In the Iñupiaq culture the word Ivalu holds a special meaning. It means thread, or bind, and it comes from the sinew of our Native caribou. For thousands of years it has been vital to the survival of our people – allowing our umiaq (skin boat) to float and our clothes to be sewn. Today, Ivalu is just as important. It’s the thread that serves our traditions and represents the bond that ties our people together. The Arctic Education Foundation honors Ivalu through its gala to support our young people, helping them achieve success through education.
On February 10th, 2023 the seventh annual Ivalu Gala benefiting Arctic Education Foundation was held at the Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage. Guests from across the state gathered to celebrate what has become one of the most anticipated events of the year, and the 2023 Gala didn’t disappoint.
AEF was excited to welcome Iñupiat seamstresses and fashion designers Bobby Lynn Qalutaksraq Brower, Danielle Rock, Andrea Nasuk Ahyakak, and Clara McConnell to the 2023 Ivalu Gala who premiered their beautiful designs at the Inuit Fashion Show. AEF was also honored to have renowned Inuit singer and songwriter Angela Amarualik who performed live for our guests. Ryan Rock and Angel Telfair both AEF alumni did an amazing job emceeing the event.
During the gala, AEF recognized two of the Foundation’s most devoted ambassadors who year after year continue to show their commitment to helping our students succeed. AEF presented the Umialik Award – which honors an individual or organization that has exhibited leadership and stewardship in the Arctic community – to the Arctic Slope Community Foundation. The Foundation also presented the Flossie Hopson Andersen Award – given in recognition of a recipient’s outstanding support of the Arctic Education Foundation and its mission – to Brenda Itta Lee. In honor of Dr. Oliver Leavitt, AEF announced its new Dr. Oliver Leavitt Leadership Award, which will be offered for the first time in the fall of 2023. Robert and Alice Glenn contributed to making this first scholarship a reality and our guests through paddle raise accepted the challenge to match their donation in making this new award available to AEF students.
More than 400 guests attended the gala with over 30 volunteers who ensured a smooth event process. Many of the volunteers and Ivalu Gala committee members are former or present recipients of AEF and treat the event as a way they can give back to AEF leaders – who had the foresight to ensure all ASRC shareholders have a chance to pursue higher education and now cultural programs. The faces of AEF were seen on stage as presenters, emcees, designers, and models, at the registration booth as the first faces guest see, as ushers to personally greet each guest, and much more. AEF alumni were also present as employees and executives of the various Alaskan businesses in the crowd.
The Arctic Education Foundation would like to say Quyanaqpak to all the artists and contributors who gave so generously this year, the important work they do at AEF would not be possible without you! AEF was able to raise over $200K to go towards scholarships! For more information about the Ivalu Gala, how to become involved or to be added to future mailing lists, contact Monica Wiehl at 907.339.7695 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit www.ivalugala.com
Guiding the Way for Our Future Generations
For more information on how to get involved through volunteering, donating or attending Ivalu Gala please email email@example.com or call (907) 852-9455.