Bunnell Street Arts Center gratefully receives a Social Justice Award from Alaska Community Foundation and a Community Fund Award from National Performance Network for Tuggegt: Land Acknowledgment of Dena’ina and Sugpiaq lands, to advance awareness, participation and visible acknowledgment of Indigenous lands. The award supports workshops on Land Acknowledgement led by Alaska artist Melissa Shaginoff (Ahtna and Paiute), community conversations about land acknowledgement by Indigenous artists and a visible land acknowledgement sculpture at Tuggeght (Bishop’s Beach). These activities attest to the thousands of years of sustainable, Indigenous lifeways since time immemorial which continue to steward this place.
“Traditional potlatch of my people, giving away one’s wealth— the capacity to take care of one’s clan—characterized a sustainable relationship to the land and to each other. We give to our opposite clan in times of loss and grief, and it comes back to us. In this way, wealth exchange strengthens communities. That tradition was undermined in Alaska with colonization and trading posts. People gave their wealth and power to the trading post rather than each other,” says Shaginoff.
Bunnell inhabits a former Trading Post. Our work today is to reinvent this space, to foster and build this community as a place of cultural wealth and opportunity for all. We all benefit from alignment with Indigenous practices of investing in community and sharing what we make, sharing our cultural wealth.
Tuggegt: Land Acknowledgment is supported by the 2020 Social Justice Fund grant program of Alaska Community Foundation. The Social Justice Fund is made possible through the generous support of John Rubini and Clare Bertucio and many other donors who want to support progressive causes in Alaska.
Tuggegt: Land Acknowledgment is a National Performance Network (NPN) Community Fund project supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. NPN is committed to a more just and equitable world by building artists’ power; advancing racial and cultural justice in the arts; fostering relationship-building and reciprocity between individuals, institutions and communities; and working towards systems change in arts and philanthropy. Read more.