UA Regents Approve $40M Indigenous Studies Center in Fairbanks
A site has already been selected for the Troth Yeddha’ Indigenous Studies Center and Park.
The UA Board of Regents formally approved the $40 million Troth Yeddha’ Indigenous Studies Center and Park on the Fairbanks campus.
The unanimous vote by regents means UAF can proceed with fundraising and schematic design.
Charlene Stern, UAF’s vice chancellor for rural, community, and Native education, says the project has the potential to revolutionize the way students experience the university.
“By creating a space for the perpetuation of Indigenous knowledge and cultures, this one-of-a-kind facility will solidify the University of Alaska’s position on the global map for its excellence in research and high-quality academic programs that meaningfully engage Indigenous peoples and places,” Stern says.
When complete, the center will serve as the administrative hub for UAF’s College of Rural and Community Development, which includes the Alaska Native Language Center, the Department of Alaska Native Studies and Rural Development, and the Center for Cross-Cultural Studies, among other programs. The center will also house programs that support Indigenous student success.
UAF launched the Troth Yeddha’ initiative a decade ago, when university and Indigenous leaders dedicated Troth Yeddha’ Park, located between the Reichardt Building and the University of Alaska Museum of the North on UAF’s West Ridge. The initiative aims to raise $40 million toward construction of the Indigenous Studies Center on the Troth Yeddha’ Park site. UAF has already raised $2.7 million from private donors, which will fund the initial design of the center.
Major donors include Alyeska Pipeline Service Company; Chugach Alaska Corporation; Doyon, Limited; Jones & Jones Architect and Landscape Architects; the Tanana Chiefs Conference; and the UAF Alumni Association.
The name of the center means “wild potato’s ridge” in the Lower Tanana Dene language, referring to the troth plant which the Chena Athabascan band collected for its roots.