The Alaska Native Heritage Center officially broke ground on the new Mabel Pike Educational Center on May 9 with plans to open this fall. The ceremony was attended by Alaska Congressional delegates, Native leaders and other supporters; but more notably, the late Mabel Pike’s family was in attendance.
The new center is named to honor the legacy of Tlingit Elder and founding board member Mabel Pike, who dedicated her life to creating Alaska Native art and sharing and teaching it to others, especially to Alaska Native youth.
The community increasingly looks to the Alaska Native Heritage Center to provide a myriad of services, including cultural awareness education, school programs related to Alaska Native people, art and culture classes for schoolchildren and their teachers, indigenous language restoration, and the transfer of cultural knowledge from Alaska Native Elders to youths.
The construction of the Mabel Pike Educational Center will expand the Heritage Center’s existing space to include three classrooms and administrative space for all staff to be under one roof, greatly increasing the capacity to meet the demands of the Heritage Center’s ever-expanding programs.