Susie Silook, Keeping My Head, 2007, ivory, baleen, 2008.2.1

As Alaska Native peoples we gather strength and are unified by sharing our own stories through words, art, and objects of the past. Until quite recently, Indigenous art was defined and described by non-indigenous people in museums, books, and galleries. This collection of artwork helps tell the story of what it means to be Alaska Native in a changing time, place, and perspective. Each object has a creator who has invested his or her life to expressing identity through art.

As a child I was drawn to objects that represented my cultural heritage. I wanted to learn from the artists themselves, but did not have that opportunity. All of the work included in this exhibition is made by artists who have influenced me and my artistic career. We are on the path to protect and activate our culture. Please take time to hear the authentic story of what it means to be Alaskan Native today.

— Drew Michael, Guest Curator