The Ahtna Cultural Center (ACC), C’ek’aedi Hwnax ‘Legacy House’, has reopened for the first time in three years, thanks to a new partnership between Ahtna, Incorporated and America’s largest national park, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park & Preserve. The ACC provides an opportunity to learn and connect with Ahtna Athabascan history, culture and people through Alaska Native exhibits, a hand-built fish wheel, a food cache, and museum.
Ahtna, Incorporated will have a visible presence at the ACC. Three Ahtna shareholders, including a supervisor and two interns, have been hired for the season to manage the ACC day-to-day operations and answer visitor questions. The reopening celebration was held June 1st at the ACC with Wrangell-St. Elias Superintendent Ben Bobowski and Ahtna, Incorporated President Michelle Anderson sharing many reflections and exchanges with engaged participants.
“The broader vision for the Cultural Center is to welcome our people to use the space to practice traditional ways such as beadwork and explain the patterns and colors that are used. These demonstrations and the Center’s exhibits give visitors the opportunity to discover Ahtna culture and walk away with a greater understanding of the Ahtna people’s way of life,” remarked Anderson.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to grow together and to better understand each other. I’m looking forward to a really productive summer working with Ahtna,” replied Bobowski.
The ACC is located next to the Park’s main visitor center at Mile 106.8 of the Richardson Highway, near the town of Copper Center. The ACC is open to visitors Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed for lunch. ACC staff can be reached at (907) 822-5955.