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Heritage Speaks No. 1 – Safeguarding Indigenous Heritage: Memory, Identity, and Climate Resilience at the Nunalleq Archaeological Site in Alaska


The Nunalleq Archaeological Site in Alaska

Mask Emerging From Permafrost

Villa Albertine Headquarters
972 Fifth Avenue
New York, US 10075

March 27, 2024 | 6:00pm


Join Villa Albertine and World Monuments Fund for the inaugural Heritage Speaks event.

On March 27, Heritage Speaks will begin with an in-depth look at the rapid climate-induced erosion destroying the Nunalleq archaeological site in Alaska. Drawing from World Monuments Fund’s experience at other Indigenous heritage places in North America, the program will explore preservation efforts at this crucially important site for the Yup’ik community.

The panel will include Villa Albertine resident Claire Houmard, Director of the French archaeological mission in Alaska, Université de Franche-Comté; Lynn M. Church, Representative of the Yupi’k community and CEO of Nalaquq, LLC; and Ann Cuss, Regional Director, North America at WMF.

The discussion will be moderated by Jonathan Bell, Vice President of Programs at WMF.

The Nunalleq Archaeological Site in Alaska

The Panelists

Claire Houmard, Director of the French Archaeological Mission in Alaska, Université de Franche-Comté and Villa Albertine Resident

An archeologist and junior professor at the University of Franche-Comté, Claire Houmard is involved in the Inter-Arctic and PaleoCet ANR projects. She received her PhD as part of a co-supervised program between the University of Paris-Nanterre, France, and Laval in Quebec, Canada. Winner of two thesis prizes (CIEC and Chancellerie des Université de Paris), she has also completed many postdoctoral degrees (Fyssen Foundation, MQB-JC, Labex PasP, Carlsberg Foundation) and carried out extensive research in Paris and Nanterre, and then in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Besançon, France. As a Villa Albertine resident, she is conducting the “Yup’ik” project, which is supported by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and Villa Albertine. 

Lynn M. Church, CEO of Nulaquq, LLC

Lynn M. Church is a member of the Yupi’k community and CEO of Nalaquq, LLC, a company founded in 2022 aiming to bring knowledge and technological expertise from the Nunalleq archaeological project to other projects in Alaska. Lynn is involved in the Nunalleq archaeological project, in association with the University of Aberdeen, the Universtié de Franche-Comté, and the Anchorage Museum.

Ann Cuss, Regional Director, North America at WMF

Ann joined World Monuments Fund as Regional Director of North America in 2021. Her work encompasses all aspects of cultural heritage for a variety of public, private, and government partnerships with a particular focus on public lands. Ann’s professional role is multifaceted and involves a mix of performing on-site condition assessments, hands on-treatments, and training young emerging historic preservation professionals in the care of historic materials. She coordinates multidisciplinary teams of tradespeople, architects, historians, and stakeholders for a holistic preservation approach. 

Jonathan S. Bell, Vice President of Programs at WMF

Dr. Bell came to World Monuments Fund from the National Geographic Society, where he oversaw a large portfolio of projects that included archaeological research and cultural heritage. Over the course of his career, he worked with the Getty Conservation Institute on World Heritage Sites in China and Egypt, evaluated cultural site management from Kazakhstan to Colombia, and oversaw strategic planning for large-scale flood infrastructure for the County of Los Angeles. Dr. Bell serves on multiple ICOMOS scientific committees as an expert member and sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Architectural Conservation. He holds a B.A. from Harvard University, a D.E.A from the Sorbonne, an M.Sc. in Historic Preservation from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA. 

About Heritage Speaks

Villa Albertine, in partnership with World Monuments Funds (WMF), presents Heritage Speaks, a series of public debates revealing the various threats facing cultural heritage sites across the globe today. From climate change and mass tourism to the damage resulting from armed conflicts, this series aims to unpack the challenges facing historic sites and the best preservation solutions emerging among experts and local communities.

Heritage Speaks is organized with the support of Albertine Foundation.

In partnership with

World Monuments Fund (WMF)

World Monuments Fund (WMF) is the leading independent organization devoted to safeguarding the world’s most treasured places to enrich people’s lives and build mutual understanding across cultures and communities. The organization is headquartered in New York City with offices and affiliates in Cambodia, France, India, Peru, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Since 1965, our global team of experts has preserved the world’s diverse cultural heritage using the highest international standards at more than 700 sites in 112 countries. Partnering with local communities, funders, and governments, WMF draws on heritage to address some of today’s most pressing challenges: climate adaptation, inclusive heritage, balanced tourism, and post-crisis recovery. With a commitment to the people who bring places to life, WMF embraces the potential of the past to create a more resilient and inclusive society.

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Albertine Foundation

Previously known as FACE Foundation, Albertine Foundation is an American nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting French-American relations through innovative cultural and educational projects. In close partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and its arts institution Villa Albertine, Albertine Foundation promotes artistic, literary, and educational exchange and collaboration between creative professionals from both countries thanks to corporate, foundation, and individual support.

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