ANHC builds traditional Dena’ina Athabascan fish drying racks

Charlie Pardue, Gwich'in Elder and Culture Bearer, built two traditional Dena'ina Athabascan fish drying racks with the help of his apprentices, teaching them history and passing on his knowlege to the younger generation. Screen capture photo from ANHC

(Anchorage, AK) The Alaska Native Heritage Center is pleased to announce the completion of two traditional Dena’ina Athabascan style fish drying racks located on the ANHC campus. With project funding in part by The CIRI Foundation, ANHC interns learned to build two Dena’ina fish drying racks under the guidance of Elder and culture bearer Charlie Pardue.

Throughout this project, interns learned the rich history of the fish drying racks, assembled the harvested materials, prepared the materials with care, engineered the build and together they were able to successfully complete the building of the fish drying racks at the end of the summer season.

These fish drying racks are now standing tall on ANHC campus near the Athabascan site smokehouse. The fish drying racks will be used by ANHC interns and staff to make dried fish during the summer fishing months.

Even now during the COVID19 pandemic, the Alaska Native Heritage Center continues to serve as the premiere cultural and educational facility in Alaska and beyond through virtual programming, social media and web presence.

We are a living, breathing community center – an intentional space of healing where our people can experience the depths of who they are. We have relied on our Alaska Native values, people and community for strength, healing and support in these uncertain times.

Utilizing this opportunity for virtual connection, ANHC will be sharing the building process from start to finish during the week of November 10th through November 14th in hopes to inspire others to build Dena’ina style fish drying racks. Join us on the Alaska Native Heritage Center Facebook page for more information and knowledge sharing.

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