The award recognizes ANHC’s impact in promoting an understanding, respect and appreciation of Alaska Native cultures
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In recognition of its commitment to sustaining Alaska Native cultures, the Alaska Native Heritage Center is awarded the Museum Institutional Excellence Award as part of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums’ 2023 International Guardians of Culture and Lifeways Awards.
ATALM, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Indigenous initiatives, established the Guardian Awards in 2007 to celebrate and acknowledge the Native individuals and organizations whose contributions enhance the strength and cultural independence of Native Nations. There are seven award categories: Lifetime Achievement, Leadership, Honored One, Tribal Leader, Outstanding Project, Archives Institutional Excellence, Library Institutional Excellence, Language Program Institutional Excellence, and Museum Institutional Excellence.
The Museum Institutional Excellence Award acknowledges Indigenous museums and cultural centers that exhibit an exceptional dedication to upholding their cultural heritage. Through its innovative exhibits, engaging programs, and immersive experiences, ANHC is recognized with this award for its commitment to safeguarding and commemorating all Alaska Native communities, cultures, and ways of life. These efforts allow Alaska Native peoples to deeply connect with their culture and provide visitors from across Alaska and the world with a profound understanding of the ancestral traditions and continued practices of Alaska Native peoples.
“This award is a testament of ANHC’s hard work, dedication, and excellence guided by our peoples and values. I am so proud of the entire ANHC team,” said Alex Cleghorn (Sugpiaq), ANHC Board Chair. “On behalf of the ANHC Board of Directors and Staff, it is a profound honor to receive this award, and this recognition underscores our enduring commitment to honoring and sharing our vibrant Alaska Native cultures for generations to come.”
Distinguished by its inclusiveness of all Alaska Native cultures and its engagement with the community, ANHC’s partnerships with local tribes and Elders allows ANHC to provide genuine experiences for all. Additionally, ANHC’s focus on educational outreach and cultural ventures has not only enhanced experiences at ANHC but has also played a pivotal role in elevating and reviving endangered Alaska Native practices and traditions.
“We strive to ensure the authenticity of our exhibits, programs and initiatives so we can create meaningful connections with our community and unmatched experiences for our visitors,” said Emily Edenshaw, president and CEO of ANHC. “We are humbled by this recognition and are inspired to continue our work in cultural preservation and education.”
The award will be formally presented to ANHC on Wednesday, October 25 during the 2023 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums, where 1,250 conference attendees are expected. To learn more about ANHC, visit www.alaskanative.net.