Clearinghouse for Clinical Rotations

Cultural Resources

If you are participating in the Alaska AHEC rotation program, you will be working with a rural and/or underserved population within Alaska. For most of you, this will mean working with people from a culture other than your own.  The resources on this page will give you some basic information about various cultural groups found in our state. Learning about them prior to your visit will help you make a smooth transition and to feel more at home.

Alaska is a big state and contains many cultures. The Alaska Native population, which makes up approximately 16% of the state population, is divided into eleven distinct cultures, speaking twenty different languages. In addition, you will find many other ethnic communities including: Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, a variety of Pacific Islander and Asian cultures, as well as African Americans. To better prepare you for your cross-cultural experience, we suggest you read the following two articles. Both are fairly short and should take only 20 to 30 minutes to read.

Communication Across Cultures
Working on Common Cross-Cultural Communication Challenges

The following National Library of Medicine website has very short video clips of health professionals, community leaders, traditional healers and others working to improve the health of Native peoples. This website includes several of our own Alaska providers and leaders:

We also encourage you to check out the resources on the four links below, as well as the links to regional sites on the map at the bottom of the page.

Alaska Background Resources
Health and Health Care in Alaska
Cross-Cultural communication in Alaska
Cross-Cultural Communication-General Information
HRSA Cultural Competency & Health Literacy Resources

Note: These resources are not meant to be comprehensive, but only meant to give you a starting point of where to find more information about Alaska, health care in Alaska, and cross-cultural communication information.  We welcome feedback on the resources listed above.  Were they helpful in preparing you for your clinical rotation in Alaska?  Have you found other resources that you think we should list here?  We would like to know!

For comments or suggestions, please send to: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Resources for Alaska Regions

Use the image map below to explore additional resources by region.

Inupiaq Region Athabascan Region Southeast Region Alutiiq Region Aleut Region Yu'pik/Cu'pik Region