UAF Hosts 46th Annual Festival of Native Arts

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Festival of Native Arts kicked off this weekend as people gathered from across the State to enjoy Culture, Art and Dance.

From Utqiagvik to Ketchikan, Alaska residents from around the state gathered this weekend at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for the 46th annual Festival of Native Arts.

Students like Timotheen Charles who is originally from Kasigluk. She says the festival is a cultural experience and is one of the many who have been working since last fall to prepare for this event.

"It's actually like very, It touches the heart honestly. We don't get a lot of this here in Fairbanks, at UAF. So this is one of the places people from all over Alaska can come and connect together, not only by dancing, but stories and vending and Arts,” said Charles.

A tradition that began in 1973, the Festival of Native Arts continues to bring together those from all walks of life to share and learn from one another. Jasmyn Vent grew up in Huslia and Ambler and is now a student at UAF.

"So our theme Together We are Rising", to me that seems like, it's kind of like a revitalization, because in history our traditions and culture almost got swiped away from us and here we are at our 46-th Annual festival of Native arts and we're still here, we're still indigenous, we're still resilient, we're still doing our dances and songs," said Vent.

UAF has students who come from towns and rural villages all across Alaska. Vent says the Festival of Native Arts brings those who may be far from home a little closer to where their journey first began.