Native Villages Fight to Preserve Heritage in Urban Setting

Members of the Dena'ina Athabascan tribe, completely surrounded by metropolitan Anchorage, struggle to preserve their language and culture.

"Unlike most native villages in Alaska, which are scattered over the roadless bush and isolated from urban areas, the Dena'ina Athabascan village of Eklutna – home to about 60 people – is located within the municipal borders of Anchorage. Just 26 miles to the west loom the imposing downtown buildings that house oil company executives, lawyers, and other blue-suited titans."

"The near-urban setting has its obvious advantages – access to jobs, medical and social services, shopping, and schools."

"But the remaining 250 or so tribal members, most residing outside the village, also worry about the erosion of life that dates back centuries. Now one of the nation's smallest native tribes is fighting back to preserve its culture – and making notable progress."

Full Story: A tiny native village in Alaska copes with urban encroachment

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