2141 Koyukuk Drive
205 Arctic Health Research Building
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000

Phone: 907-474-5528

1-888-470-5576 toll-free within Alaska

Fax: 907-474-5700


Collaborative Research: IPY: Negotiating Pathways to Adulthood: Social Change and Indigenous Culture in Five Circumpolar Communities

 CIPA Group PhotoContemporary dynamics of rapid social change have dramatically affected the political, cultural, and economic systems of circumpolar Indigenous people. This study explores community responses to this social transition through life experiences of young people with a shared genealogy and language group. Adolescents are particularly well suited for this exploration as they navigate key sociocultural tensions in the pathway to adulthood. The study will examine indigenous narratives about growing-up in five—Alaskan Inupiat, Alaskan Yup'ik, Canadian Inuit, Siberian Eveny and Norwegian, Sámi —communities in order to identify shared and divergent stressors and patterns of resilience. We seek to identify social and cultural strategies and resources that characterize young people's everyday coping processes in the context of rapid social change.

Data from the Alaskan Yup'ik study were used in the creation of a comic book designed by youth from the project community as a way of communicating research findings to other youth and community members. The comic book can be view here:

Yugten Defenders: Power of the Real People, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2010

Project Collaboration Team
Stacy Rasmus, James Allen & Tara Ford, Alaskan Yup'ik Site
Lisa Wexler, Alaskan Inupiaq Site
Michael Kral, Canadian Inuit Site
Olga Ulturgasheva, Siberian Eveny Site
Kristine Nystad, Sámi Site

National Science Foundation, NSF 0756211

Key References:

Allen, J., Hopper, K., Wexler, L., Kral, M., Rasmus, S., & Nystad, K. (2014). Mapping Resilience Pathways of Indigenous Youth in Five Circumpolar Communities. Transcultural Psychiatry, 51(5), 601–631. http://doi.org/10.1177/1363461513497232

Ford, T., Rasmus, S., & Allen, J. (2012). Being useful: achieving indigenous youth involvement in a community-based participatory research project in Alaska. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 71, 10.3402/ijch.v71i0.18413. http://doi.org/10.3402/ijch.v71i0.18413

Rasmus, S. M., Allen, J., & Ford, T. (2014). "Where I Have to Learn the Ways How to Live:" Youth Resilience in a Yup'ik Village in Alaska. Transcultural Psychiatry, 51(5), 713–734. http://doi.org/10.1177/1363461514532512

Ulturgasheva, O., Wexler, L., Kral, M., Allen, J., Mohatt, G. V., Nystad, K., & CIPA Team. (2011). Navigating International, Interdisciplinary, and Indigenous Collaborative Inquiry: Phase 1 in the Circumpolar Indigenous Pathways to Adulthood Project. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 4(1), 50–59.

Ulturgasheva, O., Rasmus, S., & Morrow, P. (2015). Collapsing the Distance: Indigenous-Youth Engagement in a Circumpolar Study of Resilience. Arctic Anthropology, 52(1), 60-70. doi:10.3368.

Ulturgasheva, O., Rasmus, S., Wexler, L., Nystad, K., & Kral, M. (2014). Arctic Indigenous Youth Resilience and Vulnerability: Comparative Analysis of Adolescent Experiences Across Five Circumpolar Communities. Transcultural Psychiatry, 51 (5), 735-756. doi: 10.1177/1363461514547120