CIRI in the Community: Denełchin ‘Super Fab’ Lab

Photo courtesy of CITC.

“Denełchin” means “to make something” in the Dena’ina language—and in August, Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) made a big move to its new Denełchin Super Fab Lab!

Denełchin Super Fab Lab is a state-of-the-art creative space where students use high-tech design programs, industrial-grade machines and programming tools to dream, play, create and innovate. Programs include open-access classes for artists, entrepreneurs and community members. The lab is also the home base for Indigenous Peoples Set Up Shop, a business-training program administered by CITC and the Anchorage Community Land Trust.

“CIRI is honored to walk hand in hand with CITC in its vision of building opportunities for our Native youth,” CIRI President and CEO Sophie Minich said. “Together, we’re making a lasting and meaningful difference in their lives and providing building blocks for future opportunities.”

When CIRI received its allocation of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding in 2021, it committed to working with its family of designated Tribal organizations to identify programs and projects best suited to receive and deploy funding in compliance with federal law. In all, CIRI directed more than $7 million in CARES Act funds to make the dream of the Denełchin Lab a reality.

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