By Buddy Blouin
The indigenous people living throughout North America and elsewhere have many rich histories, cultures, and traditions. These are too often forgotten and overlooked here in the United States, but thankfully, places such as the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) are working hard to preserve the culture of these groups and keep their stories alive for generations to come. Here, you’ll find a variety of events and educational efforts that help bolster the community. Some examples include Indigenous Awareness Workshops, Mellon Master Artist Workshops, the WAASK Fab Lab, various youth programs, and more. There are also various resources available in-person and online that help teach cultural knowledge to others, including traditional Native territories, history, languages, and how-to videos. Plan your visit to discover a new world.

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How To Get to Alaska Native Heritage Center

Accessing the ANHC is easy. Located at 8800 Heritage Center Dr., Anchorage, AK, the center is only minutes away from the Tikahtnu Commons and offers a shuttle service from downtown. Drivers will need to take the North Muldoon Road exit, continuing to drive east on Tudor Road, which will ultimately become Muldoon Road. From here, drive over Glenn Highway, then take the first right, where you'll be able to see an Alaska Native Heritage Center sign right before the parking lot. JBER Commissary is only around 2 miles away from ANHC, making this a great place for military personnel and their families to enjoy. The proximity to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson makes the center a popular destination for both tourists and military personnel to visit year-round.

Information About the Center

The ANHC generally runs during two seasons: summer and winter. The summer season starts differently every year but usually runs from some time in May until September. Alaska Native Heritage Center hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. during the summer and Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. during the winter. Select dates may be closed, particularly during the holiday season. Visiting the ANHC isn’t complete without a souvenir. This is why it’s critical that you visit the Ch’k’iqadi Gallery. “Ch’k’iqadi” is a Dena’ina Athabascan word that translates to “the things we buy,” providing guests with the opportunity to purchase a variety of items from local Alaska Native artisans to take home as keepsakes from their trip. The Gallery is open from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the winter and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the summer. Be on the lookout for the addition of the D’eshchin Café. The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, AK, is committed to preserving the legacy of the Indigenous peoples that came before us and the culture they carry on to this day. ANHC is a great place to learn about Alaska Natives and the different cultures that make each group unique.

Is the Alaska Native Heritage Center Free for Alaska Natives?

No, Alaskan Natives will still have to pay to access the Alaska Native Heritage Center during the summer months, though as an Alaskan Native, you will receive a discounted rate. Admission is free during the winter months to all who visit ANHC. Here are the summer rates of admission:
  • Adults $29 (Ages 18 to 64).
  • Seniors $25 (Ages 65+).
  • Children $19 (Ages 4 to 17).
  • Children ages 3 and under are FREE.
  • Alaska Resident Adult $14.
  • Alaska Resident Child $12.
You can purchase your tickets at the admissions office upon arrival to gain access to the ANHC. Free admission during the winter months is for self-guided tours only. Private tours may require extra costs and scheduling, as will workshops for up to 20 people. Military discounts are also available with a valid ID, providing rates comparable to the Alaskan Resident rates.

Plan Your Visit to the Alaska Native Heritage Center Today

Art, exhibits, dances, stories, and more are all waiting for you at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. With over 10,000 years of history, the ANHC does a great job of telling stories often pushed aside through exploring and preserving the important cultural aspects of the Natives that call Alaska home. Plan your visit to learn more about these amazing groups or visit one of their many online resources. You can even host an event of your own or attend one of the many held year-round that add life and culture to the community as a whole.

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Image: Alaska.org



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