Alaska life, Alaska Native/Indigenous People

Alaska Native Pulse 2023

Native New Year is coming up in Anchorage! What’s going on during the week? Here is a list of events of interest to Alaska Native people and Alaskans. I enjoy going to these events to learn more about Alaska Native culture and to visit with friends and relatives. 

This is not meant to be a complete list. As with any events, dates are subject to change. I recommend going to the links provided for the most up-to-date information. Some events may have a cost.

Upcoming Events

inNATE Show ● October 7th through December 2nd, 2023 ● Middle Way Cafe Anchorage ● [FB Event Reception on Nov. 4]

Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration ● October 9, 2023, 11 am ● Moseley Sports Center on Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage

Craft Gathering ● Native Movement for a night of community and crafting ● October 11, 2023, 5-7 pm ● 2522 Arctic Blvd., Anchorage

First Alaskans Institute’s Elders & Youth Conference ● Theme: “WOOSHT GUGANÉIX – Let it be that we heal each other ● October 15-18, 2023 ● Dena’ina Center, Anchorage

AFN Basketball Tournament ● Oct. 17-20, 2023 ● Moseley Sports Center, Alaska Pacific University

10th Annual AFN Tribal Conference ● Theme: “Protecting Our Ways of Life” ● October 18, 2023 ● Egan Center, Anchorage

RAHI Reunion ● Rural Alaska Honors Institute/UAF ● October 18, 2023, 4-6 pm ● Marriot Downtown Anchorage, Anchorage [FB event]

“One With the Whale” Film Premiere ● Alaska Federation of Natives ● October 18, 2023, 7 pm ● Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage ● The showing is free and will be followed by a Q&A session with the directors and heroes of the film. AFN is proud to invite you to this exciting event. Seating is limited, so get your free tickets.

Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) Annual Convention ● Theme:  “Our Ways of Life” ● October 19-21, 2023 ● Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage

Alaska Native Customary Art Fair ● October 19-21, 2023 ● Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage

Quyana Alaska I-II ● Alaska Federation of Natives ● October 19-20, 2023, 7 p.m. ● Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage

  • Quyana I – October 19
    • Lower Yukon Drummers & Dancers
    • Kuukpikmiut Dancers
    • Qaluyaarmiut Yurartait
    • Yup’ik Rainbow Dancers
    • Ánchich’x Kwaan Dancers
  • Quyana II – October 19
    • Qasgirmiut Dancers
    • Kingikmiut Singers & Dancers of Anchorage
    • Inu-Yupiaq
    • Barrow Dancers
    • Chevak Tanqik Dancers
    • Iñugialiŋmiut Dance Group of Tikiġaq

Elizabeth Peratrovich Legal Clinic ● October 20, 2023, 10 am-1 pm ● Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage

Indigenous Northern Music Assn. Fiddle Dance ● October 19, 2023, 7 pm ● Carpenter’s Hall, 407 Denali, Anchorage

Indigenous Northern Music Assn. Fiddle Dance ● October 20, 2023, 7 pm ● Moose Lodge, 4211 Arctic Blvd., Anchorage

AFN Banquet ● Alaska Federation of Natives ● October 21, 2023, 7 pm ● Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center in Anchorage

Boarding School Healing Totem Pole and a Dena’ina/Haida Potlatch to follow ● Alaska Native Heritage Center ● October 22, 2023, 4 pm ● 8800 Heritage Center Dr, Anchorage, AK 99504 ● RSVP by October 20 to rsvp@alaskanative.net. All are welcome and invited to attend

Happy Native New Year! Love these ladies! But We’re So Happy

This is not meant to be a complete list. As with any events, dates are subject to change. I recommend going to the links provided for the most up-to-date information, and reach out to them with any questions or concerns you may have. Please note, except for the inNate Show, I am not personally affiliated with any of the events. Please comment if you have any updates/edits or if you have any other events to add. Safe travels Native New Year!

Please feel free to email me with any events that you would like me to consider adding or comment below. 

Alaska life, Alaska Native culture

New Fish Camp Barbie

My daughter, Ermelina, and I had a blast making a new Fish Camp Barbie. She created the betsegh hoolaanee (qaspeq), necklace, cuffs and headband. I made the tent, cot, barrette, fish (with real fish skin), and tłaabaas (the way my late grandma taught me). It’s actually a Disney Pocahontas doll. My husband helped with the tent construction.

We donated it to the Alaska Native Heritage Center Garden Party fundraiser.

It’s actually a Disney Pocahontas doll. We were on a tight timeline, and wanted to get a doll with brown skin. That’s the one we found. One of my goals as I share my art, photography, and writing is to make space for sharing Athabascan and Alaska Native culture, people, ways of life and language to be represented in the mainstream. While I know there’s a lot of problematic things with Barbie, creating this is a way to reach a mainstream audience and for Alaska Native people see themselves represented. 

I’m so glad we are able to give some representation to our ways of life in Alaska. This is how I grew up – being creative with what we had and making it our own. It was fun to collaborate with my family, and I’m looking forward to the next one! I love seeing creations and designs from other Alaska Native people – some with full on hide dresses and parkas.

@ayatlin

My daughter, Ermelina, and I had a blast making Fish Camp Barbie! She created the betsegh hoolaanee (qaspeq), necklace, cuffs and headband. I made the tent, cot, barrette, fish (with real fish skin), and tłaabaas (the way my late grandma taught me). It’s actually a Disney Pocahontas doll. We donated it to the Alaska Native Heritage Center Garden Party fundraiser. Enaa baasee’, Ermelina! #fishcampbarbie #nativebarbie #indigenousbarbie #nativebeader #alaskanative

♬ Barbie Girl – Lady Aqua

Links:

Alaska life

Berry Picking and Preserving

I recently was blessed to spend a day berry picking with my daughter and friend near Wasilla, Alaska, and documented the adventure. It’s a Life in A Day YouTube documentary project submission. It was a fun day of picking and putting it away for the winter. I’m grateful for time on the land and for the rich resources it provides.

Check out some true berry picking and harvesting pros on the Alaska berry pickers page on Facebook. They share and have been sharing some awesome photos, berry identification and more.

Enjoy harvesting during this berry picking season!

 

Alaska life

Keeping Hope

I have been really thinking about what’s going on with the coronavirus (COVID-19) in our world. Like many people, I have been extra vigilant of washing my hands and taking other precautions, like social distancing. Follow the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Alaska Department of Health & Social Services for information and prevention.

Last week, there was a point in time when I found myself starting to panic with the news, event cancellations and travelers, etc. I thought about my Elder parents and family/friends, and how I want to keep them safe and healthy. Thankfully, I was able to pull myself together after grounding myself by talking to my family. I reflected on some of the stories people shared about how our ancestors survived the flu pandemic. It gave me the inner strength I needed after realizing that we can get through this. We all have a role in preventing and stopping. 

I asked my friends and family to share some messages and stories of hope. I’ve seen a few people posting stories about our ancestors surviving the early 1900 flu pandemic, reflections and advice. Enaa baasee’ to those who agreed to share.  Continue reading “Keeping Hope”

Alaska life, Alaska Native/Indigenous People

Harvesting Old Man’s Beard with Pat Frank

Pat Frank (Deg Hit’an Athabascan). Photo by Angela Gonzalez

I got a chance to tag along with Pat Frank (Deg Hit’an Athabascan) from Holy Cross and Anchorage as he harvested Old Man’s Beard for the first time. People in Alaska have harvested from the lands and waters for thousands of years. More and more people are relearning harvesting plants for medicinal purposes.

Pat has been learning about traditional plants medicines and healing for quite a few years. I was fortunate to spend an afternoon with him, his wife, Linda, and a couple family friends north of Anchorage on the Park’s Highway. He was harvesting usnea, also known as Old Man’s Beard. It’s a lichen that grows on trees and shrubs. We saw them growing on spruce trees and some other trees. It really looks like an old man’s beard. Continue reading “Harvesting Old Man’s Beard with Pat Frank”