Alaska Native Heritage Month

Alaska Native Heritage Month

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month during November celebrates the enriching cultures and abundance of traditions.  Alaska Native history overflows with a variety of diverse groups and prominent leaders.

For the month of November, take time to honor those who have come before; to raise awareness; to embrace cultural ties; and to educate the public about tribes and the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present. 

Celebrating American Indians and Alaska Natives

The month of November

Spotlight on Valerie Chadwick

November 2021 – This month, we celebrate being Indigenous.

I wanted to share with you what that means to me as a Yup’ik woman. I’m from St. Mary’s, and I’m a member of the Algaaciq Tribe.  My dad was qass’aq from South Dakota (memory eternal Dad-Kelly Babich) and my mom was born in Cangiliak (memory eternal Mom-Vicki “Anaaraq” Benedict).  My Grandparents were Evan “Nanuq” Benedict and Emily “Manutuli” Afcan and later he remarried Susie Benedict.  I’m named after Susie’s parent “Qamgalrea”.   

Youth Engaging Observance Activities

Resources for tribes:

Read a Alaska Native history book, or a novel that dives into the history and traditions of native people:

Music & Videos

Below are videos provided by showing how uniting with language learning and cultural teachings is essential to positive youth development:


  • Alaska’s First People by Judy Ferguson
  • Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage, The First Peoples of Alaska (Smithsonian Books, Washington DC)
  • My Name is Not Easy by Debby Dahl Edwardson
  • Fifty Miles from Tomorrow:  A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People by William L. Iggiagruk Hensley
  • Minuk: Ashes in the Pathway (Yup’ik Alaska) by Kirkpatrick Hill
  • The Tanana Chiefs: Native Rights and Western Law by William Schneider

Native Youth Olympics

Play, practice, improve your NYO game skills!

Help preserve your culture and strengthen the future of Alaskan youth through games.  Take this 30-day November challenge to improve your agility, balance, and strength skills.

Tell Your Story

Embrace your heritage – how?

Share with us!

Social Media Activity

Throughout the month of November, highlight what it means to be an ‘Alaska Native’ and proudly share it on your social media page (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

  • Post a picture of you in your cultural regalia,
  • Storytelling – share traditional stories,
  • Share cultural activities – singing, dancing, drumming, etc,
  • Cook a memorable traditional recipe.

Hightlighting Your Story with RurAL CAP

RurAL CAP Media Release Form

Please review and sign the online RurAL CAP media release form before submitting your story, photo and/or video clips saying the words in your language.  You are welcome to reflect on ‘what language revitalization mean to you’ in your success story.  

The Resource Basket

This is a RurAL CAP affiliated program.