Why the Inupiat Heritage Center is Must-See on Your Trip to Barrow

via TripAdvisor

via TripAdvisor

If you visit Barrow, you will not want to pass on the chance to visit the Inupiat Heritage Center. The Center was dedicated in February of 1999 and houses exhibits, artifact collections, a library, a gift shop and workshop rooms where people can demonstrate and teach traditional crafts.

The Center serves as one of the partners associated through New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park legislation who participate in telling the story of whaling in the United States through their involvement in educational and interpretive programs.

The mission of the Center is to bring people together to raise awareness of the Inupiat culture. This, all in all, is to keep alive the spirit of the people throughout the generations. Additionally, the Center also promotes tourism and supports local arts. It is used to showcase arts and crafts that represent the heritage of the community. Its Traditional Room can also be used for the construction or repair of whaling boats and other subsistence tools. Other rooms can be used as meeting spaces for public events, weddings and local meetings.

In addition to these resources, here are some other things that the Center offers:

via TripAdvisor

via TripAdvisor


The Heritage Center has several exhibits that are always being updated. These feature cultural art and provide insight as to how the people of Barrow lived and continue to live today. Significant events that took place in the community are also celebrated in the exhibits.

Archives and Collections

If you would like further insight into the past of the Barrow people, their archives and collections are kept in a secure and climate controlled room in the Heritage Center. Great care is taken in their preservation to keep them available for future generations to learn from and enjoy.

via North Slope Borough

via North Slope Borough


The event rooms in the Heritage Center are used regularly for several exciting events. Community Outreach Workshops and Elders and Youth Conferences are just some of the types of activities you can look forward to during the year.

Outreach Workshops

The Outreach Workshops provide locals and tourists with a well rounded education that involves areas like:

  • Language

  • The Arts

  • Subsistence

  • Arctic Survival

  • Oral history

  • Sewing

  • Land Use / Place Names

  • Cultural Activity

  • Cultural Orientation

via North Slope Borough

via North Slope Borough

Gift Shop

And of course before leaving the center, be sure to support the local economy! At their gift shop, you will find a wide range of souvenirs, including Inupiat art pieces, clothing and educational materials.

Barrow’s unusual day and night schedule as well as their extreme temperatures can be challenging for some, but it is a beautiful city and visiting it is an experience you will not soon forget. If you choose to visit, be sure to make the Inupiat Heritage Center a stop on your travels. It will provide you insight into the culture of the town that no trip to Barrow should be without.


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