The Nuka Learning and Wellness Center is now open and Southcentral Foundation says the building is designed to encourage storytelling and healing.
"First we have the Tribal Drum that area is designed based on a traditional talking circle, so just from the design of that room it encourages people to share their story, which is an important aspect of healing here at Southcentral Foundation," Kathleen Bonnar who is a Public Relations Specialist with Southcentral Foundation said.
"We believe our concept of sharing story helps us to heal so in having the ability to share and have more technology to do so, especially when we have streaming technology we're going to be able to stream these kinds of programs to other villages," Alexandro Cetina who is an Improvement Specialist for Southcentral Foundation.
Some of the programs include a Healing Center for Southcentral Foundation's Family Wellness Warriors Initiative, wellness activities and even Learning Circle opportunities, which this building is designed to accommodate.
"Currently, where we were hosting these events the walls were kind of thin and some of our events are based on story sharing, so people didn't feel like sharing their story and the room next door hearing what it is that they were sharing, now we have the ability of in one room people could be crying, the next one people could be laughing and they won't interject with each other," Cetina said.
And the $28 million project was created with nature in mind, including the circular part on the outside of the building, which mimics the trunk of a Birch Tree.
"You can see that through different elements throughout the building, we really tried to incorporate a connection to nature, natural lighting and throughout the building you'll see traditional and contemporary art from Alaska Native people," Bonnar said.