Cultural Services

Cultural Services

Ilanka, a gathering place to promote the diverse indigenous presence in our community. 

Ilanka, to educate our people, our community and our visitors while perpetuating the traditions, skills and cultures inherent in our lives as we face today and the future. 

Ilanka Cultural Center
Museum & Giftshop

For 10,000 years, our people have depended upon the rich ecosystems of Prince William Sound and the Copper River Delta. The land and waters are the source of our traditions. A place with mild climate, rich waters and abundant food sources made our traditional homeland a natural meeting place of diverse Alaska Native people.

Our customs have survived thousands of years on this cultural landscape where we hunt, fish and gather to feed our families. We create traditional clothing from the furs of the animals we hunt like the sea otter and harbor seal. We weave the beach grass and spruce roots we gather. 

In May 2004, the Ilanka Cultural Center opened its doors to foster the well-being of our Alaska Native cultures in the face of modern times, and to encourage people from all ethnic backgrounds to explore our traditions. We are located at 110 Nicholoff Way in Cordova, Alaska in the same facility as the Native Village of Eyak main offices. 

The Ilanka Cultural Center honors the heritage and culture of the EyakSugpiat, Tlingit and Ahtna peoples.  We are dedicated to the revival and preservation of Alaska Native artwork and skills for future generations. Ilanka is the Sugpiaq word for “family”, and we are pleased to share our heritage with you – our food, languages, art, regalia, songs and dances. 

Ilanka Cultural Center Museum

The Ilanka Cultural Center Museum preserves and exhibits a collection of prehistoric, historic and contemporary tribal artifacts focused on the Prince William Sound and Copper River Delta.   

In July 2000, an Orca whale became stranded and died at Hartney Bay in Cordova. A community effort salvaged his bones and sank them in crab pots to get cleaned up by the sea. In October 2001, Mark King, Allen Marquette and Lee Post coordinated the re-articulation of the skeleton with volunteers from the Native Village of Eyak, Prince William Sound Science Center and Cordova community members. The completed male skeleton hangs in Ilanka’s lobby and was only the 5th completed Orca skeleton in the world.

Gift Shop

The Ilanka Cultural Center Gift Shop was created in 2004 to act as a Native marketplace to better the lives of the Native Village of Eyak community. The gift shop will create a space for Native vendors, primarily local to Alaska, to showcase and sell their items. This entrepreneurial opportunity for the Native Village of Eyak supports the Ilanka Cultural Center’s mission of preserving and promoting our native culture, heritage and history.

Our Gift Shop carries both locally made artwork as well as from other artists around the state, which include handcrafts, beaded and copper jewelry, fur teddy bears, ivory carvings, photographs, cards, salves sweatshirts, books and mugs.

Tribal Library

The Native Village of Eyak Tribal Library is located within the Ilanka Cultural Center. Our reference library is cataloged and searchable within the Cordova Public Library system and provides a space to read some books that offer a lot of interest to our tribal community. 

Annual Events

The Ilanka Cultural Center holds several annual cultural events focused on subsistence activities and cultural heritage.   

In 2013 the Native Village of Eyak and Mt Eccles Elementary School banded together with many volunteers and put on the first Mt Eccles Culture Week where students K-6 spend every afternoon for a week learning native dance, language, native youth olympics, traditional ways and a native craft.  On the Friday afternoon there is a community traditional foods potluck with a showcasing of the work all the students have done.  In 2016, this became a yearly event the first week of October 

In 2019 the Native Village of Eyak was able to take the opportunity to bring out 40 tribal members, in family groups, to Nuuciq Island to spend 5 days together, taking advantage of time away from technology to work on subsistence activities like hunting, fishing and gathering.  Many of the family members had never been able to spend time at Nuuciqand NVE was able to rent Chugach Alaska Corporation’s facilities at the traditional village site.  Planning for this trip begins in early spring, and advertising for family participating happens in May/June.  If you have any questions about the Katuwaq Healthy Family Retreat, please contact danaya.hoover@eyak-nsn.gov. 


The Ilanka Cultural Center conducts regular classes to teach the Eyak and Sugt’stun languages, as well as other cultural classes.

Each year the Ilanka Cultural Center offers classes to our ICC Members.  Within this past year we have had a class to make traditional qaqat (kayaks), paddles, masks, kuspuksravenstail weaving, caribou tufting, mukluks, mittens, beaded glass balls and more.  New classes are always being planned and suggestions are always welcome.  If you are interested in teaching a class or becoming an ICC Member to get on the list to be able to take a class, please contact teal.hansen@eyak-nsn.gov or danaya.hoover@eyak-nsn.gov. 

Each school year, Ilanka Cultural Center teaches an AK Native Art’s class at the Cordova High School. Youth are able to learn different traditional artistic art forms and receive college credit for it. This upcoming 2021 school year, kids will be visited by two guest instructors. Master Sugpiaq carver, Andrew Abyo, will teach students how to make a traditional Sugpiaq dart board. Master Haida weaver, Holly Churchill, will teach students how to weave a 2.5″ cedar bark dance headband. Contact danaya.hoover@eyak-nsn.gov for more information.


The Ilanka Cultural Center supports various cultural activities, including the Native Youth Olympics, education scholarships and subsistence activities.

The Native Village of Eyak consistently places education as a high priority and emphasizes the importance of increasing the number of students entering and completing postsecondary educational programs. To this purpose, the Scholarship Program was established to provide scholarship funds to eligible tribal members who wish to further their education. 

To apply for an educational or vocational scholarship you must be an NVE Tribal Member and be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a postsecondary educational institution. If you have questions on due dates or requirements for the NVE Scholarship please email: brooke.mallory@eyak-nsn.gov. 

Download the NVE Scholarship application. 

Hours & Contact

Ilanka Cultural Center

P.O. Box 322
711 First Street
Cordova, AK 99574

Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

(907) 424-7903

Asked Questions

Where is the new location for the Ilanka Cultural Center Museum and Gift Shop?

The Museum and Gift Shop is located at 711 First Street (Blue building below North Star Lumber) 

You can visit our online store at https://www.ilankaculturalcenter.com

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