Skiku’s mission is to promote cross-country skiing and its wellness benefits by facilitating development of local ski programs in the Alaskan communities we serve.
Skiku’s vision is smiling, healthy rural Alaskan skiers enjoying their beautiful local landscapes.
Skiku’s core purpose is encouraging and supporting sustainable community-driven ski programs primarily focused on rural Alaska and Alaska Native youth.
- Local Partnerships
- Access for All
- Outdoor Recreation
- Community Health & Wellbeing
Through our Skiku and NANANordic programs, we provide annual cross-country skiing instruction to the children and communities of rural and urban Alaska. Teams of staff and volunteer coaches instruct at village schools by leading classes in skiing lessons and activities throughout the day. After-school cross-country ski sessions are held daily for both children and their families.
Skiku also schedules and supports skiing programs for underrepresented groups in the Anchorage area. Skiku collaborates with a variety partners including the Anchorage School District, rural school districts with operations in Anchorage, the Alaska Native community, outdoor recreation groups, and other groups working to increase access to skiing in our community.
In 2012, our organization’s first volunteer coaching teams traveled to the four villages of Kiana, Kotzebue, Noorvik, and Selawik in the Northwest Arctic Borough (also known as the NANA region) to share the techniques and joys of cross-country skiing. This regional program, called NANANordic, now reaches the schools in all 11 villages of the Northwest Arctic Borough. The success of NANANordic helped us identify the interest that other rural regions of the state had in starting or strengthening their skiing programs.
In 2014, Skiku was created alongside NANANordic as a sister program to share the the benefits and joys of skiing statewide. Skiku is a name that combines the Iñupiaq word for ice—”siku”—with “ski”. We now call our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Skiku. Our statewide village Ski Week program is also called Skiku, while we continue to call the program NANANordic in the Northwest Arctic.
Skiku and NANANordic have strong support from village leaders and school officials. These leaders recognize that the program imparts a practical skill and equips children with the means to participate in a sport that has life-changing potential. All across Alaska, the culture, tradition, and landscape are conducive to thriving cross-country skiing programs. Skiku and NANANordic have been working to promote healthy and active lifestyles and get Alaskans enjoying the snow ever since.