Native Americans
Things to See & Do in Alaska
Inupiat Heritage Center
The Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska was designated an affiliated area of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in New Bedford, Massachusetts to ensure that the contributions of Alaska Natives to the history of whaling is recognized. More than 2000 whaling voyages from New Bedford sailed into arctic waters during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Many Alaska Natives, particularly Inupiat Eskimo people, participated in commercial whaling. In addition to crewing on the ships they hunted for food for the whalers, provided warm fur clothing, and sheltered many crews that were shipwrecked on the Alaska coast. The Inupiat Heritage Center was dedicated in February 1999 and houses exhibits, artifact collections, library, gift shop, and a traditional room where people can demonstrate and teach traditional crafts in Elders-in-Residence and Artists-in Residence programs.
Sitka National Historical Park
Alaska's oldest federally designated park was established in 1910 to commemorate the 1804 Battle of Sitka. All that remains of this last major conflict between Europeans and Alaska Natives is the site of the Tlingit Fort and battlefield, located within this scenic 113 acre park in a temperate rain forest. Southeast Alaska totem poles and a temperate rain forest setting combine to provide spectacular scenery along the park's coastal trail. The trail circles back along Indian River to the visitor center. Another loop trail continues across the Indian River footbridge past the Memorial to the Russian Midshipmen who died in the Battle of Sitka. The park's story continues at the Russian Bishop's House, one of three surviving examples of Russian colonial architecture in North America. This original 1843 log structure conveys the legacy of Russian America through exhibits, refurbished Bishop's living quarters and lavish icons in the Chapel of the Annunciation.
Alaska Native Heritage Center
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is a gathering place that celebrates, perpetuates and shares Alaska Native cultures. Features exhibits and performances of Native art and culture.
Katmai National Park & Preserve
Katmai is famous for volcanoes, brown bears, fish, and rugged wilderness and is also the site of the Brooks River National Historic Landmark with North America's highest concentration of prehistoric human dwellings (about 900). Katmai National Monument was created to preserve the famed Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, a spectacular forty square mile, 100 to 700 foot deep, pyroclastic ash flow deposited by Novarupta Volcano. There are at least fourteen volcanoes in Katmai considered "active", none of which are currently erupting. Brown bear and salmon are very active in Katmai. The number of brown bears has grown to more than 2,000. During the peak of the world's largest sockeye salmon run each July, and during return of the "spawned out" salmon in September, forty to sixty bears congregate in Brooks Camp along the Brooks River and the Naknek Lake and Brooks Lake shorelines. Brown bears along the 480 mile Katmai Coast also enjoy clams, crabs, and an occasional whale carcass. A rich variety of other wildlife is found in the Park as well. There is plenty room for great diversity of wildlife in Katmai which encompasses millions of acres of pristine wilderness, with wild rivers and streams, rugged coastlines, broad green glacial hewn valleys, active glaciers and volcanoes, and Naknek Lake.
Alaska State Museum
As the official repository of the state's history, the Alaska State Museum is charged with collecting and interpreting a wealth of ethnographic and historical material. From an Aleut thimble basket to the life-sized eagle tree, the Alaska State Museum offers visitors a chance to "see" all the state within four walls.
Anchorage Museum of History & Art
The Anchorage Museum of History and Art at the Rasmuson Center is a cultural center for the community and state. Exhibits showcase the art, culture, and history of Alaska and the circumpolar North. The permanent collection numbers 17,500 objects plus an education collection of roughly 2,000 artifacts, with more than 350,000 historical photographs.
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
The Bering Land Bridge National Preserve is one of the most remote national park areas, located on the Seward Peninsula in northwest Alaska. The Preserve is a remnant of the land bridge that connected Asia with North America more than 13,000 years ago. The majority of this land bridge, once thousands of miles wide, now lies beneath the waters of the Chukchi and Bering Seas. The Preserve's western boundary lies 42 miles from the Bering Strait and the fishing boundary between the United States and Russia.
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