CIRI in the Community

Anchorage Museum Land Acknowledgement and Indigenous Language Installations

To honor and recognize the Dena’ina people on whose lands the museum stands, the Anchorage Museum has a large installation recognizing “This is Dena’ina Land” at its front façade, as well as additional Dena’ina language interventions at two other entrances. Photo courtesy of the Anchorage Museum.

In Alaska, across the U.S. and around the world, it is becoming more common to open events and gatherings by acknowledging the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of that land. According to the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture by inviting and honoring the truth. If this practice was widely adopted, millions would be exposed—many for the first time—to the names of the traditional Indigenous inhabitants of the lands they are on, perhaps inspiring them to ongoing awareness and action.

To honor and recognize the Dena’ina people on whose lands the museum stands, the Anchorage Museum has a large installation recognizing “This is Dena’ina Land” at its front façade, as well as Dena’ina language interventions at two other entrances. Additionally, it is working throughout the rest of 2019 to establish interior and exterior installations and host a series of workshops to recognize the importance of land acknowledgement and language. The workshops will be conducted in part by Aaron Leggett, the Anchorage Museum’s curator of Alaska history and culture and CIRI’s 2014 Shareholder of the Year.

CIRI is proud to help fund the installations and workshops, which will model for visitors and community members the importance of honoring, respecting and acknowledging the Dena’ina people.

For information on upcoming workshops, visit www.anchoragemuseum.org/visit/calendar.