|Young People Celebrate at a birthday potlatch for Gulkana Village Elder Fred Ewan.|
The Ahtna Athabascan village of Gulkana, Alaska received the "Community of the Year" award at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Greater Copper Valley Chamber of Commerce, in Glennallen, Alaska.
The village, which has a very long history dating back over a thousand years has instituted many new amenities that provide its residents with a more comfortable, healthy, safer life. All the streets have been newly paved, and there are bike trails and sidewalks for the children. There's a new water system, so all homes are plumbed. Public buildings are heated through a new boiler and there are new homes and community housing duplexes in the village. Street lights are very rare in the Copper Valley, which is scattered with far-flung isolated homes. But street lights now light the village during the long winter nights.
Gulkana Village also now has a village-run bus company, Soaring Eagle Transit, which serves the entire Copper River community, and even goes to Valdez and Anchorage. The village has one of the finest entry signs in the state, welcoming visitors to this part of Alaska.