For Tatiana Ticknor, who is Tlingit, Dena’ina, and Deg Xinag Athabascan, the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) has been a second home for as long as she can remember. Her mother, Jean Sam, spearheaded the development of ANHC’s High School Program when the Center first opened its doors 21 years ago.
“I used to come here all the time with my mom when I was around one year old–my son’s age now. I’ve been coming here ever since.” – Tatiana
Tatiana began her first official summer as an ANHC intern at age 15 as a site host and presented to tourists on Native cultures. When she returned for her second summer, Tatiana began practicing Iñupiaq, Yup’ik, and Suqpiaq forms of dance, and she has been dancing ever since.
“Through dancing, I learned how connected all of our cultures are, between the Alaska Native groups and beyond. We can all connect through dancing.” Along with dancing, Tatiana also attributes her public speaking skills and a true sense of who she is and where she comes from to her time spent learning about herself and others at the ANHC. From being named a 2015 Champion for Change, to speaking on a panel with President Obama in 2017, Tatiana has been recognized far and wide for her intelligence, academic achievement, and commitment to culture. But in the fall of 2020, Tatiana chose to return to ANHC where it all began!
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