Alaska Native woman holds traditionally woven basket in hands.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center Appoints Five New Directors to the Board

The Alaska Native Heritage Center Appoints Five New Directors to the Board

Anchorage, Alaska, April 12, 2022— The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) Board is honored to announce the election of five new Board of Directors:

Cynthia Berns (Sugpiaq) Vice President of Community and External Affairs, Old Harbor Native Corporation;

Alex Cleghorn (Sugpiaq), Legal and Policy Director, Alaska Native Justice Center

Patuk Glenn (Iñupiaq), Executive Director, Arctic Slope Community Foundation

Benjamin Mallott (Tlingit & Athabascan), Vice President, Alaska Federation of Natives

Jenifer Nelson (Unangax̂), Sr. Manager of Corporate Communications and Community Engagement (Rural Affairs), GCI.

Each new Board of Director will serve a three-year term to advance the mission of ANHC to preserve and strengthen the traditions, languages, and art of Alaska’s Native People through statewide collaboration, celebration, and education.

“On behalf of the ANHC Board of Directors, I want to welcome the new board members into our family,” said Tabetha Toloff (Athabascan), ANHC Board Chair. “They are all incredible Alaska Native leaders with diverse experiences and their guidance will help shape the future of our heritage center.”

The Directors were selected through a competitive application process for their demonstrated ability, years of experience, and dedication to the Alaska Native community. As a result of these new appointments, ANHC’s board consists of 14 Directors, representing every area and cultural group of our state.

“Our new Board members bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion for serving the Alaska Native community,” said Emily Edenshaw (Yup’ik/Iñupiaq), ANHC President and CEO. “The ANHC is staff is very excited to work with our growing Board to help us take our work to the next level to ensure ANHC continues to serve as the only statewide living cultural center for all Alaska Native peoples.”

The new Directors join the organization at an exciting time, as ANHC was a recipient of both awards and grants last year, including being named one of 20 Cultural Treasures in the United States by the Ford Foundation as well as a very generous Mackenzie Scott Foundation donation. This year also marks the beginning of a new, innovative five-year strategic plan.

In terms of duties, each Director will also be asked to join one of ANHC’s working committees, including Executive, Governance, Development, Program Policy, Audit & Finance, and Diversity & Inclusion. Additionally, Directors will work closely with ANHC staff to ensure organizational sustainability through a myriad of programming and projects, including ANHC’s award-winning Summer Internship Program and a robust Capital Campaign set to launch in 2022.

To learn more about ANHC, the 2022 Capital Campaign, or ANHC’s statewide work, please visit www.alaskanative.net.

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.