Alaska Native Heritage Center, 8800 Heritage Center Dr, Anchorage
The Alaska Native Heritage Center is an educational and cultural institution for all Alaskans, located in Anchorage, Alaska. The center opened in 1999. The Alaska Native Heritage Center shares the heritage of Alaska's 11 major cultural groups. These 11 groups are the Athabaskan people, Eyak people, Tlingit people, Haida people, Show more...
Tsimshian people, Unangax people, Alutiiq people, Yup'ik, Cup'ik, Siberian Yupik, and Inupiaq.
The Heritage Center, located ten miles from downtown Anchorage, is situated on 26 wooded acres. Inside – the Hall of Cultures, theatre and Gathering place are home to activities and demonstrations. Outside are six life-sized Native dwellings surrounding Lake Tiulana.
Babu George We visited it today, taking advantage of a Groupon deal. If I had not got that 50% off deal, I would have said 'it was not really great'. The employees-guides were all very hospitable BUT for an exceptionally impolite/unruly young lady at the ticket counter. I showed her my Groupon coupon with the unique ID on my phone. She insisted that I have to go online from my phone and tick mark the coupon as redeemed (Groupon never stipulate that customers should do this). With the scarce connectivity I finally achieved this with the limited wireless connectivity I had and she issued me the entry pass. When I asked her "what would you do with people who do not bring their computers/phones but merely bring a print out of the coupon?" her reply was the print out was the proof of purchase. Living in stone age! One single bad experience spoiled an otherwise good excursion.
A Google User We visited the center on our trip to Anchorage. Allow 5-6 hours to see everything - dance performance, story telling, native games, displays, informational videos, villages where native from each region talk about their heritage and native ways of life. We paid for the cultural pass (adds $3 to the price) which also gave us admission to the Anchorage Museum where there is another amazing exhibit on natives from all regions of Alaska - here allow 3-4 hours. A very enjoyable couple of days learning about all the native cultures in Alaska.
A Google User We visited the Native Heritage Center this summer and it was fantastic! The villages are so interesting, but the displays inside the center are great too. Don't miss the cultural presentations! The gift shop is nice as well. It's a great place to get some authentic handmade native american art. They will send it home for you too.
A Google User Overpriced and lacking in authenticity. I went in August of 2010 and paid approximately $25 for admission. The single exhibit room is interesting and well presented but not worth $25 (the Smithsonian in DC is free; the Louvre in Paris is about $12). In addition to the exhibit room, there are also outdoor reproductions of Native American dwellings. The reproductions themselves are admittedly very well done and interesting to look at. Finally, there is a stage in the Center where various people present stories, dances, and other cultural highlights. The reason I give the Center a bad review is because a) it's to expensive and b) it lacked authenticity. As I mentioned above, I think that $25 per person is too expensive. The gift shop is even worse. (For example, there was a hand made beaded belt that cost $2500 left out on a table that any 8 year old could have easily destroyed.) B) authenticity. The Heritage Center provides tour guides for the dwelling reproductions and other exhibits. These tour guides attempt to tell you about "their" culture; they are trained to say "my people." But these guides are barely Native American. My tour guide was a 17 year old born to Korean parents, but he was somehow 1/16 Native American and therefore qualified to tell me about "his people." Likewise, other presenters were high school students who had memorized a one minute speech about "their people." They could not answer any questions or elaborate beyond their memorized speech. In conclusion, the reproduction houses are very good, but do not expect to learn a lot from the tour guides, and do expect to pay a lot for the experience.