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Celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day

by Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor  |   

UAA alumna Emily Edenshaw (middle), who was recently named Executive Director of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, takes a photo with Professor of Music and Alaska Native Studies Maria Williams (left) and Chancellor Cathy Sandeen (right) at UAA's 2020 Spring Alaska Native Heritage Celebration in Cuddy Hall.
UAA alumna Emily Edenshaw (middle), who was recently named Executive Director of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, takes a photo with Professor of Music and Alaska Native Studies Maria Williams (left) and Chancellor Cathy Sandeen (right) at UAA's 2020 Spring Alaska Native Heritage Celebration in Cuddy Hall.

Dear UAA Community,

Today is Indigenous Peoples Day, an opportunity to celebrate Alaska Native people and communities. UAA recognizes and values the diversity of our unique location in Southcentral Alaska, the ancestral homelands of the Dena’ina, Ahtna Dene, Alutiiq/Sugpiaq, Chugachmiut and Eyak peoples.

Tonight, Native Student Services, Student Life and Leadership, and Dietetics and Nutrition will co-host a virtual screening of the movie “Gather” at 7 p.m. followed by a panel of Alaska experts in food and nutrition. The movie is focused on the role of food sovereignty in reclaiming Native American identity. Advance registration is required. Other co-hosts include Residence Life and the Multicultural Center.

Additionally, our own Don Rearden, professor of writing, served as the screenwriter on the short film “Ada Blackjack Rising” released today by Alaska production company Peak 3. The film tells the story of Alaska Native heroine Ada Blackjack, the sole survivor of a disastrous 1921 Arctic expedition. UAA alumna Holly Mititquq Nordlum (Iñupiaq) produced the film, and several other UAA students and alumni played key roles in making this film a reality.

In November, UAA will celebrate National Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month, and more programming will be available. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the rich Alaska Native heritage and culture that has shaped Alaska’s past and the vital role it plays in shaping Alaska today.

Sincerely,
Cathy Sandeen
UAA Chancellor

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