Education and programs

Understanding Culture Workshop Series



Alaska has always been a culturally diverse place. From the distant past to the first European visits, Alaska was home to speakers of nearly two dozen languages and many more dialects – and their ways of life were as different as their manners of speech. Still, the original people met and dealt with each other frequently. They learned enough about each others’ languages and customs to communicate effectively.

Alaska is home to a variety of cultures, languages and ways of life. Increased knowledge of cultural differences allows workshop participants to better serve their clients and employees and helps promote harmony among Alaska’s citizens.
Each workshop is presented at the Center by Alaska Natives from different areas of the state who are chosen for their expertise and their varied perspectives, professions and personal histories. All workshops involve participants in active learning. Class activities may include but are not limited to: games, interviews, role play, personal reflection, video presentations, dramatic performances, tours and lectures.


Two-Day Workshops

Level 1: Cultural Awareness Workshop (CAW)
The first stage in learning to work in other cultures is becoming aware that there are real differences that matter – and that affect the way
business must be conducted. Everyone on the job may dress in suits and ties, or bunny boots and Carhartts®, but that does not mean they have the same underlying assumptions about proper behavior and values.  In this workshop, participants begin to learn about themselves and the cultural perspectives that help us all make sense of the world.  Native tradition-bearers explain how they learned to adapt to the dominant culture and help workshop participants learn to adapt similarly to Native ways. All participants receive a packet with useful information about the state and its indigenous people.

Level 2: Cultural Understanding Experience (CUE)
Becoming aware of cultural differences is a necessary first step, but many clients want to move to a deeper level of knowledge and understanding at both an intellectual and emotional level. The Cultural Understanding Experience has been designed for those who have completed a Level 1 workshop and are looking for more in-depth information.
At CUE workshops, we provide more detailed information about both the history and the cultures of Alaska Natives. We take an unblinking look at the world today through Native eyes, and consider ways that participants can become partners in the task of improving that world. We ask participants to practice some of the skills they were exposed to during the Level 1 workshops. Specific agenda items are tailored to the client’s needs. Shorter, customized classes are available on request.


Two Cultural Awareness Workshops (CAW) are offered each year at the Center, in the fall and the spring. Additional workshops can be scheduled either at the Center or at a location of the client’s choice, depending on space availability.


  • Two-day workshop (CAW or CUE): $300/person for businesses, $225/person for non-profit organizations.
  • One-day workshop (Agenda to be determined by client): $175/person for businesses; $125/person for non-profit organizations.
  • Two to four-hour workshop: $100/person


October 9th and 10th, 2018 and February 5th and 6th, 2019 at the Alaska Native Heritage Center; open enrollment; limit 35 participants.
Other dates to be arranged with clients.


To schedule a workshop, do one of the following:
Call ANHC 907-330-8000 with:

  • Names of participants
  • Credit card payment information

Call the Center’s Cultural Program Manager at 907-330-8025
to discuss:

  •   Your group’s needs
  •   Potential dates and locations
  •   Payment information
  •   Level 2 (CUE) Workshop