An Alaska Native Cultural Heritage and Artistic Sovereignty in Museums Project funded through A Journey to What Matters

Museums Alaska-Anchorage Museum

Story & Photo by Golga Oscar


The Access to Alaska Native Collections grant allowed me to peruse the Yup’ik archive collections at the Anchorage Museum. This opportunity opened many doors to finding my passion for creativity and innovation. As a Yup’ik artist, this grant is a valuable resource because it gave me access to strengthen my artistry and identity. During my time in the collection, I had the chance to focus on different subjects of Yup’ik art; these ranged from parkas, mukluks, and mittens to Yup’ik dance attire. Each day, I would focus on aspects of the collection. I observed these collections as breathtaking, yet I felt emotional just being present with my ancestors.

Since I come from a generation that no longer sees these, I strongly encourage Alaskan Natives to pursue this opportunity. If they are unwilling to, I would strongly encourage them to contact the museum and schedule an appointment to view the collection of their tribal affiliation. The overall visit was extremely special and the staff at the Anchorage Museum were very helpful.

Through this initiative, Museums Alaska and The CIRI Foundation are fostering cultural sovereignty and preserving Alaska Native heritage for generations to come. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this remarkable endeavor when the program cycle opens in August 2023. Together, we can celebrate and honor the richness of Alaska Native cultures and promote a deeper understanding of our shared history.

Read more about TCF’s A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture 

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