Alaska State Museums receive national award

Dr. Kathryn Matthew, Director of Institute of Museum and Library Services, Lani Hotch, museum advocate, Patience Fredericksen, Director of the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, and Cokie Roberts, Journalist and Commentator. (Photo from Institute of Museum and Library Services)
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WASHINGTON D.C. (KTUU) - The Alaska State Museums was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

Ten different organizations, from across the country, were recognized at the event held Monday, at the National Archives Museum.

Founded in 1900, the Alaska State Museums is the third largest museum in the state and serves as a flagship institution, keeper of state history and a mentor to small community institutions in Alaska.

David Ferriero, the 10th Archivist of the United States, spoke about the mission of the nation's libraries and museums.

"As the nation's record keeper, we are a small army of libraries, archives and museums spread across the country, with the mandate to collect, protect and encourage the use of the records of our country," Ferriero said.

"Our special niche is civic engagement," he said. "And we use the records, which start with the oaths of allegiance signed at valley forge by George Washington and his troops, and go all the way up to the tweets that are being created in the White House, right now, as I'm speaking."

Receiving the award for Alaska were Patience Fredericksen, Director of the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums, and Lani Hotch, who played a major role in establishing the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center for the Chilkat Indian Village tribe.

"The technical training and support Lani received from the Alaska State Museums helped her establish the tribal center, and ensure that the tribe’s cultural artifacts and stories would be preserved,” the Institute of Museum and Library Services wrote in a press release.

“With the Alaska State Museums’ help, the opening of the cultural center’s Whale House was a huge success," according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "In a village of fewer than 100, more than 300 people attended, some from as far away as the East Coast.”

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