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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 1, 2004 - Issue 112


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Alaska Native Heritage Center will Celebrate Opening Day for Summer Season on Mother's Day


(Anchorage, AK) - The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) will celebrate its Opening Day for the summer season on Mother's Day, May 9, 2004. To recognize the support the local community has given the Center and to celebrate Mother's Day, ANHC has dropped admission rates for this celebration. Mothers will be admitted free and everyone else pays only $1. Opening Day at ANHC also marks the beginning of the summer season with its new hours, 9am to 6pm daily. The theme for summer 2004 will be, "Living from the Land and Sea".

"Opening Day is our way of thanking the local community for its overwhelming support for our winter programs", stated Jonathon Ross, President and CEO. "We are also very excited about the plans for our sixth year of summer programming and our new theme. We will be offering cultural and educational activities this summer that will inspire Alaskans and visitors from around the world."

Opening Day will feature many activities for families, including Native games, storytelling and arts and crafts. There will be performances by the King Island Singers and Dancers of Anchorage, Miracle Drummers and Dancers, John Anderson, Pilot Bread Band and the Alaska Native Heritage Center's Dance Group.

The late Paul Tiulana founded the King Island Dancers and Singers in the 1970's to preserve the traditional values and rich heritage of the King Island people. The Bureau of Indian Affairs relocated the King Island people to Nome in the 1960's and Tiulana was dedicated to keeping their rich traditions alive. Most of the dance equipment and dance masks the group uses today were hand made by Paul and his son, Eugene. The King Island Dancers and Singers have performed all over Alaska and the world.

Miracle Drummers and Dancers are tradition bearers from the Yup'ik culture and have been performing together since 1994. Members of this group are artists who created much of the dancing accoutrements they use while performing. The group is dedicated to promoting alcohol and drug free communities.

John Anderson, Eyak and Mexican, is a Native guitar picker who offers a wide variety of music from the 50's and 60's. He was deeply influenced by the music of Chet Atkins and spent 7 months playing with Atkins in Nashville, TN. Anderson has performed at the Governor's mansion in Nashville, Cordova Arts and Pageants, Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau, Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum and the Alaska Airman's Association Banquet.

The Pilot Bread Band is a newly formed group from the villages of Kipnuk, Toksook Bay, Hooper Bay & Golovin. Members of the band are Inupiaq & Yup'ik Eskimos. They choose the name Pilot Bread because it is a staple food for all the cultures of Alaska.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center Dance Group was created in the fall of 2001 as part of the ANHC's After-School Program for Alaska Native high school students. The initial vision was to offer a performance component to the students, teaching them traditional Native dance (Yup'ik Eskimo dancing). The group has studied with master dance instructors from throughout the state, expanding its performance repertoire to include Tsimshian, Inupiaq and Aleut singing and dancing.

The 2004 theme, "Living from the Land and Sea", will focus on the ability of Alaska's first people to sustain themselves from resources available to them within the diverse regions of the state before Euro-American contact and how the introduction of new technology and beliefs about these resources has impacted the Native way of life.

ANHC Memberships will be discounted during the month of May. New and renewing members can purchase annual memberships at 10% off the regular price. Members receive benefits including free admission to ANHC, discounts on non-consignment items at ANHC Heritage Gifts, discounts on classes and free guest passes. Memberships will be available on Opening Day or by calling 330-8000. More information about the various types of membership can be found at

Visitors can experience the five recreated village sites that illustrate the traditional structures in a typical village before or shortly after contact with non-Native cultures. Knowledgeable tour guides will share the history, culture and traditions of each site.


The Alaska Native Heritage Center is an independent, nonprofit that is open year-round as a gathering place to celebrate, perpetuate and share Alaska Native cultures; it is a place for all people. 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

Anchorage, AK Map

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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