The Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository houses a collection of more than 250,000 items, and has had no one to officially catalog or care for the artifacts since Collections and Exhibits Manager Marnie Leist left the museum this winter.
Now, someone from a much flatter, warmer land has moved onto the island to fill the position.
Texan local Amanda Lancaster has a background in museum studies and previously worked as Museum Curator and Development Director at the Czech Center Museum Houston.
Despite the stark contrast between Texas and Alaska, Lancaster says she was ready for the more mountainous experience.
She prefers the cold, she says, and everyone has been pretty welcoming.
“My whole life I’ve been told that Texans are the nicest people in the world, but I don’t know. I’ve met so many nice people here, just so generous with their time and ideas and everything. So just – the facility is great. I’m really interested in the collection. It’s something I’m not super familiar with. Plains Indians aren’t really like Alaska Native Indians. So, I think it’s a whole new world, and there’s so much that I can learn.”
Lancaster says she and her husband got rid of almost everything they owned before the move, and she can now fit all her possessions into four suitcases.