Native Heritage, Anchorage
This is the place to learn more about Alaska Native culture is you can't get to the "bush". On about 30 acres of land in NE Anchorage, the center include a large main building with shopping, a theater, and artisans in residence working on their own pieces. Next to the main building is a cafe and then a trail leading to the Village Circle around a man-made lake. The Village Circle has 5 small sites, each representing the five main tribes of Alaska with people at each site to talk about and show examples of their culture and lifestyle.
The center opened in 1997 and has been a huge success. It is open year round and gets very busy during the summer. During the winter they have a great program each Saturday where you can learn dances and work with the native artists.
Youth 7-16 $6.96
Kids 6 and under are free.
There is a free trolley bus from downtown Anchorage to this place, although once you get your bearings around downtown Anchorage it hardly seems worth it as it’s only a short walk from the train station. Good excuse taking the trolley, saving your legs though and chatting to the trolley driver.
Every souvenir shop seems to sell ULU knives in, which is a traditional Eskimo cutting tool. However, at least at this outlet they give you a quick demonstration on how to use the tool and actually make them on the premise. I was wondering around and remembered that I may already have an ULU at home without even knowing what it was. I had a look when I got home but have yet to find it in one of the kitchen drawers.
It's not the most exciting of places, to be fair, but if you are at a loose end at least the trolley ride is a bit of a laugh and is free.
If your Native American or Alaskan, activity like this bring so much joy and awareness of who you are in the world of computers and electronics. And for Non-Native Americans it still give you that hope of coming back to the simple way of life of fellowship and slowing down to stop and smell the roses so to speak. Some people find themselve in different place at different times, I found myself here...but the journey don't stop here.
The Captain Cook Monument is one of the most famous landmarks in Anchorage located at Resolution Park. The observation deck next to the monument has a fantastic view of the Knik Arm and Mt Susitna 'The Sleeping Lady'. On a clear day, you can even see the Talkeetna Range and the Alaska Range, and perhaps even Mt McKinley and Mt Foraker!
History to be found upstairs-Art on the ground floor. Make time for the upstairs history as it is the best part.
I learned that Russia sold Alaska to the USA because they were scared of Great Britain.
Boy did they goof !
For me this center provided so much useful and educating information of Alaska Native's past and present. It is a fascinating center for all visitors who want to learn and appreciate the life of the orginal Alaskans.
There are different kind of exhibitions and the schedule of happenings varies, so take a look at their web pages before you go: www.alaskanative.net so you can plan your visit before you go.
Today Alaska Natives represent approximately 16 percent of Alaska's residents, and are a significant segment of the population in over 200 rural villages and communities. Many Alaska Natives have retained their customs, language, hunting and fishing practices and ways of living since "the creation times."
Alaska's Native people are divided into eleven distinct cultures, speaking twenty different languages.
Learn about the 5 native groups that inhabit Alaska
Observe their natural dwellings to survive extreme cold temperatures
Learn about their culture, traditions and crafts