An educational and cultural institution for all Alaskans, the Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) is tucked behind the Glenn Highway and Muldoon Road, just minutes from downtown Anchorage. Having opened its doors to public in early 1999, this non-profit organization has become the state’s leading interactive cultural destinations. Nestled on 26 acres of beautiful land, it offers a terrific tour through the recreated villages of five different native cultures, introducing every visitor to their traditional crafts and lifestyle. The Alaska Native Heritage Center is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors, whose membership is drawn from the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN), civic, and business groups. By 1987, the AFN responded to the need for a community meeting place by generally approving the concept to set up a statewide culture center. A few years later, the Alaska Native Heritage Center was formed as an independent organization with tax exempt status. The main attraction is a Welcome House, which is a celebration of contemporary Alaska Native cultures. It hosts traditional dances, story telling, educational films, informal demonstrations, and presentations as well as formal classes teaching language, arts, and history. In addition, various exhibits here highlight cultural components of different Alaska Native groups. The Heritage Gifts section, the official marketplace for the Heritage Center, offers a truly unique and affordable shopping experience. The Alaska Native Heritage Center offers unique educational experiences to a diverse audience, including Alaska Natives, Anchorage residents, students, tourists, and scholars. In partnership with area schools and colleges, it brings educational lectures and demonstrations to local classrooms. School visit programs provide students a unique opportunity to explore, in a traditional setting, the past and present of the state’s first people. The students can also interact with artists, performers, and tradition-bearers to study about states’ indigenous cultures.