The Alaska Native Heritage Center believes that providing programming for and empowering youth is an important investment in the future generations who will steward and promote Alaska Native culture and tradition. Since opening its doors in 1999, ANHC has offered youth-centered programming from pre-K through post-secondary school. ANHC continues to explore new and exciting ways to engage and inspire youth year-round. Some of our current programs include:
Our School Visits introduce Alaska Native cultures and traditions through presentations, activities, and film for students during school site visits. Our staff can customize these visits to include an introduction to Alaska Native cultures, village site tours, educational films, dancing and drumming, storytelling, string stories, Native games, and art projects.
Cultural Tourism Summer Internship
Our Cultural Tourism Summer Internship Program provides meaningful employment to Alaska Native youth while connecting them to their cultural heritage. Through the program, interns earn opportunities to learn from Master Artists, participate in subsistence activities, and gain valuable communication and public speaking skills as tour guide leads.
Our Culture Boxes are grounded in the mission and vision that all people deserve access to their culture, no matter where they are. We provide at-home Culture Boxes to youth across the country to provide materials and support for creativity and connection to Alaska’s Indigenous cultures and stories through culturally relevant, age-appropriate activities.
Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (ILEAD)
Funded by the Administrative of Native Americans, our ILEAD program provides youth ages 14-24 with the tools and pathway to become leaders in their community. The Youth Advisory Committee works with staff members to plan activities, design logistics for events, and host cultural community gatherings. ILEAD participants have access to Master Artist classes and paid apprenticeships, paid hosting opportunities, educational trips, and subsistence activities.
U.S. Department of Education Demonstration Grant for Indian Children and Youth Program Accessing Choices in Education (DEMO ACE)
Through Tiamuna, which means “Future” in Inupiaq, ANHC will coordinate a campaign of outreach to Anchorage’s AN/AI Students and their families. ANHC will share information about existing options for support, opportunities for material assistance and support required to access them, and information about availability and expansion of these options to more fully meet the needs of Alaska Native and Indigenous youth. This project is based in ANHC’s conviction that the Alaska Native and American Indian students are diverse and complex, in a flourishing community, whose educational needs are equally varied. These youth benefit from and deserve options that reflect their cultures, identities, and potential.
Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund (GEERF)
This project supports the health and well-being of the Alaska Native Cultural Charter School student body and faculty through the development and creation of culturally relevant personal protective equipment (PPE). It incorporates the use of traditional Alaska Native art and design and traditions with modern technology.
Healing & The Arts
Unguwat: Resilience and Connection
Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Native Connections grant, our Unguwat: Resilience and Connection program utilizes culturally reflective interventions to prevent suicide and reduce the impact of mental health and substance use disorders amongst Alaska Native and American Indian youth living in Anchorage.
Alaska Native Outreach and relations in the Arts (ANORA)
We recognizes the importance of the arts to cultural and spiritual wellness. Our ANORA program directly supports individual artists and builds capacity within Alaska Native artist communities across the state.
Through Utuqqanaatmiñ, an Inupiat word meaning “from our elders,” ANHC is deepening an existing partnership with the Alaska Art Alliance. The Alaska Art Alliance is an Alaska Native-led cultural nonprofit whose mission is to support adults who struggle with addiction, homelessness, and reentry from incarceration. The Alliance provides them a place to work and reconnect with their authentic selves through arts and culture. Artists have firsthand experience with the power of healing through the creative process of making art that is culturally relevant and draws from Native traditions.