Supporting Our Communities

GCI helps welcome spring at annual Alaska Native Heritage Center fundraiser

GCI supports ANHC events throughout the year

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Native Heritage Center’s Annual Spring Brunch Fundraiser is an opportunity for ANHC supporters to get together and ring in spring, raise money for the Center, and recognize present and posthumous community members who are making a difference. GCI has partnered with the Alaska Native Heritage Center since 2016 and has donated nearly $50,000 since 2018.

ANHC is celebrating its silver anniversary and marked the milestone at the event with the announcement of a commemorative logo and an ambitious capital campaign fundraising goal of $25 million. The money raised will help fund the expansion of the Center’s campus.

“We look forward to the Spring Brunch every year and with this being the Center’s 25th anniversary, it was even more special,” said Tiffany Vassar, senior manager of GCI Gives, GCI’s corporate philanthropy program. “It’s inspiring to see the Alaska Native Heritage Center’s humble beginnings and continual growth to becoming a cultural hub for the state. We are excited to see what the expansion and future of the Center has in store.”

“We appreciate GCI’s support of the Alaska Native Heritage Center and our work to educate, celebrate and perpetuate Alaska Native cultures and traditions,” said Emily Edenshaw, ANHC President and CEO. “As the only statewide cultural and education Center dedicated to celebrating all cultures and heritages, ANHC serves as a statewide resource for Alaska Natives from birth until Elder.”

The Qissunamiut Dance Group from Chevak performing on stage during ANHC’s Spring Brunch.

A silent auction was held with various types of Alaska Native arts, like earrings, blankets and more. More than 50 pieces of art were sold at ANHC’s Spring Brunch through an online silent auction. There was also a fish cutting demonstration, Alaska Native dancing, and a photo display of the Center’s 25-year history.

The Spring Brunch was also an opportunity for the ANHC to recognize difference makers in the community. The Paul Tiulana Award, which recognizes an important Elder in the community, was given to Ayukung Cecilia Pingayaq Andrews (Cup’ik) of Chevak. The Autumn Apok Ridley Award, which recognizes a youth in the community, was given to Charitie Ropati (Yup’ik and Samoan) of Anchorage.

“As an Alaska Native, my favorite part of the event was watching the Elders and youth interact,” said Derrick Mells, GCI Traffic Engineer. “Hearing from the winners of the awards, one Elder and one youth, both talking about how important the Alaska Native Heritage Center has been to them really goes to show the impact the center is having on keeping Alaska Native culture alive and well."

“The impact the Alaska Native Heritage Center has in the state is immense,” said GCI Rural Affairs Director and ANHC Board Member Jenifer Nelson. “The center not only serves as a resource and gathering place for Alaska Natives, but also as a way to share our cultures with the world through its events, collections, and immersive experiences that promote an understanding of our rich and diverse cultures.

GCI employees have benefitted from those resources through the company’s partnership with the ANHC for its  Indigenous Cultural Awareness training. The training taught GCI employees about cultural considerations for visiting and working in rural Alaska communities. Last year, nearly half of GCI’s employees participated in the training virtually and in person at the Center.

The Alaska Native Heritage Center is currently closed to the public as it renovates its facility but is set to reopen for a soft opening on May 12, 2024 with a grand opening to follow in June 2024. To learn more about the Center, visit their website.

For more information about GCI Gives, visit:

About GCI

Headquartered in Alaska, GCI provides data, mobile, video, voice and managed services to consumer, business, government, and carrier customers throughout Alaska, serving more than 200 communities. The company has invested more than $4 billion in its Alaska network and facilities over the past 40 years and recently launched true standards-based 5G NR service in Anchorage, now the nation’s northernmost 5G service area. Learn more about GCI at GCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Broadband Corporation (Nasdaq: LBRDA, LBRDK, LBRDP). Learn more about Liberty Broadband at