Project Grant

A Journey to What Matters: Increased Alaska Native Art & Culture

Story and Photos Courtesy of Melissa Shaginoff

Alaska Native PLACE Workshops

with Alaska Native Heritage Center

Hide Toolmaking with Tom Huntington

Beginning Hide Tanning with Jessica Denny

Moose Hide Drum Making with Daniel Harrison

Final Hide Scraping/Softening with Melissa Shaginoff


Project Overview

This iteration of the Alaska Native PLACE workshops centered around the material theme of moose hide. We chose this theme based on local interest in Dgheyey kaq’ (Anchorage) and the need to foster intergenerational community engagement around moose hide tanning processes. Our goal was to offer workshops that would equip participants with the necessary tools for hide tanning, impart knowledge about the various stages of the tanning process, and nurture the growth of a community of hide tanners in Dgheyey kaq’.


  • Equip participants with tools and knowledge for hide tanning.
  • Impart understanding of the various stages of the tanning process.
  • Foster a community of hide tanners in Dgheyey kaq’.
  • Hands-on Learning

    While workshops involving multi-step processes are challenging, the hands-on, in-person experience facilitating this work is invaluable. Meeting hunters, sharing resources, building strength, and tanning a hide together is deeply effective.

    Impact and Results

    Hide work is healing. These workshops became a testament to the healing power, evident in the continued mentorship of our instructors, the shared stories of our hides, and the hide community we continue to nurture today.

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