AHS Blog

Cultural Heritage Tourism National Survey

Date Posted: November 9, 2021       Categories: News

Have you participated in heritage tours and activities?

The Educational Travel Consortium, Hargrove International, and the research firm, Young Strategies, is conducting a national survey to establish a detailed profile of heritage visitors and to gain a better understanding of the cultural heritage tourism market (post COVID-19). From this research, they hope to obtain information regarding travel activities, travel frequency, and motivations for travel – data to better inform the development of museums, programs, and other destination experiences.

According to the National Trust, cultural heritage travel is “traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present. It includes historic, cultural and natural resources.”

If you have participated in heritage tours and activities, please click on the link below to take a brief survey about your travel planning and preferences and most recent travel experience. Complete the survey and register to WIN a $100 VISA gift card.

The survey is simple and will take about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your valuable time and input!

Click here to begin survey:

For more information about the research project or the survey, contact Carole Summers Morris at carole@meritage-consulting.com

ANCSA@50 Film Series

Date Posted: November 9, 2021       Categories: News


From the earliest days of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), cameras were rolling, capturing
a high-stakes drama that changed Alaska forever. The Alaska Native Media Group (ANMG) felt these were moments in time that needed to be shared on the 50th anniversary of the settlement, and invited other organizations to help them find films and video—new and old—that best tell the story of ANCSA.

With support from the Alaska Native Village Corporation Association (ANVCA), several organizations teamed up with ANMG, including KTOO, the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AMIPA), and the UAA/APU Consortium Library, to produce, ANCSA@50: The Journey Continues, a series of programs to be aired over seven weeks, starting on Thursday, November 4 through Thursday, December 16, 2021 culminating in a marathon re-broadcast on the actual date of the anniversary— Saturday, December 18, 2021. See the schedule below.

The series will air on the statewide KTOO 360TV channel on broadcast, cable, streaming services and satellite television statewide. The service is broadcast over-the-air on digital TV channels, including KAKM 7.3 in Anchorage, KUAC 9.9 in Fairbanks, KYUK 15.3 in Bethel and KTOO 3.3 in Juneau. Home viewers with basic cable service see KTOO 360TV in 38 markets, mostly on channel 15. The channel is also on Dish Network and AT&T’s DirecTV and on a full-time channel on the
transmitters of the state’s rural television network, ARCS. You can also stream KTOO 360TV online at ktoo.org/360tv.

For a list of channel information, please visit:

For additional information about the series, please contact:
Kevin Tripp, AMIPA


NOV. 4, 8:00–10:00 PM
“The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act” (1986)
A 5-part series, hosted by Nellie Moore, that outlines the history of ANCSA, the challenges of implementing the legislation, early impacts, and an overview of future challenges.

NOV. 11, 8:00–10:00 PM
“The Missing Chapter: Women Behind the Act” (2011)
Panel discussion: Nellie Moore, moderator, with Brenda Itta, Marlene Johnson, and Frances Degnan, tell of the important role women played in ANCSA.

NOV. 18, 8:00–10:00 PM
“The Early Days – Doyon, Limited” (2021)
Doyon, Limited, an ANCSA regional corporation, produced a history video to highlight the significant achievements and struggles leadership faced as they fought for Alaska Native land claims and the formation of Doyon as the Native regional corporation for Interior Alaska. Athaspascan leaders Emil Notti, Tim Wallis, Patrick Frank, Jules Wright, Melvin Charley, Georgianna Lincoln, Mike Harper, Sam Demientieff, and others share the importance of land, subsistence, early corporate investments, and the continuous process of learning.

“ANCSA: Diversity of Village Corporations” (2018)
Panel discussion: Hallie Bissett, moderator, with Gerad Godfrey, Afognak Corporation; Nathan McGowan, St. George Corporation; and Jeane Breinig, Kavilco, Inc., discuss how each corporation has its own unique story to tell of operations, investments, and relationship with shareholders.

NOV. 25, 8:00–10:00 PM
“A Matter of Trust” (1984)
Oscar Kawagley and other Yupik leaders express their concern about how ANCSA will impact their way of life, and whether the federal government can be trusted to hold up their end of the bargain.

“Thoughts on ‘A Matter of Trust’” (2021)
Panel discussion: Hallie Bissett, moderator, with Sam Kito II, former AFN President; John Shively, former NANA executive; Nathan McGowan, CEO St. George Corporation; and Melissa Kookesh, CEO of Kootznoowoo, Inc., reflect on the concerns expressed by the Yupik leaders, how the issues were addressed, and the challenges still to come.

DEC. 2, 8:00–10:00 PM
“Ten Years of ANCSA: Frank Berry Looks Back” (1982)
Frank Berry, President of the Alaska Native Foundation, reflects on ANCSA following the 1981 AFN Convention, which marked the tenth anniversary of ANCSA. Includes excerpts from several speeches made at AFN, by: Frank Ferguson, Gov. Jay Hammond, Lloyd Meads (delivering a speech on behalf of Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson), Emil Notti, Willie Hensley, William “Spud” Williams, Sen. Ted Stevens, and Rep. Don Young. Program ends with Berry in conversation with a group of men and women, in Nome. (Appears to be a draft form of a program that may never have been completed, or perhaps is otherwise “lost” at this point; title not original).

“Alaska Native Corporations in Context: Advancing Alaska Natives and Communities” (2021)
Mike Sfraga, Director of the Wilson Center, a non-partisan policy forum, and co-host Kim Reitmeier, ANCSA Regional Association, talk with Nathan McGowan, CEO of St. George Corporation; Jaeleen Kookesh, Secretary of Sealaska Corporation; and Jason Metrokin, CEO of Bristol Bay Native Corporation, on how the corporations serve their shareholders today.

DEC. 9, 8:00–10:00 PM
“ANCSA Moments from the Archives” (1968-2001)
Historic film & video documenting ANCSA from the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AMIPA). Includes film from a US Senate committee hearing on land claims in Anchorage, and other recently discovered footage.

DEC. 16, 8:00–10:00 PM
“ANCSA: Caught in the Act – The Struggle” (1987)
An Alaska Native Foundation production with Diane Benson talking of the struggles of the Alaska Natives in the fight for ownership of their traditional land.

“Thoughts on ‘The Struggle’” (2021)
Diane Benson and Alice Glenn in conversation.

“Paddle Hard: ANCSA, Unity, and the Future” (2021)
Willie Hensley addresses the 2021 Youth and Elders Conference.

DEC. 18, (times TBA)
A re-broadcast of ANCSA@50: The Journey Continues
On the occasion of the December 18, 2021, 50th anniversary of ANCSA, a marathon of all of the ANCSA@50: The Journey Continues programming presented from Nov. 4 through Dec. 16.

Food Life History of the North Workshop

Date Posted: October 23, 2021       Categories: News

A 2-day workshop on “Food Life History of the North” is being held online on October 27, 2021 (3:00- 10:00pm, Alaska Time) and October 28, 2021 (3:00-8:00pm Alaska Time).

This is the second workshop organized as a part of a project at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, Japan titled: “Traditional Food Preservation and Cache Using Freezing Environment –Transformation and Heritage of Food Life History of the North Under the Global Environmental Shift.”

The cold storage practice (underground cache and pits) is closely related to food security, food sovereignty, culture, and health in communities in the Beringia region. The project aims to: document the traditional use of cold storage, which has been greatly affected by global-scale environmental changes; address the current issues community members are facing; and collaborate with the communities in co-production and sharing of knowledge.

The workshop consists of a panel discussion (day 1), three thematic sessions (day 1-2), and one plenary discussion (day 2). In the panel discussion, researchers of different academic and personal backgrounds share their experiences regarding conducting research in northern communities, and how to ensure local values and sharing of knowledge are included. Preliminary results from this year’s field studies will be reported in the respective Siberia and Alaska sessions. The plenary discussion expects to augment ideas and information of the two-day presentations, and shape future needs for research on cold storage practices.

For more information, a detailed schedule, and to register for the Zoom link, go to:  https://www.chikyu.ac.jp/rihn_e/events/2021/1028-29.html

For more information, contact Yoko Kugo, ykugo@alaska.edu

2021 Alaska Historical Society Awards

Date Posted: October 18, 2021       Categories: News

Alaska Historical Society Recognizes Ten Alaskans and Organizations for Outstanding Contributions to the Promotion of Alaska History

The Alaska Historical Society has presented ten awards to Alaskans and Alaska organizations to recognize their outstanding contributions to the study of Alaska history. The awards were presented October 15, 2021 during the Annual Business Meeting held during the final weekend of the Society’s six-day annual virtual conference.

The awards include:

Evangeline Atwood Award for Excellence – given to an individual for significant long-term contributions to Alaska history. Joan Skilbred of Fairbanks was recognized for “decades of extraordinary energy and prodigious research skills toward uncovering and disseminating Alaska history.” Her topics have included the significance of logging in early Fairbanks, contributions of pioneer women and early African-American gold miners in Interior Alaska.

Elva R. Scott Local Historical Society Award – recognizes an historical society or museum for its programs, publications or a significant recent accomplishment. Two organizations received this year’s award: the Cook Inlet Historical Society and the Anchorage Museum. They coordinated the production of eight on-line lectures during Covid restrictions when most in-person events were cancelled. One program honored the centennial of Anchorage’s first classical music concert (recreated by Anchorage Festival of Music and available here) and another proposed a resolution to the infamous unsolved death of Anchorage’s first police chief, John Sturgus. Rebecca Pottebaum at the Museum and Bruce Parham with the Society received special recognition.

Esther Billman Award – given to a society, museum, government agency or organization contributing to the preservation and understanding of Alaska history during the past year. This year’s winner is the Gastineau Channel Historical Society of Juneau for its excellent newsletter, Gastineau Heritage News. This year the society compiled a remarkable and comprehensive history of Juneau-Douglas breweries, tracking brewing to the 1700s when Russians introduced liquor to the Aleutian Islands, summarized the ever-changing liquor laws and public sentiment, and introduced the thriving craft brewing industry. Newsletter editor Laury Scandling and President Gary Gillette are recognized for outstanding work.

Contributions to Alaska History Award – recognizes individuals or groups for projects, publications and other efforts that have significantly promoted and added to understanding Alaska history. Three awards were made this year: Irene Sparks Rowan of Anchorage for her work to preserve and share the history of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act; Alaska journalist and author Dermot Cole of Fairbanks is recognized for his commitment to journalism to which he brings a deep historical perspective, his contributions to Alaska history through publication of six books and his courage to ask tough questions of public figures; and J. Pennelope Goforth of Anchorage is recognized for many years as a researcher and writer and for her impassioned advocacy for Alaska history, especially Alaska’s maritime history which she has been researching at least since the 1980s.

The Society annually gives Student and Beginning Professional Travel Scholarship Awards to help individuals attend and participate in the Alaska Historical Society/Museums Alaska annual meetings and conference. The Society’s Board of Directors recently voted to rename this the Terrence M. Cole Student and Beginning Professional Travel Scholarship Awards, to recognize the contributions of the late UAF Professor Terrence Cole. This year’s recipient is Lauren Peters, a doctoral student in Native American Studies at the University of California Davis. Lauren presented at the Society’s conference this year on “Sophia’s Return,” about a girl from St. Paul Island who was orphaned and sent in 1895 to the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania where she died. This past summer, Sophia’s remains were returned to St. Paul Island.

The editorial advisory board members of the Society’s journal, Alaska History, make an award for the best article that appeared in the last volume of the journal. Former Alaskans Morgan and Jeanie Sherwood endowed this award and the recipient receives $500. This year’s Award goes to Robert L. Spude for his article “Fairbanks Assayer Gustave Eugene Beraud and 88 Tons of Gold, with Comments on the Assayers in the Alaska-Yukon Goldfields, 1898-1920” in a 2020 edition of the journal.

The President’s Award/Beaver Log – presented by the Society president to an individual for outstanding contributions. This year’s award goes to David Ramseur of Anchorage for editing, expanding and improving Alaska History News, the Society’s quarterly newsletter, and for helping with the organization’s advocacy efforts.

Cook Inlet Historical Society Panel Discussion: Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971

Date Posted: October 18, 2021       Categories: News

AFN Delegation, 1970. Courtesy of Cook Inlet Historical Society and Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.

COOK INLET HISTORICAL SOCIETY LECTURE: A panel discussion commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).

WHEN: Thursday, October 21, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Online via Crowdcast. Free; advance registration is required.

Use this link to sign up:
(the same link can be used to review the recorded event after the program conclusion)

You can also sign up through the Anchorage Museum at:

Fifty years ago, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) marked a shift in the Congressional approach to federal policy for Indigenous communities. The landmark passage of ANCSA created visionary for-profit corporations tasked with promoting the social, cultural, and economic advancement of their Alaska Native people and communities in perpetuity.

Moderated by Bill Schneider, president of the Alaska Historical Society and Emeritus Professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, panelists Rhonda McBride, Joaqlin Estus and Jon Butzke, award-winning journalists who have reported extensively on Alaska Native issues and ANCSA, will discuss ANCSA’s past, present and future legacy and their work reporting on it.


Rhonda McBride‘s passion for covering rural Alaska and Alaska Native issues began in 1988 at Bethel’s public radio and TV station, KYUK, where she was mentored by pioneering Yup’ik language broadcasters. Her work at KYUK sparked an interest in tracking the impacts of ANCSA in the region, a fascination that continues today, after more than 30 years. Most recently she hosted “Frontiers,” a TV show, which brought the faces, places and spirit of Alaska into living rooms across the state every Sunday for nearly five years. Currently, she is an arts and culture producer and talk-show host for Juneau’s public radio station, KTOO.

Joaqlin Estus is a staff reporter for Indian Country Today. Previously, she worked as the news director at KBNA 90.3 FM, an Anchorage-based radio station owned and operated by Alaska Natives. She has worked as a reporter at radio stations in Alaska and with Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul. As a USC Annenberg Fellowship National Health Journalism Fellow and Dennis Hunt grant recipient, she produced a radio series on the effects of the lack of running water and flush toilets on the health of thousands of Alaska Natives living in dozens of under-served rural villages.

Jon Butzke is Iñupiat, grew up in Anchorage and Nome area, with King Island and Wales ancestry. Jon’s company, Talking Circle Media, produces live statewide TV coverage of the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention, the state’s largest convention. After more than three decades of shooting documentaries and other video projects, he has also documented the majority of ANCSA events and video interviews archiving ANCSA.