UAA celebrates Native Heritage Month online

A clip from one of the virtual events from University of Alaska Anchorage's Native Heritage...
A clip from one of the virtual events from University of Alaska Anchorage's Native Heritage Month.(UAA)
Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 7:51 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The pandemic has pushed another important event in Alaska online: Native Heritage Month. This year, there can’t be any large gatherings to celebrate, preserve and teach Alaska Native Culture, but despite COVID-19, the University of Alaska Anchorage is still holding events this month.

Director of Native Student Services Amber Christensen Fullmer said the Native Student Council has been hard at work figuring out how to continue with Native Heritage Month since early Fall. She said they’d much rather be in person, but the virtual alternative has been successful thus far.

"We’ve tried to keep a good mix of what we normally do, find some cool new things to do, but also make it a mix of kind of fun, nonacademic stuff but also learning stuff too and inspirational stuff too to kind of spark people to maybe do some more research,” she said.

There’s a lot of different kinds of events to tune into; everything from sessions about indigenous tattooing to making baby booties the traditional way. There’s also more serious topics discussed as well, like a prelude to the Alaska Claims and Settlement Act.

Christensen Fullmer brought up how Native populations have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. So this year feels all the more important to put these events on this month.

“Beyond being able to come together and celebrate, you know our communities are very concerned about COVID and the impacts in general,” she said, “and what that’s going to do if we lose more people. Especially if we lose more of our elders who are knowledge holders.”

Events are happening throughout the rest of the month of November.

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