Our guest this morning for Our Community is lifelong Alaskan Beth Helgeson, President of Greater Anchorage Inc., the volunteer organization that puts together Anchorage's Fur Rendezvous.
Helsegon says Fur Rondy has been around more than 80 years - since 1935. This year the Ida'Ina
Friendship Gathering is a new addition to the Rondy schedule, which includes about 80 events.
Helgeson's enthusiasm for Rondy is infectious, as is her desire for the community at large to embrace indigenous culture with events like the Ida'Ina Friendship Gathering, the Charlotte Jensen Native Arts Market and the Winter Carnival Dance. In the past, she says, she hadn't gone to the Ida'Ina Friendship Gathering, "I don't have a tribal affiliation, so I just didn't know I was invited,"
This year, however, the Fur Rondy connection is helping reinforce the Tebughna Foundation's message - the Ida'Ina Friendship Gathering is for everyone!