community.

How to Apply

Application Deadline: Closed for the 2022-2023 cohorts.

Applicants will be invited for interviews in mid-late April and will be notified of their acceptance by early May.  Three cohorts will be selected.

What to Expect

IP Cohorts are youth developmental and experiential learning programs that bring rural and urban Alaska Native youth together to explore their heritages, share their cultures, and find strength in being Indigenous.  Each cohort starts and ends with a week-long immersion trip in two different Alaskan communities.  Cohorts participate in virtual sessions between the immersions.

Connect with self

Reflect on what influences your identity and try new things to better understand yourself.  This self awareness opens the door for personal growth, leading to increased confidence and ability to step outside your comfort zone.

Connect with others

Develop meaningful relationships with cohort peers, immersion communities, and Culture Bearers that extend beyond the program.  These connections strengthen your support network, build friendships, and deepen your respect for people different from yourself.  

Connect with cultures

Share your own culture and learn about the cultures of others, discovering how culture shapes who you are.  Consider what it means to be Indigenous in different settings and embrace your culture and community as a source of strength.

Connect with immersion communities

Week-long immersions allow you to get a taste of what life is like in different parts of Alaska.  Meet local residents, visit cultural sites, and learn from Elders and Culture Bearers.  Spend time outside and work with local Indigenous artists.  Depending on the community, accommodations can range from hotel rooms to the school gym.  Forum staff will supervise all activities.

Connect virtually

Virtual sessions between the immersion trips allow you to stay in touch with your cohort and learn from Elders and Culture Bearers from other regions of Alaska.  You will get to help shape these sessions, discussing topics and doing activities that are interesting and relevant to your cohort.

Have Fun

Although listed last, this is the most important piece!  You will have challenging conversations and spend time in deep reflection, but there will be lots of fun too.  Play games, develop cohort spirit, and laugh with your new friends.  You get to be yourself!

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Alaska Native Education Program, IP Cohorts build on the Forum's work with youth over the past two decades. This program is offered at no cost to participants.  


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