Weaving

Anna Brown Ehlers - National Heritage Award

Anna Brown Ehlers - National Heritage Award

Anna Brown Ehlers remembers the moment when she first dreamed of becoming a Chilkat weaver. She was four, Alaska had just become a state, and her uncle was dancing in his traditional Chilkat blanket during a community celebration.

“I saw that beautiful design and those rich colors. I watched the fringe gracefully moving back and forth as my uncle danced, and I knew I hoped I could do that someday,” she said.

Fifty-eight years later, Anna has been recognized as among the country’s foremost artists by the National Endowment for the Arts through a National Heritage Fellowship. The awards were announced in June. In 2001, First Peoples Fund honored Anna through a Community Spirit Award for her work to revitalize and pass on Chilkat weaving, an art form that was nearly lost in her lifetime.

Introducing the 2017 Community Spirit Honorees

Introducing the 2017 Community Spirit Honorees

Through the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards, we recognize the work of Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian culture bearers who uphold the Collective Spirit®. Through their work and their lifeways, these artists embody the traditional values of First Peoples Fund — generosity and wisdom, respect and integrity, strength and humility.

These culture bearers are sustaining the arts of Indigenous people within their communities, growing arts ecologies, and teaching the next generation of artists and culture bearers of their People.

In 2017, we honor four outstanding culture bearers as they join nearly 100 past recipients of this prestigious award.

Tlingit artist weaves her vision, and the community responds

Tlingit artist weaves her vision, and the community responds

When people first walk through the Chilkat weaving exhibit in her community’s first Native heritage center, they will be not only educated on her tribe’s history but moved by the importance of weaving throughout the generations.

New Film On Cultural Capital Fellow And Community Spirit Award Honoree Delores Churchill

New Film On Cultural Capital Fellow And Community Spirit Award Honoree Delores Churchill

A Cultural Capital Fellowship from First Peoples Fund will be used this year to promote a documentary on the life and work of a prominent Alaskan culture bearer—and 2003 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award honoree.