Alaska Native Heritage Center Museum

     The Alaska Native Heritage Center Museum is a cultural center celebrating the eleven native groups found throughout Alaska. The museum is a non- profit that was founded and incorporated in 1989 as a state wide native culture center and museum; however, the lands and the money for the center were not secured until 1994, and the doors didn’t open until 1999. Found in Anchorage, not only does the museum celebrate the people and cultures found throughout Alaska today, but also pays tribute to the past traditions and stories by offering the museum open to the general public as well as guided field trips for schools and workshops for adults. As listed on their website, the mission for the museum is the “Sharing, perpetuating and preserving the unique Alaska Native cultures, languages, traditions and values through celebration and education.” The museum is open to the public during the summer months only, from May to September, except for special events during the fall and winter seasons.

The ANHCM offers exhibitions of different tribes’ dances as well as the games that the tribes play and compete in around the state. They also offer a “Hall of Culture” featuring works of art and historical information about the tribes of Alaska. Outside, there are 5 different types of cabins used by the different regions of tribes; some are completely subterranean, while the others are semi or completely overground. The major difference between the buildings is the way the entrances are built: some having tunnel systems and others coming from the front or the roof. Each also offers a native tribes person who is completely willing to offer any information and answer any questions that any inquisitive minds can think up. --Breanne Hernandez


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