A Journey To What Matters- Na Ganiyaatgm, Na Lagm (Our Ancestors, Our Fire)

Project: 35th Annual Elders & Youth Conference
Grantee: First Alaskans Institute
Story by: Lena Jacobs
Photos by: Sven Haakanson

The First Alaskans Institute (FAI) hosted the 35th Annual Elders & Youth Conference in Anchorage October 14-17, 2018. One of the conference highlights every year includes the Living & Loving Our Cultures Workshops, during which conference attendees get to participate in interactive arts, cultural and language activities. This year, FAI partnered with The CIRI Foundation’s Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture grant program to support workshops whose participants would create tangible pieces of art to take home after the workshops. Some of these workshops included red and yellow cedar bracelet weaving with Della Cheney (Haida, Tlingit), Dena’ina Athabascan language learning and necklace making with Marilyn Balluta (Dena’ina), kuspuk apron sewing with Karen Neagle (Inupiaq), Athabascan style beading on moose hide with Rochelle Adams (Gwich’in), Alutiiq water proof stitching with June Pardue (Sugpiaq), and Yup’ik drum making with Ossie Kairaiuak (Yup’ik).

To participate in these workshops in the future, mark your calendar for the 36th Annual Elders & Youth Conference to take place in October 2019 in Fairbanks.