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 Native/Indigenous People, Athabascan in the Spotlight

Moosehide Tanning with Jessica Denny

Jessica Denny. Photo by Angela Wade

I heard about a moosehide tanning camp in the Ahtna region in September. Jessica “Nanenełnaan” Denny (Ahtna) hosted a moosehide tanning camp with about 13 people in September. I had to find out more about it, so I reached out to Jessica. I admire how Jessica and her network are living and loving our ways of life.

Jessica is the owner of Alaska Leadership Group, a small for-profit organization that creates community and space for sharing traditional knowledge. Check out the interview with Jessica where she shares about how the camp came to be, her influences like Grandma Lena Charlie, how much learning and healing happened at the camp, future plans and much more!

It was amazing to see how everyone came together to either support the camp or attending. They built a strong cohort who plan to return next year. Jessica said, “We are all co-creators of this.” Grandma Lena Charlie told them, ‘If I am still here – I want you to come back.’

2021 Moosehide Tanning Camp. Photo by Angela Wade

Jessica gave some great advice to those who may be considering starting a moosehide tanning camp. She recommends reaching out to see who might be available in your community to teach and share. Ask about how moosehide tanning was practiced in your area. Each community has access to resources. Get a general understanding of tanning a hide and build a foundation. She says there are lots of resources online.

*Cohort – BUILDING A COMMUNITY*

Scraping moosehide. Photo by Deenaalee Chase-Hodgdon
Scraping moosehide. Photos by Deenaalee Chase-Hodgdon
Scraping moosehide. Photo by Deenaalee Chase-Hodgdon

Enaa baasee’ Jessica for sharing about the moosehide tanning camp and building a community. It is inspiring to see community doers stepping up to keep our cultures and traditions alive. I see it is much more than just tanning a hide. I’m sure this rich experience will carry the cohort far into the future in more ways than one. 

Follow Alaska Leadership Group for updates and upcoming events at: https://www.facebook.com/alaskaleadership

Alaska Native/Indigenous People

Paula Taylor – Grounded in Faith

Paula Taylor

A friend reached out to me and suggested I feature Paula Taylor (Yup’ik/Iñupiaq) on the Athabascan Woman Blog. Paula’s family is from Naknek in the Bristol Bay region and Unalakleet. She grew up fishing every summer. She’s a wife, mom of two, storyteller, two-time cancer survivor and more. I got a chance to talk with her recently. 

Listen to her incredible story of survival and how she persevered. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme over 30 years ago. She credits diet, working, attitude, keeping her goals, a strong support system and especially her faith in God to her survival. She got her degree in exercise science and wellness.

“I just had to hold it together and I feel like my faith really grounded me. My faith is really why I’m here.” – Paula Taylor

“Food I think is one of the most crucial things in our life. We are what we eat.” – Paula Taylor

I admire her strong will to live and appreciate the wisdom she shared on her journey. She’s retired now. She and her husband are proud of their children. Enaa baasee’ to Paula for graciously sharing her courageous story and what helped her to survive.

Paula and her family are very active.
Photos courtesy of Paula Taylor
Alaska Native culture

Reflections in Time of Pandemic

How are you doing? I find myself asking and answering that question in a deeper way now. Some of my old friends have even called out of the blue to check how things are going. It’s been a month of working at and staying home for me. I’ve had ups and downs, but have enjoyed connecting with folks virtually.

I see people reaching out to our Elders to check in on them and asking them about hard times. Some share how hard times are here – what their Elders shared with them about hard times coming. Continue reading “Reflections in Time of Pandemic”