Anchorage, Alaska, January 14, 2022— The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) board and staff are pleased to announce the hire of Nikki Graham (Yup’ik/Blackfoot Indian/Dutch) as Director of Operations.
“We are so excited to welcome Nikki to ANHC as our Operations Director,” said Emily Edenshaw, ANHC President and Chief Executive Officer. “Nikki’s expertise and passion comes at an exciting time for ANHC, and she brings a solid history of organizational leadership and proven success as a values-based leader.”
As Operations Director, Graham will advance the mission and vision of ANHC by developing and overseeing operations and social enterprises, including Cultural Awareness Training, Cultural Tourism, Ch’k’iqadi Gallery, Fab Lab, Culture Boxes, and more. As a member of the ANHC Leadership Team, Graham will help operationalize Alaska Native values to ensure community impact. She will also lead business development strategies for short and long-term business goals to ensure organizational sustainability. Graham will also be responsible for developing company policies and procedures, Human Resources, employee relationships, and staff development.
“ANHC is a vibrant, special place, and adding Nikki to the senior leadership team will help propel the mission to new heights as we continue to grow and thrive. I’m incredibly proud of our young Alaska Native leaders, like Nikki, and their commitment to respectful leadership and our Alaska Native cultures,” said Tabetha Toloff, ANHC Board Chair.
Originally from Homer, Alaska, Graham is a lifelong Alaskan, a Cook Inlet Region Incorporated (CIRI) shareholder, and is enrolled in the Ninilchik Village Tribe. Graham earned an associate degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles, California, and is finishing her Master of Business Administration from Alaska Pacific University (APU). She has also completed the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program (ANELP) at APU. As a Society of Human Resources Certified Professional, Graham has a background in benefits, employee relations, recruitment, HR management, training, and development. Most recently, she was the Senior Director of Alaska’s People for Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC), where she served as a strategic partner who built partnerships in the community to connect people to resources and development opportunities. Outside of work and pursuing higher education, Graham is a past board member of the Alaska Native Professional Association (ANPA) and the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation Investment Council. Graham has also served as the Indigenous Chef for the First Alaskans Institute Smokehouse Gala for the past several years.
“I am honored to join the staff at the Alaska Native Heritage Center and to support such an important mission,” said Nikki Graham, ANHC Operations Director. “In the current landscape, preservation of cultural knowledge, and the celebration of Our unique traditions, language, and art are paramount. I am looking forward to working in partnership with the ANHC team and across our community to ensure our programs thrive.”
About the Alaska Native Heritage Center
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a nonprofit organization that preserves and strengthens the traditions, languages and art of Alaska’s Native People through statewide collaboration, celebration and education. It is located at 8800 Heritage Center Drive in northeast Anchorage, just off Muldoon Road North near Bartlett High School. For more information about other events and programs, visit www.alaskanative.net.