Photo of Troth Yeddha dancer with text - A welcoming place for all people and cultures


What is Troth Yeddha’? This word [came] from long time before the white people ever come around here. … Our great-, great-grandfather pick wild potatoes on this hill here. … That’s the reason why they used to camp on that lake, Troth Yeddha’ Mene’. They paddle up that [creek] Troth Yeddha No’ to get to this hill. … [They] plant that eagle feather on this hill so that the younger people here today could go to school. ...That’s not written in history, but you young people [are here] to accomplish that goal today. …The blessing that they’re going to get from their grandparent is very important in their life.”

— Chief Peter John, at the 1994 UAF Rural Student Services Native Summit, explaining his vision for Troth Yeddha’.

From a high point on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, visitors see a panorama of the central Tanana River valley and Alaska Range. 

Dene (Athabascan) residents of Interior Alaska enjoyed that panorama for many millennia. The ridge called Troth Yeddha’ served as a place to meet and survey the inspiring place in which they lived.

That legacy continues in modern times as the university brings people together and inspires them to follow pathways to knowledge.

The university has begun an effort to extend the Troth Yeddha’ Legacy in this new millennium. Our goal is to raise $25 million to complete the Troth Yeddha’ Legacy in two phases. In phase one, we will raise $5 million to create the Troth Yeddha’ Park and design the indigenous studies center as part of our centennial celebrations in 2017. Phase two will build the indigenous studies center.


“Now, let’s make these plans a reality.
… Only then, Alaska Native people can say that they have a space and a home in this institution.
We need your help and support in making our academic institution a place we can all be proud of.”
— Bernice Joseph, former UAF vice chancellor for rural, community and Native education

Landscape watercolor by Todd Sherman
Landscape watercolor by Todd Sherman. Click to view enlarged version.
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