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Kenaitze Indian Tribe – Kahtnuht’ana Duhdeldiht Campus

An education center that celebrates the Tribe’s culture and equips its youth for future success

  • 67K

    Square Feet

  • 2


  • Kenai, Alaska

    Kenai, Alaska

A design that responds to local, cultural, and tribal values

The Kenaitze Indian Tribe wanted to bring all its educational components together in one location—with the goal of sharing language, culture, and traditional knowledge. The solution? The Kahtnuht’ana Duhdeldiht Campus (Kenai River People’s Learning Place)—a place for children, parents, educators, and tribal elders.

The 67,259-square-foot education center includes two wings connected by a central indoor plaza. The education wing has classrooms and meeting spaces for the Tribe’s Early Learning preschool, K-12 Yaghanen Youth Language and Culture Program, community education and career training, and the Dena’ina Language Institute. The other wing supports school and community activities.

Each aspect of the design responds to local, cultural, and tribal values. The building uses reclaimed wood from the community’s historic cannery, which emphasizes the Tribe’s fishing traditions, and the building includes a custom copper color aluminum panel pattern exterior that simulates salmon skin, a resource central to the Tribe’s identity.

The campus brings all the Tribe’s education efforts together in a safe place where children can achieve milestones while embracing Dena’ina traditions.

Meet Our Team

Giovanna Gambardella, Principal, Buildings

Design matters. A shoelace, dinner plate, phone, office building, or hospital—most of our daily experiences are shaped by design.

Jake Alward, Civil Engineer

As a lifetime Alaskan, I take pride in working on projects that benefit my community.

Giovanna Gambardella

Principal, Buildings

Jake Alward

Civil Engineer

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