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News Articles

The following recent articles feature programs and people sponsored or supported by Sealaska Heritage Institute:

Staying connected with Native culture
KTUU-TV
Today was the final day of a four day skin sewing workshop at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Participants learned to stretch hides, cut patterns and hand sew hats and scarves made out of fur. It was put on by the Sealaska Heritage Institute as part of its Southeast Alaska Sustainable Arts project. One participant said she sewed as a kid and enjoyed making moccasins, scarves and hats with her grandmother…(more) (at the 04:45 mark) (4-21-14)

Panel questions Peabody ownership
By Stephanie Rogers
Yale Daily News
A recent campus debate about two carvings at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History has sparked a broader discussion about the role of museums to return culturally important objects. At a panel discussion in the Yale Hall of Graduate Studies last Tuesday afternoon, panelist Ashley Dalton ’15 outlined the history of these objects and called upon museums like the Peabody to publicly address the historical trauma with which they are associated while still emphasizing native continuity and agency. Dalton and Peabody officials agree that the museum has no current legal obligation to return the objects. However, other speakers from University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Smithsonian who presented on other topics related to artifact repatriation — the act of returning a cultural object home — argued that the museum should still be even more proactive to obtain formal written requests to return objects that are sacred to native groups...(more) (4-21-14)

A bridge between generations: Cyril George remembered
He was 'one of the master storytellers of our time'
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Noted Tlingit elder Cyril George Sr., leader of the Deisheetaan (Raven/Beaver) clan from Khaakáak’w Hít (Basket Bay Arch House) of Angoon, died April 15 in Anchorage at age 92. George, former mayor of Angoon, had lived in Juneau since 1975. George was remembered this past week for his gifts as an orator, storyteller and culture bearer, as well as for his role as a bridge between generations. Right up until the last months of his life, he regularly visited Tlingit language classrooms at the University of Alaska Southeast, documented Tlingit history and language through video recordings, and forged strong bonds with young people, including his 84 grandchildren, telling them clan stories over and over so they wouldn’t be forgotten...(more) (4-21-14)

Alaska becomes the second state to officially recognize indigenous languages
By Casey Kelly
KTOO-FM
Supporters of a bill to make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages organized a 15 hour sit-in protest at the Capitol on Sunday. Their dedication paid off early this morning, when the measure passed the Alaska Senate on an 18-2 vote. House Bill 216 passed the Alaska House of Representatives last week, 38-0. It now heads to Governor Sean Parnell for his signature. Dozens of people of all ages and races, many wearing their Easter finest, gathered in the hall outside Sen. Lesil McGuire’s office. The Anchorage Republican and chair of the Senate Rules Committee had the power to put House Bill 216 on the Senate’s calendar. But with end of the legislative session looming, the bill’s supporters worried it was getting caught up in last-minute, behind-the-scenes politics...(more) (4-21-14)

Tribe seeks return of artifacts taken from abandoned Alaska village
By Alex DeMarban
ALASKA DISPATCH
A prominent Southeast Alaska cultural leader says that Yale University's museum that has held onto a pair of Tlingit carvings taken from an abandoned village more than a century ago should voluntarily return the items instead of waiting for tribal officials to make a formal request. Courtesy Yale University
An East Coast museum that houses a pair of Tlingit carvings taken from an abandoned village more than a century ago should voluntarily return the items instead of waiting for tribal officials to make a formal request, said a prominent cultural leader from Southeast Alaska.
At issue are a pair of large wooden crests on display at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University...(more) (4-19-14)

SHI seeking teachers, artists for Jinéit Art Academy
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute is seeking K-12 teachers and Native artists from seven communities to participate in the institute’s Jinéit Art Academy in Juneau. The teachers and artists will collaborate during the academy to create kits, which will be used to teach formline design, a term that describes the intricate shapes found in the distinctive Northwest Coast art. The academy is scheduled June 2-6 in Juneau and is open to applicants in Angoon, Yakutat, Craig, Haines, Hydaburg, Ketchikan and Sitka. SHI’s Jinéit Art Academy will pay for travel and lodging...(more) (4-17-14)

Photos of the Native culture center "God Hates"
Indian Country Today
News broke this week of the Westboro Baptist Church’s intentions of protesting the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage on Saturday June 1. The church is well known for its offensive protests. In the past it has celebrated the death of soldiers by protesting at their funerals (church members believe that soldiers defend what they see as the government’s pro-homosexual agenda when they defend the country) and railed about God’s so-called hate toward homosexuals and more. Now, it has turned its attention to Native Americans...(more) (4-17-14)

SHI to sponsor Latseen Leadership Academy
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Applications are now available for Sealaska Heritage Institute’s annual Latseen Leadership Academy program. Applications will be accepted through May 16. SHI for the first time will offer the program in two Southeast Alaska villages. This year’s academies for high school students will be held July 6-19 on Prince of Wales Island and July 19-31 in Angoon. Travel scholarships are available for students living outside of those areas. Students will be placed at one of the camps according to their proximity to the camp locations...(more) (4-10-14)

SHI to sponsor lecture on new research on ancient herring populations
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor a lecture in April to unveil intriguing research on ancient herring populations in Alaska and Native people’s long-term reliance on the resource. Lecturer Dr. Madonna Moss, professor of anthropology at University of Oregon, has studied herring bones at 16 archaeological sites in Southeast Alaska that date back 10,000 years. In her talk, she’ll reveal some of her findings so far...(more) (4-3-14)

Language nights ignite passion for Tlingit culture
GREEN & GOLD NEWS
University of Alaska Anchorage
As a child, Nae Brown’s grandfather journeyed from Alaska to attend the Chemawa Indian School—sharing the fate of thousands of Alaska Native children sent away to live in boarding schools that, too often, severely punished them for speaking their own languages or practicing their own customs. When Nae’s grandfather returned, years later, he no longer spoke the Tlingit tongue. “It seemed like a big void,” said Nae, an Alaska Native Studies student at the University of Alaska Southeast. “You can’t have culture without language or language without culture. It’s a connection to our ancestors"...(more) (3-19-14)

Alaska artists create art from cultural traditions
NEWSMINER
By Theresa Bakker
Two pieces of artwork recently arrived at the University of Alaska Museum of the North from the same auction in Juneau — a blown glass sculpture called “Copper Totem” and “Sitka Petroglyph,” a beaded collar made of felted wool. Both pieces were purchased in early February at an event sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Southeast Alaska. One of the objects will be catalogued and included in the museum’s ethnology collection. The other will become part of the collected works in the museum’s fine arts department...(more) (3-23-14)

Perpetuating culture, restoring language: Tlingit and the Sealaska Heritage Institute
Rising Voices
“We don’t want what you did here to only echo in the air, how our grandfathers used to do things… Yes. You have unwrapped it for us. That is why we will open again this container of wisdom left in our care.” This quote by George Davis (Kichnáalx—Lk’aanaaw) of Angoon led the opening Sealaska Heritage Institute conference in 1980. The organisation exists to “perpetuate the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures,” with a more recent primary focus on language restoration...(more) (3-17-14)

SHI to sponsor Native Artist Market
JUNEAU EMPIRE
SHI will sponsor a Native Artist Market in June during Celebration 2014. Native artists should apply now for a table at the market, which will be held June 12-14 at Sealaska Plaza in downtown Juneau. To apply for a table, contact Shaadoo’tlaa at 586-9129 or shaa@sealaska.com. Space is limited to forty tables...(more) (3-6-14)

SHI extends deadline for juried art competition
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has extended the application deadline for the 2014 Juried Art Competition and Show to April 7. Artists may submit up to three pieces for review. Jurors select artwork based on high quality and integrity of Northwest Coast art in three categories: customary, customary-inspired, and 2D formline design. Selected artwork will be on display during Celebration (June 11-14) and eligible for prizes. SHI will make the following awards for best of show and in three categories...(more) (3-6-14)

SHI accepting applications for juried art competition
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting applications for its seventh biennial Juried Art Show and Competition during Celebration 2014, scheduled June 11-14 in Juneau. SHI has added a new category this year: 2D formline design, meaning formline on a flat surface such as a print of formline...(more) (2-21-14)

Live stream-ing UAS program brings Southeast's outdoors into the classroom
By Mary Catharine Martin
Capital City Weekly
What are the physics of a Tlingit canoe? What is the chemistry of smoking fish?
If you're teaching science, technology, reading, engineering, art and math, why not teach them through a lens of place and culture? The STREAM institute, whose name comes from the initials of the subjects it teaches, is an initiative by the University of Alaska Southeast and partners. Its aim is to create school lessons specific to Southeast Alaska...(more) (2-19-14)

Thank you for making SHI's Tináa Art Auction a success
Capital City Weekly
Thank you community of Juneau and the people who attended for making SHI's Tináa Art Auction a success. Thank you to the people who sponsored the event, bought tickets, made donations at the event, and purchased art and other items up for auction. Because of you, we raised more than $300,000 for the construction of the Walter Soboleff Center. Great thanks to the following who made the auction successful...(more) (2-12-14)

Place-based fashion
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
2014 is already shaping up to be a stimulating year for Juneau residents interested in fashion design — particularly in terms of fashion that carries a strong sense of place...The concept of drawing on the natural world and on cultural history to inform clothing design was also prominently featured in a fashion show this past weekend as part of Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Tináa Art Auction. But in this case, the natural world was represented not only in imagery, but in the materials the artists used to create their pieces. The artists’ links to their cultural history and identity were much more explicit in this venue, collectively reflecting a pride in Alaska’s indigenous cultures...(more) (2-6-14)

Inaugural Juneau auction draws big crowd
Anchorage Daily News
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A capacity crowd attended Sealaska Heritage Institute's first art auction featuring works by northwest Native artists in Juneau, collectively raising more than $300,000 for an educational facility under construction. The Tinaa Art Auction Saturday night drew a sold-out, black-tie crowd of more than 300, the Juneau Empire (http://is.gd/fx8eUC) reported Monday. The auction title, Tinaa, is a Tlingit word referring to a traditional copper shield representing trade and wealth...(more) (2-3-14)

Inaugural Juneau auction draws big crowd
San Francisco Chronicle
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A capacity crowd attended Sealaska Heritage Institute's first art auction featuring works by northwest Native artists in Juneau, collectively raising more than $300,000 for an educational facility under construction. The Tinaa Art Auction Saturday night drew a sold-out, black-tie crowd of more than 300, the Juneau Empire (http://is.gd/fx8eUC) reported Monday. The auction title, Tinaa, is a Tlingit word referring to a traditional copper shield representing trade and wealth...(more) (2-3-14)

Tináa Art Auction a big success
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The artwork on view at Saturday night’s Tináa Art Auction at Centennial Hall highlighted the vibrancy and range of what’s been happening recently in the world of Northwest Coast art, while paving the way for a project that will help carry that energy forward into the future. Tináa, Sealaska Heritage Institute’s first-ever art auction, drew a sold-out, black-tie crowd of more than 300 people, who collectively raised more than $300,000 for the Walter Soboleff Center, currently under construction on Front Street downtown. The building, named for a highly influential Tlingit elder and spiritual leader who died in 2011 at age 102, will house an array of art programs, as well as performance and exhibit spaces and a retail shop...(more) (Slideshow) (2-3-14)

Empire Editorial: The power of language
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Language influences much of our everyday lives, from the depth of how we express ourselves to the way in which we view the world. For thousands and thousands of Alaska Natives, their language was taken from them and replaced with English decades ago. When a language becomes nearly extinct, the cultural tie that links a group of people to their heritage is weakened. A new program by the Sealaska Heritage Institute is making strides to strengthen that bond by revitalizing the Tlingit language, which today is only spoken by about 200 people, according to SHI’s Rosita Worl...(more) (1-31-14)

SHI begins 3-year Tlingit language mentor/apprentice pairing
By Mary Catharine Martin
Capital City Weekly
Tlingit elders and language learners gathered at the Sealaska Heritage Institute at the end of January to begin a project that's been long in the making: Tlingit language mentor and apprentice pairings.
Formally called "Bridging Challenges to Fluency through Partnerships: A Tlingit Mentor-Apprentice Language Program," the project pairs elders and apprentices from Yakutat, Sitka and Juneau for a three-year language learning project."I'm excited to hear our language alive," said SHI Director Rosita Worl in opening comments for the orientation and training workshop. "Every time we lose a speaker, it hurts us all, but we should also be celebrating that as each day goes by, our language becomes stronger."...(more) (1-29-14)

A day in the life of: Ka Seix Selina Everson
By Mary Catharine Martin
Capital City Weekly
Ka Seix Selina Everson was thirteen in the early 1940s, when she first went to Sheldon Jackson College, then a boarding school for Native children. She was born in Angoon, and grew up hearing her elders, her parents and her grandmothers speak Tlingit. Her grandmothers and her mother spoke only Tlingit. So it was a shock to arrive in Sitka and find the use of her language discouraged, even forbidden. But it's a shock she doesn't remember - it was just too painful."I wiped it out of my mind," she said. Her brothers, forbidden from speaking Tlingit on the campus "ground," would jump up in the air to speak to each other...(more) (1-29-14)

SHI accepting applications for college, voc-tech scholarships
Capital City Weekly
Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting scholarship applications for the 2014-2015 school year.
The deadline to apply is March 1. However, the institute is offering a $50 incentive to those who complete their scholarship application on or before Feb. 1 and who are accepted as scholarship recipients; if selected as a recipient, the $50 will be included in their scholarship award. Scholarships must be filled out and submitted online from SHI's website...(more) (1-29-14)

New program pairs elders, students in hope of restoring Tlingit language
By Laurel Andrews
ALASKA DISPATCH
A three-year language mentorship program beginning in Southeast Alaska in August hopes to help revitalize the Tlingit language, classified as on the edge of extinction, by pairing fluent elders with advanced learners of the language. On Tuesday, Sealaska Heritage Institute announced the six apprentice-mentor teams that will spend the next three years working together. Apprentices will be paired with elders in the communities of Sitka, Yakutat and Juneau, working toward fluency in the language...(more) (1-26-14)

Photo: Canoe give me a hand?
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Donald Gregory, left, and Zachary Jones of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, unwrap a 14.5 foot long interwaterway canoe on Thursday carved by Tlingit artist Fred Bemis of Yakutat. The canoe will be up for sale at next weekend’s Tináa Art Auction held by SHI at Centennial Hall to help fund the new Walter Soboleff Center. Wings of Alaska donated a flight on Thursday to fly the canoe to Juneau...(more) (1-24-14)

A day in the life: Joshua Jackson, kindergarten teacher, constant learner
By Mary Catharine Martin
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Harborview kindergarten teacher Joshua Jackson makes managing a classroom of 20 five-year-olds look easy. On a recent day, the words on the board for "Walk to Read," the name of a Juneau elementary school program that gathers students at a similar reading level from several different kindergarten classes, were "big," "bin," "a" and "is." Led by "Mr. Josh," the students spent time rearranging letters to form words, and words to form a sentence: "A bin is big." Then they tried it on their own - a scene with kindergartener-friendly scissors, glue sticks, paper and lots of individual attention...(more)
(1-22-14)

SHI to sponsor skin sewing workshops in five communities
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor skin-sewing workshops in five communities in an effort to revitalize a traditional art form and to create a cottage industry in Southeast Alaska, according to a release from the Native corporation.
Through the program, called the Southeast Alaska Sustainable Arts Project, students in Angoon, Ketchikan, Haines, Anchorage and Petersburg will learn to stretch hides, cut patterns and hand-sew hats and scarves from furs. The first class is scheduled this month in Angoon, and after receiving numerous requests from people in Anchorage, SHI for the first time will sponsor a skin-sewing workshop there. Almost 2,000 Sealaska shareholders live in Anchorage and the surrounding area...(more) (1-22-14)

SHI chooses mentor-apprentice teams to revitalize Tlingit language
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has chosen six teams of Tlingit speakers and students who will hone their skills over the next three years in an effort to revitalize the Tlingit language. SHI chose mentor-apprentice teams in Sitka, Yakutat and Juneau and will train them on mentor-apprentice language methods and strategies later this month. The institute made Native language revitalization a priority in the 1990s and has cultivated a number of students, but it’s time to intensify that effort, said SHI President Rosita Worl...(more)

Empire Editorial: Nov. 14 should be known as Walter Soboleff Day
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Nov. 14 could become known in Alaska as Walter Soboleff Day. We hope that it is. Lawmakers on both sides introduced legislation last week that would further cement the late Native elder’s place in history by commemorating the day he was born. It was on Nov. 14, 1908, that we were given Walter Soboleff, and from that day forth Alaska has been better off thanks to the roles he played, big and small...(more) (1-17-14)

A long way from home
Tlingit helmet's arrival in Springfield may remain a mystery
By Matthew Timothy Bradley
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
After surviving a 1792 attack by a Tlingit war party in Prince William Sound, future Governor of Russian Alaska Alexander Baranov described the Tlingit warriors as wearing “thick helmets with figures of monsters on them.” While the figures on the helmets must have been terrifying indeed to Baranov, they were anything but monstrous to the wearers. They were their clan crests, vital elements of Tlingit social and personal identity. A Russian account of the 1802 raid on Saint Michael also mentions Tlingit war helmets, and documentation of the 1804 Battle of Sitka describes Chief K’alyáan’s Raven helmet, which now resides at the Sheldon Jackson Museum near the site of the battle...(more) (1-16-14)

Soboleff Center construction coming along
Construction of culutral center's infrastructure nearly complete
By Emily Russo Miller
JUNEAU EMPIRE
First came the excavation, then the groundwork. Now, the infrastructure is nearly complete. Construction crews are almost done building the steel framework that will support the Walter Soboleff Cultural Center, Sealaska Heritage Instutite’s new cultural center being built on the corner of Seward and Front Streets in downtown Juneau. The towering three-story “steel skeleton”, as the project manager put it, rose quickly. “I have friends that said, ‘I hadn’t been downtown in two weeks and now there’s a building there’,” Lee Kadinger, Sealaska’s chief operating officer and the project manager, said as he chuckled during in an interview Wednesday...(more) (1-16-14)

SHI's Tináa auction brings together works by major Northwest Coast artists
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
A major art auction will take place in Juneau in a couple weeks, bringing together work from some of the biggest names in Northwest Coast art. Organized by Sealaska Heritage Institute as a fundraiser for the Walter Soboleff Center, currently under construction on Front Street, the Tináa Art Auction is an early manifestation of what SHI hopes to achieve through the Soboleff Center — establish Juneau as a center of Northwest Coast art in the region, and celebrate the vitality of the genre as a whole...(more) (1-16-14)

Stedman says hydro funds tight, otter bill will change
By Ed Schoenfeld
CoastAlaska News
...(Sitka Sen. Bert) Stedman last year proposed a bounty on sea otters, which eat shellfish Southeast divers and crabbers harvest. His bill brought strong criticism from environmental groups. And the federal agency managing otters said it would violate marine-mammal-protection law. The legislation is still in play. Stedman says he wants to find a different way to support Native hunters, the only people allowed to harvest otters and process their pelts. “I need to sit down with the Sealaska Heritage (Institute)...(more) (1-14-14)

Bill would create Walter Soboleff Day
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Bi-partisan legislation introduced Jan. 10 would designate Nov. 14 as Walter Soboleff Day, honoring the life of the Tlingit elder who died in 2011 at age 102. Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau, Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka, and Rep. Peggy Wilson, R-Wrangell, are co-prime sponsors of the legislation, according to a news release from the House Democratic Caucus...The Sealaska Heritage Institute is building a multi-million-dollar arts center named for Soboleff in downtown Juneau...(more) (1-13-14)

Emergence of rare Tlingit war helmet raises a chorus for homecoming
By Laurel Andrews
ALASKA DISPATCH
Tribal leaders are hoping a rare Tlingit war helmet that sat mislabeled in museum archives in western Massachusetts for more than 100 years will be returned to Southeast Alaska now that the artifact, considered a sacred object, has been brought to light. The helmet, uncovered this autumn in the Springfield Science Museum archives, was put on display in late December. Records show that the object was accepted into the museum’s collections around the turn of the 20th century, spokesperson Matt Longhi said. The helmet was logged into museum archives simply, and incorrectly, as “Aleutian hat"...(more) (1-8-14)

Faces of Alaska: Rosita Worl
By Alexandra Gutierrez
Alaska Public Media
Throughout her life, Dr. Rosita Worl has been a fighter, an anthropologist and an activist. She's made it her life's goal to preserve Southeast Alaska Native traditions while building a collective future for Native people throughout the state. Her early life was full of drama. She's been kidnapped, she has fled from an arranged marriage and she fought her way through high school. But Dr. Worl persevered through these hardships and those early memories have remained an important part of her history. I sat down with Rosita at her home in Juneau to talk about her progression from being a young child to her current role as president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more) (1-7-14)

Scholarships offered to Sealaska shareholders
By Ed Schoenfeld
CoastAlaska News
The Sealaska Heritage Institute is once again offering scholarships to students attending college, graduate school or vocational-technical programs. Only Sealaska shareholders and their lineal descendents are eligible. Institute President Rosita Worl says up to 400 scholarships are awarded each year. “A major consideration is the hopes that our educated young people will come back home and help us in developing strong, healthy communities,” Worl says. The application deadline is March 1st. Students submitting paperwork by February 1st get an extra $50 tacked onto their scholarships, if they qualify...(more) (1-7-14)

Southeast Alaska Native art heritage celebrated statewide
By Garrett Turner
KTUU-TV
Last weekend, the Sealaska Heritage Institute offered a chance to pass down a tradition from generation to generation, in a formline design workshop at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. Formline is a term that describes the complex designs that make up the distinctive Northwest Coast art practiced by the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian clans. Formline design expert Steve Brown says this cultural art is important to the heritage of many Alaska Natives. "In trying to learn this historical background and the established tradition of this art form, it means they can carry it on from one generation to another -- the same way it came down over the last thousand or two years," Brown said...(more) (1-6-14)

The Elizabeth Peratrovich Project: The tools to talk about civil rights
League of Women Voters project puts materials, guides at teachers' fingertips
By Melissa Griffiths
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Elizabeth Peratrovich’s most famous quote is likely, “I would not have expected that I, who am barely out of savagery, would have to remind gentlemen with 5,000 years of recorded civilization behind them, of our Bill of Rights.” — a response to comments made by a territorial senator. It seems Peratrovich had a way with words and a presence that would captivate people for long after the bill being debated was signed. When carolyn Brown saw the film “For the Rights of All: Ending Jim Crow in Alaska,” she was moved. She felt the film, a documentary about civil rights activism in Alaska focusing on the efforts of Elizabeth Peratrovich, her husband, Roy, and members of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and the Alaska Native Sisterhood, should be in every school and library in Alaska...(more) (1-5-14)

CCW 2013 Year in Review
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
...August: The Walter Soboleff Center raised enough funds to break ground and start building this cultural center in downtown Juneau in honor of the late Walter Soboleff. The ground breaking was celebrated with traditional Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian songs and dances, along with several insightful speeches. Read more here: http://capitalcityweekly.com/stories/080713/new_1165724646.shtml...(more) (1-1-14)

Gold Medal Tournament to include women's teams
"B" and "M" brackets lose two teams, "C" gains two
By Klas Stolpe
JUNEAU EMPIRE
For the first time in six years a woman’s bracket will be included into the Juneau Lions Club Gold Medal Basketball Tournament. According to a press release from JLC president Edward Hotch a committee of club members reviewed an October proposal from Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Carmaleeda Estrada to include women’s teams, voted unanimously in November to add the women’s bracket again and began this week notifying all bracket teams selected to the tournament...(more) (12-20-13)

SHI's first art auction attracts big names in Northwest Coast art
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Native artists who have committed pieces to Sealaska Heritage Institute’s first-ever Native art auction rank among the top Northwest Coast artists in the world. The list of donors who have committed work to the Tináa Art Auction — which will raise funds to build the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau — reads like a Who’s Who of Northwest Coast artists, said SHI President Rosita Worl. Some of the artists are so well known, their pieces sell for tens of thousands of dollars, and the auction will be a chance for collectors to own work by artists they might otherwise not be able to buy...(more) (12-19-13)

Native artists commit works for Sealaska auction
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute officials say more than 40 northwest Native artists have committed works for an auction fundraiser scheduled to take place next year in Juneau. The Tinaa (Tin-AH’) Art Auction is scheduled for Feb. 1 and will feature a live auction, silent auction and a Native fashion show. The pieces committed by artists for the auction range in value between $500 and $55,000. Works include weavings, jewelry, paintings, and wood and glass carvings...(more) (12-18-13)

Sealaska Heritage almost at $20M construction goal
Organization has raised $17.5 million
By Katie Moritz
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Despite construction setbacks due to flooding in September, Sealaska Heritage Institute still plans to complete the $20 million construction of the Walter Soboleff Center by January 2015. Chief operating officer Lee Kadinger spoke to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce lunch crowd Thursday at the Moose Lodge about the center’s progress and design. Thanks to funding from the city, state and Rasmuson Foundation and other organizations, along with 680 private individuals, Sealaska Heritage Institute has raised $17.5 million dollars to build the center, Kadinger said...(more) (12-6-13)

Sealaska Heritage Institute plans art auction fundraiser for Soboleff Center
By Casey Kelly
KTOO-FM
Construction workers this week began erecting the steel frame for Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Walter Soboleff Center in downtown Juneau. The 29,000 square foot facility is scheduled for completion in January 2015. SHI has raised about $17.5 million of the $20 million project cost. The nonprofit is planning a major fundraiser early next year to get closer to the overall goal. Project manager and Sealaska Heritage Institute Chief Operating Officer Lee Kadinger says construction is moving quickly...(more) (12-6-13)

December art openings
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Gallery Walk is a big night for downtown Juneau, and this year it’s going to be even bigger. For the first time, Gallery Walk will also be an officially sanctioned Block Party, thanks to a collaborative effort between the Downtown Business Association and the City and Borough of Juneau. Front Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from 4-9 p.m., transforming that section of town into a public space where art walkers can gather to plot their next move or listen to DJ Manu play a mix of holiday music. Bundle up and check it out!...(more) (12-5-13)

Tlingit clan leader: Everything has a spirit
By Casey Kelly
KTOO-FM
A Shangukeidí Clan Leader says the essence of Tlingit spirituality is this: Everything has a spirit. David Katzeek spoke Tuesday in the final installment of Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Native American History Month Lecture Series. “We have words for it,” Katzeek said, speaking the phrase first in Tlingit, then English. “I have the spirit within me.” In the Tlingit tradition, Katzeek said the words he spoke came not from him, but from his teachers and ancestors...(more) (11-27-13)

Feds finalize otter use guidelines
By Matt Lichtenstein
KFSK-FM
The federal government has finalized new guidelines on the use of sea otters by Alaska Natives. The change is aimed at better-defining a requirement that hides must be “significantly altered” in order to be considered authentic native handicrafts or clothing that can be sold to non-natives...t’s a positive step, according to the Sealaska Heritage Institute which teaches classes in the native tradition of skin sewing. SHI Chief Operating Officer Lee Kadinger says the new wording still needs some adjustment but, overall, he says SHI appreciates the change...(more) (11-21-13)

Worl says shamanism still influential in Tlingit culture today
By Casey Kelly
KTOO-FM
The Tlingit people of Southeast Alaska no longer practice shamanism, but elements of it still exist in their culture today. That’s according to Anthropologist and Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl, who spoke Monday as part of SHI’s Native American History Month Lecture Series. Worl says shamanism used to be a major component of Tlingit life. She says every clan had a shaman before Russian and American colonization largely forced the Tlingit people to abandon their traditional religion. “Shamanism is generally associated with hunting, fishing and gathering societies that often migrate with seasons to follow their food sources,” says Worl. “To bring food, health and protection from evil, shaman seek connections with animal powers through their rituals"...(more) (11-19-13)

State lawmakers want clarity on feather use in art
Murkowski, Young introduce bill
ASSOCIATED PRESS
ANCHORAGE — Two members of Alaska’s congressional delegation have introduced bills that would clarify that it’s OK for Alaska Natives to sell artwork adorned with bird feathers. Under the legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, some traditional Alaska Native art and crafts would be exempt from a provision of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act barring the sale of items containing the feathers and non-edible parts of migratory birds. The issue began receiving attention after Archie Cavanaugh, a well-respected Tlingit artist, was fined $2,200 for trying to sell a headdress adorned with feathers online, the Anchorage Daily News reported...(more) (11-18-13)

Photo: Rock Your Mocs
By Michael Penn
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Kathy Dye, left, Lee Kadinger, Zach Jones, Davina Cole, Shaadootlaa, Rachael Demarte, Mike Hoyt, Dr. Rosita Worl and Sarah Dybdahl, right, all sport their moccasins to work at the Sealaska Heritage Institute as part of Rock Your Mocs day Friday...(more) (11-16-13)

Educator makes case for Native spirituality
By Ed Schoenfeld
CoastAlaska News
Most Northern Native people have had their traditional spirituality squeezed out of them. That’s according to Jana Harcharek, director of the North Slope Borough School District’s Iñupiaq Education Department. She spoke Nov. 12 as part of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Native spirituality lecture series. Harcharek told her audience that her culture, including its spirituality, was almost destroyed by churches and schools...(more) (11-14-13)

Native American Heritage Month lectures, films continue
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Native American Heritage Month Lecture Series continues Tuesday, Nov. 12 with “Reclaiming Traditional Spirituality,” led by with Jana Harcharek, director, Iñupiaq Education Department at North Slope Borough School District. Harcharek will speak about efforts to effect change to make the discussion of traditional “religion” acceptable for purposes of setting the stage for the reclamation of traditional spirituality more widespread in the Iñupiaq region. The theme of this year’s lecture series is spirituality...(more) (11-7-13)

Alaska Native leaders upset by effort to overturn water rights ruling
FAIRBANKS NEWS MINER
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A decision by Gov. Sean Parnell's administration to try to overturn a subsistence and water rights ruling is an assault on rural Alaska, according to the largest statewide Native organization in the state. Rosita Worl, chairwoman of the Alaska Federation of Native's subsistence committee, called the state's actions "a reckless attempt to unravel the precedents set by the lower courts and through administrative procedures. "Too much time, energy and precious funding has been wasted in the state's ongoing attacks on subsistence," she said. "Enough is enough"...(more) (11-6-13)

Anthropologist discusses Tlingit spirituality
By CoastAlaska News
Traditional Tlingit culture is filled with spiritual presence and powers that exist within and beyond direct experience. That’s according to University of Alaska Anchorage Anthropology Professor Steve Langdon. He spoke Tuesday about Tlingit spiritual connections and obligations. It was the first of five Native spirituality programs sponsored by the Juneau-based Sealaska Heritage Institute as part of Native American Heritage Month. Here, he uses a traditional salmon story to illustrate different dimensions of the beliefs...(more) (11-6-13)

Native American Heritage Month lectures, films begin
JUNEAU EMPIRE
November is Native American Hertiage Month, and as in previous years, Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor a lecture series, and the University of Alaska Southeast will host a film series. The lecture series will be offered on Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m. and the films will be shown Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. Read on for details...(more) (Schedule) (Flyer) (10-31-13)

Doyon makes award for Soboleff Center
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Doyon, Limited, has made a major donation to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) to help build the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau. Doyon's President and CEO, Aaron Schutt, announced the company's gift of $100,000 to SHI at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Fairbanks. "It is an honor for Doyon, Limited, to assist our friends at the Sealaska Heritage Institute in bringing to fruition the Walter Soboleff Center. The intent of the building, to have a place that celebrates culture, arts and traditions of all Alaska Natives, is significant," said Schutt...(more) (10-30-13)

Getting better every day
By Ben Brown
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The sight of not one, but two, large construction cranes rising high above downtown Juneau this year has been exhilarating and encouraging. While a lot of exciting construction and remodeling is underway all around town, these cranes mark two particularly large projects which promise to transform the Capital City for the better. The State Library, Archive & Museum (SLAM) and the Walter Soboleff Center together point toward a promising future awaiting all of us who are fortunate enough to call Juneau home, and will bring people here from around the world...(more) (8-28-13)

Carving of first Gajaa Hit pole nearly complete
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Haida carvers Joe and TJ Young have nearly finished carving the first of two totem poles that will replace existing poles at the Gajaa Hit building on Willoughby Avenue in downtown Juneau. Since late August, the carvers, who are brothers, have been working on the pole in a tent behind Gajaa Hit, transforming it from a shaggy, 7,000-pound red cedar log into a finely detailed work of art, one that honors the Raven clans of the Aak’w Kwáan Tlingit. Work on the second pole, honoring the Eagle clans, will begin in March...(more) (10-18-13)

Xh'unei Lance Twitchell
By Mary Catharine Martin
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Lance Twitchell, Tlingit language speaker and associate professor of Alaska Native Languages at the University of Alaska Southeast, was working toward an English major in his Minnesota college when he wrote an essay on the revitalization of Native American languages. When he got the essay back, it had an uncharacteristically bad grade, and one of the only comments was "Why doesn't everybody speak English?""(I thought) 'They still make people like you?'" Twitchell said. "I was really surprised"...(more) (10-16-13)

SHI awarded $454,828 grant toward Tlingit revitalization
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute has received a federal grant to fund a Tlingit language mentor-apprentice program in Southeast Alaska. The $454,828 grant from the Administration of Native Americans for Language Preservation and Maintenance will establish a Tlingit mentor-apprentice program that works towards perpetuating and revitalizing the Tlingit language. SHI will partner with fluent speakers, advanced Tlingit learners, and three Southeast communities to increase the number of fluent Tlingit speakers under the age of 60 by 300 percent over 3 years. "We now have teachers, we have language learners, and we have material, and so this is absolutely a great event for us to be able to now have a formal program," said SHI President Rosita Worl...(more) (10-16-13)

Sealaska Heritage Institute selects two brothers for totem poles and screen for Gajaa Hit building
ALASKA NATIVE NEWS
During the last decade there has been a cultural movement in Hydaburg, Alaska. The community is being lifted up through people like the Young brothers who are contributing to the success of the Haida culture through their love of carving and the Haida language. Brothers Joe and T.J. Young, shareholder descendants, have been selected by Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) to carve two totem poles and a house screen for the Gajaa Hít building in Juneau...(more) (9-26-13)

SHI chooses artists to carve totem poles
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has chosen two Native brothers to carve totem poles and a screen for the Gajaa Hít building in Juneau's Indian Village.
Joe and T.J. Young will carve the pieces for the building, which is located near the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. SHI hired the team in 2009 to carve an Eagle pole at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), so staff is familiar with their work...(more) (9-25-13)

Tidal flooding won’t delay Soboleff Center construction
By Casey Kelly
KTOO
Tidal flooding is not expected to delay construction of Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Walter Soboleff Center. Late last week, the future site of the building at Front and Seward Streets in downtown Juneau filled with water from an extreme high tide, stopping work there. Lee Kadinger is SHI’s Chief Financial Officer and project manager for the center, to be located across the street from Sealaska Plaza. He says the Institute and contractor Dawson Construction anticipated some flooding, since that section of downtown is largely built on fill…(more) (9-23-13)

Flooded construction site a reminder of Juneau's mining history
By Jennifer Canfield
Work on the Walter Soboleff Cultural Center in downtown Juneau will resume Monday, Dawson Construction Project Superintendent Len Andrews said. Work was halted Thursday after a high tide flooded the excavation site. Andrews said engineers and crew on the project were expecting the flooding, they just weren’t sure when. “I was actually relieved that we didn’t have to deal with the tides until now,” Andrews said…(more) (9-22-13)

SHI awarded $454,828 grant towards language revitalization
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has received a federal grant to fund a Tlingit language mentor-apprentice program in Southeast Alaska. The $454,828 grant from the Administration of Native Americans for Language Preservation and Maintenance will establish a Tlingit mentor-apprentice program that works towards perpetuating and revitalizing the Tlingit language. SHI will partner with fluent speakers, advanced Tlingit learners, and three Southeast communities to increase the number of fluent Tlingit speakers under the age of 60 by 300 percent over three years...(more) (9-19-13)

Sealaska Heritage Institute granted $455K for language revitalization
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
To increase the number of fluent Tlingit speakers under 60 years old by 300 percent over three years, the Sealaska Heritage Institute has received a federal grant to fund a Tlingit language Mentor-Apprentice program in Southeast Alaska. The $454,828 grant comes from the Administration of Native Americans for Language Preservation and Maintenance and will establish the mentor-apprentice program that will work toward perpetuating and revitalizing the language...(more) (9-16-13)

Video: Stopping grave robbers, protecting sacred remains and NAGPRA
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
The Association of American Indian Affairs was integral in enacting the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. In this video, the association walks watchers through the process of why the act was so important and how it came to be. NAGPRA became law on November 16, 1990. The video also discusses changes since NAGPRA was first signed...(more) (9-12-13)

New IPinCH Special Initiative--Reducing Barriers for Alaska Native Sustainable Arts: A Legal Analysis of the Marine Mammal Protection Act
IPinCH
The Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), formed in 1980, is a Juneau-based, non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating and enhancing the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska through cultural and educational programs. The Sustainable Arts Program of the SHI offers training in the use of natural resources harvested by members of these nations for traditional and commercial art. The sewing of sea otter skins is one of the traditional practices that is now being revived through workshops at the SHI. The 1972 U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act, implemented to counter the depletion of marine mammal life, has created challenges for SHI’s Sustainable Arts Program in relation to the production of handicrafts out of sea otters...(more) (9-11-13)

Worl retires from federal advisory committee after 12 years of service
SHI president discusses significance, future of a federal law that returns cultural items to tribes

By Jennifer Canfield
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Dr. Rosita Worl has retired after 12 years of service from her post on a federal advisory committee that has been instrumental in returning cultural artifacts to Southeast Alaska. Until Friday, Worl — who is the president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute — was the sole Alaska Native on the seven-member Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Review Committee. “I just feel like it’s time to move. It’s a lot of work and a tremendous amount of reading,” Worl said. “It was truly an honor to be on the board"...(more) (9-4-13)

Collector buys, donates old Haida hat to Sealaska Heritage Institute
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
A California collector of Native art has donated an old spruce root hat likely made by a Haida weaver to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI). The hat is dated to 1900 or earlier and is believed to be of Haida origin because it has a “frog’s back” design—a recognizable Haida weaving method that was incorporated to make pieces feel bumpy, like a frog’s back. The donor, former Alaskan Monica Wyatt, first saw the hat in August at the Flury & Company gallery in Seattle. “I was transfixed. I couldn’t stop looking at it,” Wyatt said. “But it was too fine a piece for just me to have. I’ve collected contemporary pieces that make me happy, but there’s no way I could feel good about having a cultural piece with only me here to appreciate it. So I left the gallery.” But she didn’t get far. The hat called her back...(more) (9-12-13)

Empire Editorial: Let's get behind downtown revitalization
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Alaskan Hotel celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, in all its creaking glory, as do many other downtown buildings — buildings built to last, but with a tendency to burn and some outdated amenities. A walk through downtown Juneau shows a lot of character and a lot of history, but also empty storefronts, vacant lots and burnt out buildings. We think downtown deserves an overall facelift and we support efforts to revitalize Alaska’s capital city...(more) (8-30-13)

Soboleff Center design reflects past and future
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
A second giant crane now towers over downtown Juneau at Front and Seward Streets and, like its companion on Willoughby Avenue, it signals bright days ahead for Juneau’s — and the state’s — arts community. The Walter Soboleff Center on Front Street and the Alaska State Library Archives and Museum building on Willoughby will both house public facilities that promise to strengthen Juneau’s position as a hub for arts and cultural activity in the state, while providing many new resources for artists, educators and researchers from Southeast and beyond.Like the SLAM project, the Soboleff Center also brings an exciting new addition to our urban landscape — a modern building on a street that hasn’t changed too much in the past 100 years...(more) (8-30-13)

Carvers begin work replacing Gajaa Hit totem poles
By Jeremy Hsieh
KTOO
Sealaska Heritage Institute Art Director Rico Worl rubbed his fingers against the 26-foot tall Raven totem pole in front of the Gajaa Hit building off Willoughby Avenue on Wednesday. Small bits of the soft wood flecked off. “The wood is decaying,” Worl said. And that’s just the beginning of his damage report. “You can see this pole … the wing that fell off, a beak fell off,” he said, gesturing upwards. “Multiple parts have fallen off.” A few feet down the sidewalk, he points out how the powerful Taku winds flow down Willoughby and strip the paint from the Eagle totem pole. The Tlingit artwork has seen better days. And yet, flanking a similarly weathered Tlingit screen, the 35-year-old woodwork collectively still creates the imposing façade of a traditional clan house...(more) (8-29-13)

Young brothers begin work on downtown totem pole
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Haida carvers Joe and TJ Young arrived in Juneau Monday to begin work on the first of two totem poles for Juneau’s Gajaa Hit building on Willoughby Avenue. The two poles will replace originals currently on site at Gajaa Hit erected in 1977 to honor the Raven and Eagle clans of the Aak’w Kwáan Tlingit. For the next several months, the Young brothers will work on the Raven pole at the Sealaska building downtown, offering an opportunity for locals to observe two of the state’s most highly regarded young carvers at work, while witnessing the gradual emergence of a major art piece for Alaska’s capital city...(more) (8-29-13)

Amazing step-by-step carving of Eagle totem pole by Young brothers
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has announced that two brothers, Joe and TJ Young, will be carving totem poles and a screen for the Gajaa Hít building in Juneau’s Indian Village. The new works will replace poles carved in 1977 (for more on the project, read the news story at the SHI website). While the undertaking will demand artistry and commitment, SHI is in good hands with the talented Haida brothers, who carved an eagle totem pole for SHI in 2009 that was installed at the University of Alaska Southeast. These photos of Joe and TJ at work on that 2009 carving come from theSealaska Heritage Institute Picasa gallery...(more)

Institute selects brothers to carve totem poles
The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sealaska Heritage Institute has selected Alaska Native brothers to carve two totem poles for a building in Indian Village in Juneau. Officials say Joe and T.J. Young are set to begin work on one of the poles this week. Work is scheduled to begin on the second pole next year...(more) (8-27-13)

SHI to hold public viewing at Santa Fe Indian Market Aug. 15
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor a public viewing during the Santa Fe Indian Market in its continuing effort to familiarize collectors with Northwest Coast art. The event will include a display of the institute’s ethnographic collection and staff will be on hand to explain the pieces’ significance to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures — especially why some objects are considered sacred. “We have great ethnographic collections and we’re just going to be selecting a few pieces,” said SHI President Rosita Worl. “Some of them have sacred dimensions to them and we want to explain to the people that ‘Yes, we do have art but it has this cultural meaning as well.’ ”...(more) (8-14-13)

Back to school
Artists, teachers, culture bearers come together to bring Alaska Native art and culture to students in Southeast Alaska schools
By Melissa Griffiths
JUNEAU EMPIRE
“It’s coming back,” Artist Della Cheney said. “A little bit at a time.” Southeast Alaska Native art and culture, that is, after a history of oppression. “It’s through the school system that it’s coming back,” said Artist Clarissa Rizal. “And funny thing that it’s the school system that also took away our culture, took away our language,” Rizal said. Rizal and Cheney are just two of a group of respected Southeast Alaska artists who participated in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Jinéit Art Academy workshop with a number of Southeast Alaska teachers the week of Aug. 5-9. Jinéit Art Academy is a program to ensure younger artists are learning formline — the basis of Northwest Coast art...(more) (8-11-13)

Walter Soboleff Center will build on culture
By Amy O'Neill Houck
Dancers in bold regalia chanted and swayed sharing local Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian songs and dances. They also danced to songs to them from around Alaska. Those in the audience were amazed not only at their skill and artistry but at their endurance wearing wool button blankets, leather gloves, fur boots. When planning an outside event here in Juneau, we often have to consider wind, rain, and cold, but protecting our elders from heat and sun is a rare concern. At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Walter Soboleff Center on Thursday, Aug. 1, the only umbrella was a parasol one of the attendees used to shade herself from the bright noon rays...(more) (8-7-13)

Groundbreaking held for Walter Soboleff Center
By Matt Miller
KTOO
Local, state, and Native officials, and Native elders donned hard hats and picked up shovels on Thursday afternoon to break ground on a new cultural center planned for downtown Juneau. The Walter Soboleff Center will be erected at the corner of Seward and Front Streets with Shattuck Way running along the rear of the building. The 29-thousand square foot space will be devoted to the research and study of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures. The building will house education, arts and language programs, archives and artifact collections, and offices of the Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more) (8-2-13)

Ground broken at Soboleff Center site
By Kenneth Rosen
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Sealaska Heritage Institute broke ground Thursday at the site of the planned Walter Soboleff Cultural Center with a ceremony in celebration of the center’s namesake. “I think it is so fitting that this is named for Dr. Walter Soboleff,” Chris McNeil, Sealaska CEO, said while adding that it embodies everything he stood for. Soboleff, a respected elder and leader in the Tlingit community and Southeast Alaska in general, “walked into the forest” in May of 2011 at age 102. “We wanted to be here, because we love and respect Dr. Walter Soboleff so much. We’re very honored to support the Walter Soboleff Center,” said first lady Sandy Parnell, speaking for the governor who stood at her side but had laryngitis. “What a wonderful way to celebrate Dr. Soboleff’s life among us and our memories of him”...(more)

Ground broken on planned Walter Soboleff Center
The Associated Press
Ground has been broken at the site of the planned Walter Soboleff Center in downtown Juneau. Thursday's ceremony included speeches, dancing and praise for Soboleff, the Tlingit spiritual leader who died in 2011 at age 102. First lady Sandy Parnell read a speech prepared for the governor, who stood beside her but had laryngitis. She recalled the kindness Soboleff had shown them, and said the center will be the heartbeat of the community and serve as a bridge between cultures. The center's features are expected to include art demonstration, exhibit and performance space, a research facility, library and collections storage...(more) (8-1-13)

Logs' arrival marks official beginning of totem pole project
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Two giant yellow cedar logs were delivered to the Gajaa Hít building on Village Street off Willoughby Avenue Tuesday, an important step in a project organized to replace the Raven and Eagle totems at the site. The original 26-foot poles, erected in the 1970s to honor the Raven and Eagle clans of the Aak’w Tlingit, are being removed due to safety issues related to their age. The replacement project is a joint effort organized by Sealaska Heritage Institute in partnership with the Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority, which owns the Gajaa Hít building, and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council...(more) (7-31-13)

SHI seeking RFPs for totem pole, screen replacement
By Sarah Day
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has received two grants to commission new totem poles and a screen for the Gajaa Hít building in Juneau’s Indian Village. A $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Our Town program will allow SHI to hire carvers to make the poles and to work with Native apprentices. A $5,000 grant from the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council will fund replacement of the house screen on the building, which is located near the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. The new pieces will display the crests of the first people of Juneau—the Auk Kwáan, which includes the Wooshkeetaan and L’eeneidí clans. The council’s award shows the Juneau government’s commitment to the perpetuation of cultural practices, and the federal grant demonstrates the nation’s commitment to cultural diversity, said SHI President Rosita Worl..(more) (7-25-13)

SHI awarded grants to commission new totem poles, screen in Juneau
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has received two grants to commission new totem poles and a screen for the Gajaa Hít building in Juneau’s Indian Village. A $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Our Town program will allow SHI to hire carvers to make the poles and to work with Native apprentices. A $5,000 grant from the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will fund replacement of the house screen on the building, which is located near the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. The new pieces will display the crests of the first people of Juneau — the Auk Kwáan, which includes the Wooshkeetaan and L’eeneidí clans...(more) (7-25-13)

Latseen Hoops: Tlingit language and basketball
By Greg Knight
WRANGELL SENTINEL
The Sealaska Heritage Institute “Latseen Hoop Camp,” which started on Monday at the Old Gym, features a combination of Tlingit language directions mixed with muscle-memory basketball as a way of teaching not only the sounds, but also meanings of words in the Native language of Southeast. Basketball fundamentals such as offensive and defensive skills are also taught and are at the core of the program--along with a set of lessons designed to teach leadership and cultural pride. According to the SHI website, programs such as the Hoop Camp are good for the community because "Sports are a popular activity with Native youth, provide physical and health benefits to them, and are consistent with the holistic concept of "Latseen"--strength of mind, body and spirit...(more) (7-18-13)

Walter Soboleff Center to break ground
Ceremony will be held on Aug. 1
By Kenneth Rosen
JUNEAU EMPIRE
A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled for next month on the Walter Soboleff Center, the Sealaska Heritage Institute announced Wednesday. “The big thing is that we did select the contractor,” Rosita Worl, SHI President, said. “They’re going to begin work almost as soon as the ground-breaking ceremony is done.” Sealaska plans to have about 100 in attendance with Mayor Merrill Sanford, Gov. Sean Parnell and other members of the Juneau delegation at the ceremony...(more) (7-17-13)

Parnell's board reappointments include Juneau's Zachary Jones and Ben Brown
JUNEAU EMPIRE
On July 1, Gov. Sean Parnell announced appointments to five state boards. Two local men, Zachary Jones and Ben Brown, were on his list of reappointments. Jones was reappointed to the State Historical Records Advisory Board. He is the archivist and collections manager for the Sealaska Heritage Institute and an adjunct instructor of history at the University of Alaska Southeast. Before coming to Alaska, he worked in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department at the Swem Library, College of William & Mary in Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in comparative history from the College of William & Mary, received a certificate of advanced studies in archives and records administration from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Native American history from the University of Alaska Fairbanks...(more)
(7-11-13)

SHI hires contractor for Soboleff Center
Project expects to break ground later this month
By Kenneth Rosen
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Although still awaiting a building permit pending changes to plans for the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Walter Soboleff Heritage Center, the institute expects to break ground later this month following the hiring of a contractor Monday. Dawson Construction, Inc., the newly-hired contractor, has completed more than 30 projects in Juneau and multiple cultural centers in the region. Through a competitive scoring and bidding process, Dawson Construction, Inc. won the contract for the project that is expected to cost about $20 million...(more) (7-2-13)

Contractor hired for Walter Soboleff Center
By Ed Schoenfeld
COASTALASKA NEWS
A Southeast Alaska cultural organization has hired a contractor to build a large Native arts and education center in Juneau. The Sealaska Heritage Institute announced Monday that it awarded the contract to build the Walter Soboleff Center to Dawson Construction. The contractor is headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, with an extensive history of work in Alaska. Institute Project Manager Lee Kadinger says the bid process began with about a half-dozen contractors...(more) (7-1-13)

Sealaska Heritage Institute posts Cape Fox stories told by Bessie Denny, peace ceremony led by Austin Hammond
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Earlier this month, Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Special Collections Research Center posted a recording of Tlingit elder Bessie Denny telling stories in Tlingit, with her son Henry Denny Jr. translating into English. In the recording, Bessie Denny tells about the history of the Saanyá Kwáan, the people of Cape Fox, and the Neix.ádi, Kiks.ádi and the Teikweidí clans, describing their migration routes, place names and acquisition of crests. The stories were originally recorded in Saxman at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Grand Camp Convention in February 1966. The recording was donated to SHI by Bessie Denny’s great grandson, Bruce Kelley, and made available online from a grant project supported by the Institute of Museum & Library Services. To listen to the recording...(more) (6-27-13)

SHI's 'Math in a Basket' highlights overlap between math and art
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Here’s one way to get a bunch of middle school kids to do math in the summer: disguise it as art. Last week, during the first half of a two-week math and culture academy offered by Sealaska Heritage Institute, local students learned math through designing and weaving their own baskets. Beyond making math more engaging, the project highlights the idea that the distance between math and art isn’t always as wide as the regular school curriculum might make it seem. During the workshop last Thursday, students drew on arts vocabulary and math concepts in equal measure. Discussions about color and design were interspersed with conversations about area and volume, length and width. “Who can show me the perimeter?” asked instructor Samai Khom holding up a basket...(more) (6-27-13)

SHI to sponsor math and culture academy
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute is sponsoring a math and culture academy (www.sealaskaheritage.org/programs/Education/MathAcademy.html) this month in Juneau in an effort to increase interest and academic achievement in math through art. The two-week academy is part of a three-year program that will include culture-based math camps where Native art practices such as basketry, weaving and Northwest Coast formline art will be used to teach math. Through the project, SHI also will increase knowledge of teachers in Tlingit cultural traditions, protocols and art as they affect mathematical learning. SHI is building a model for use in Southeast Alaska by adapting nationally recognized, successful math programs developed by other organizations outside the region. SHI’s academy is inspired by an acclaimed and successful math program developed by Dramatic Results, a nonprofit arts organization in California. It was also informed by Native artists, who have long said Native art practices teach math in a concrete way...(more) (6-16-13)

SHI gathers art for next year's Tináa auction
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute will showcase contemporary works of Northwest Coast art at its first art auction in an effort to promote Native art, raise funds for construction of the Walter Soboleff Center and to establish Juneau as the capital of Northwest Coast art. SHI’s premier Tináa Art Auction already has pledges from some of the biggest names in Northwest Coast art, said SHI President Rosita Worl, who hopes the event will educate people about fine Native art from the Northwest Coast area. “People from everywhere are going to come and learn about our art and our artists,” Worl said...(more) (6-13-13)

Richard Dauenhauer wins Bullock prize for excellence
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Richard Dauenhauer, retired professor of Alaska Native Languages and Culture at the University of Alaska Southeast, has been selected as the recipient of the University of Alaska Foundation’s Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence, the largest single award made annually by the UA Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Dauenhauer will be formally recognized for this award with a reception to be held Tuesday, June 11, from 5:30–8 p.m. in the UAS Egan Library. The Edith R. Bullock Prize was established to highlight individual contributions that benefit the UA system. Dauenhauer was honored for his work in preserving Alaska Native languages, Tlingit in particular...(more) (6-6-13)

Letting totem rot is not the only Native way
THE NEWS TRIBUNE
By Peter Callaghan
Let’s call it the Great Tacoma Totem Pole Controversy … that wasn’t. On Tuesday, Tacoma’s arts commission will begin a process that could lead to the loss of a pole that has been displayed for 110 years. A de-accession committee could decide whether to remove the pole from the city’s art collection. Later, the city Landmarks Commission could decide whether to remove the pole from the protection of the register of historic places. Both of those actions would further a recommendation of a Landmarks Commission subcommittee that the culturally sensitive response to troubling decay of the pole is to take it down, lay it in some wooded area and let it decompose. It is not that the pole couldn’t be restored, the commissioners were told; it is that it shouldn’t be restored. “I personally spoke with the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau"...(more) (6-2-13)

Planning Commission OKs Soboleff Center permit
By Rosemarie Alexander
KTOO-FM
The Juneau Planning Commission has approved a Conditional Use Permit for the downtown Walter Soboleff Heritage Center. It smooths the way for the 29-thousand square foot, three-story building, which will house Sealaska Heritage Institute offices and cultural, artistic and ceremonial spaces. Sealaska still needs to get a city building permit...(more) (5-29-13)

Planning Commission hears Soboleff Center proposals
By Kenneth Rosen
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Planning Commission reviewed a conditional use permit pertaining to the construction of the Sealaska Heritage Institute Walter Soboleff Center. The permit allows for off-site staging in the Sealaska parking lot. The project to build the center will span 18 months. Construction is aimed at commencing in June. Staff asked that SHI submit a lighting plan illustrating the location and type of exterior lighting of the center and offered several conditions to the project including public notice periods of road closures to affected areas and parking restrictions for construction crews...(more) (5-29-13)

Two Juneau nonprofits receive ArtPlace grants
JUNEAU EMPIRE
On Monday, ArtPlace America announced the award of grants to four Alaska organizations, two of which are in Juneau: Perseverance Theatre and Sealaska Heritage Institute. The other two grants went to the Anchorage Park Foundation and Bunnell Street Arts Center. The four projects were chosen from more than 1,200 applications as exceptional examples of “creative placemaking,” a term that describes the way art can revitalize and transform communities. A total of 54 organizations received grants around the country, ranging from $750,000 to $33,000...(more) (5-23-13)

Sealaska receives $475K award toward Soboleff Center
Project expects to break ground in September
By Kenneth Rosen
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute received a major award to help fund the forthcoming Walter Soboleff Center, a modern cultural and heritage center, the institute announced Monday. The award of $475,000 comes from ArtPlace America, a collaboration of national and regional foundation funders, banks and federal agencies, which selected SHI from 105 finalists from a pool of 1,225 applications. “It’s very exciting,” SHI president Rosita Worl said. “Of course we’re pleased because it moves us closer to construction”...(more) (5-21-13)

SHI reports major donations for new Juneau center
JUNEAU EMPIRE
A number of individuals and a local club recently donated money to Sealaska Heritage Institute to help build the Walter Soboleff Center, putting the institute closer to raising matching dollars to leverage extra funds from a major foundation, the Alaska Native nonprofit group announced Wednesday. A delegation from the Juneau Lions Club this week presented a check for $20,000 to former Juneau Mayor Byron Mallott, chairman of the Walter Soboleff Center Capital Campaign Committee. The club made the donation in honor of the late Walter Soboleff, who was a long-standing member of the Juneau Lions Club, said President Steve Brandner...(more) (5-9-13)

SHI to sponsor Native Artist Market
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
SHI will sponsor a Native Artist Market in May during the annual Juneau Maritime Festival. Native artists should apply now for a table at the market, which will be held May 19. The annual festival is a popular community event that attracts more than 2,000 people. The art market will be located on the Sealaska Plaza terrace, facing the waterfront and the festival activities. To reserve a table, contact Shaadoo'tlaa at 586-9129 or Lorene.hanlon@sealaska.com. Space is limited! Deadline to reserve a table is May 13...(more)

Juneau groups receive grant money
By Kenneth Rosen
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Three Juneau groups were awarded grants through the Rasmuson Foundation’s Art Acquisition Fund and its Tier 1 program, the foundation announced Tuesday. A total of $654,761 was awarded to 36 groups throughout Alaska, of which $47,367 came to Juneau. The Catholic Community Service received $12,287 for their transit vehicle project; Juneau Jazz and Classics, Inc. received $19,984 for furniture and equipment; and the Sealaska Heritage Institute received $15,096 toward media and publication equipment...(more) (5-8-13)

Tlingit linguist gets standing ovation
By Klas Stolpe
JUNEAU EMPIRE
University of Alaska Southeast alumna and Tlingit elder Marie Olsen hugs UAF Ph.D recipient Keri Eggleston during Sunday's UAS 2013 Commencement Ceremony on the Juneau Auke Lake Campus. Eggleston, a Juneau resident, received a standing ovation for her thesis: 575 Tlingit Verbs. The project conjugates verbs for tense and subject and will serve as a reference for teachers of the language. Eggleston took over the project from Tlingit linguists and historians Richard and Nora Daunhauer who provided the initial 30 verbs. Funding for the project came from Goldbelt Heritage Foundation and The Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more) (5-6-13)

SHI to sponsor Native arts market; artists must reserve tables by May 13
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute announced Monday that it will sponsor a Native Artist Market in May, during the annual Juneau Maritime Festival. Tables for the market, which will be held May 19, are available for reservation now. In its announcement, SHI encouraged Native Artists to “apply now” in order to get a table...(more) (4-30-13)

Assignment Alaska--Tlingit Language Lessons
By Eric Sowl
KTUU-TV
Let’s learn language is a ten-part series of Tlingit language lessons. “They are some of the earliest video production language learning tools among the Tlingit,” said SHI Archivist Zachary Jones.
The whimsical looking lessons were produced in 1969 by the Juneau Indian Studies Program.
“They are teaching the greetings, it teaches colors, numbers and there’s lots of repetition in there and we know that we all learn language by hearing it first,” said SHI Education Specialist Linda Belarde. “You can hear the rhythm and you can hear the tones and you can hear how words are put together.”
Simple lessons by very plain puppets but just as valid today as they were over 40 years ago. “They’re a great resource whether the student is a young child or perhaps a university student,” Jones said…(more) (4-26-13)

My Turn: Asian-themed party inappropriate
By Rosita Worl, Ph.D.
JUNEAU EMPIRE
I was surprised to learn about a recent party in Juneau and to see photos online of many respectable citizens at the event dressed in Asian wear complete with kimonos, red lips, and white faces. Minority voices asked about the event and questioned the appropriation and stereotyping of a minority group. I thought that the public discussion about race, privilege and appropriation that initially occurred in response to the minority voices was healthy. It revealed a genuine interest in understanding why the cultural appropriation and the photos of a man in a sumo suit, a woman with a fan, and people wearing cardboard samurai hats — all while celebrating — were offensive, not only to Asian Americans, but to all of our community...(more) (4-24-13)

Murdock makes award to fund Soboleff center
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
One of the largest private foundations in the Pacific Northwest has made a substantial donation to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) help fund construction of the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau. The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has awarded $500,000 for the center, which is slated to break ground this year. "So exciting!" said SHI President Rosita Worl. "I don't know if people heard me screaming and shouting down from my end of the office, 'We got the grant!' It's just marvelous to have that kind of support from these private foundations"...(more) (4-10-13)

Ad hoc committee wrestles with otters
By Matt Lichtenstein
KFSK
A committee of fishermen and other Petersburg residents is wrestling with what to do about the impact of a growing sea otter population on Southeast’s commercial crab and dive fisheries. The Borough Assembly appointed the ad hoc committee this month after choosing not to endorse proposed legislation that would put a bounty on the animals...As an alternative, Wohlheuter pointed to the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s approach. The has a program that teaches Alaska Natives how to process and sew otter hides. It’s also urged the US Fish and Wildlife Service to change regulations that hunters and artisans say have inhibited them from hunting the animals. Wohlheuter suggested voicing support for those efforts in the hopes that it would encourage more hunting...(more) (4-10-13)

SHI Trustee Clarence Jackson honored posthumously
City and Borough of Juneau Mayor Merrill Sasnford issues proclamation
ALASKA BUSINESS MONTHLY
Clarence Jackson Sr. signed the articles of incorporation for Sealaska in 1972. Until his death in January 2013, Jackson guided the 13-member board through five decades on Native protocols, delivered speeches in Tlingit, and used storytelling as a means of communication. In his capacity as a traditional leader, his efforts touched the lives of many people across the region and beyond. On Monday, April 1, 2013, City and Borough of Juneau Mayor Merrill Sanford honored Jackson posthumously with a mayoral proclamation. Sanford stated, “Clarence was known for his vast knowledge of the Tlingit language, history and culture, and on behalf of the City and Borough Assembly do hereby recognize and celebrate, in memoriam, an exceptional Elder of Southeast Alaska"...(more) (4-8-13)

Murdock trust gives Soboleff Center a boost
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Alaska Native nonprofit organization Sealaska Heritage Institute announced Tuesday that it is receiving a "substantial donation" from a large private foundation to help fund construction of the Walter Soboleff Center in downtown Juneau. “So exciting!” said SHI President Rosita Worl, reacting to the news in a recording released by the institute. “I don’t know if people heard me screaming and shouting down from my end of the office, ‘We got the grant!’ It’s just marvelous to have that kind of support from these private foundations." According to the statement, Worl said the contribution marks the first time SHI has secured funding from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust...(more) (4-3-13)

Playwright Hope's new work deeply rooted in Tlingit history
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Many plays that appear on Juneau’s stages travel across considerable distances of time and geography to get here — for example, from Shakespeare’s 16th century England, or from Theresa Rebeck’s modern day New York. Others are born right here, cultivated in the rich soil of Southeast Alaska history and culture. Local playwright Ishmael Hope’s latest work, “The Defenders of Alaska Native Country,” is such a work. Though offset by 100 years, the play is very closely tied to the history of this place — as well as to Hope’s own family history — and to Tlingit culture, in ways both obvious and subtle...(more) (3-28-13)

Sealaska plans otter-skin sewing workshops
By KRBD Staff
Sealaska Heritage Institute will offer skin-sewing workshops in six Southeast Alaska communities, in an effort to revitalize a traditional art form and spark a regional cottage industry. Through the program, called the Southeast Alaska Sustainable Arts Project, students in Kake, Sitka, Prince of Wales Island, Hoonah, Juneau and Yakutat will learn to stretch hides, cut patterns and hand-sew hats and scarves from furs. Here’s SHI President Rosita Worl...(more) (3-11-13)

SHI to sponsor skin-sewing workshops
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor skin-sewing workshops in six communities in an effort to revitalize a traditional art form and to create a cottage industry in Southeast Alaska. Through the program, called the Southeast Alaska Sustainable Arts Project, students in Juneau, Kake, Sitka, Prince of Wales Island, Hoonah and Yakutat will learn to stretch hides, cut patterns and hand-sew hats and scarves from furs. The first class is scheduled next week in Kake and the workshops are open to everyone. One of the goals is to build a cottage industry in economically depressed areas, said SHI President Rosita Worl...(more) (3-7-13)

Sealaska Heritage Institute to sponsor skin-sewing workshops
KSKA-FM
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor skin-sewing workshops in six communities in an effort to revitalize a traditional art form and to create a cottage industry in Southeast Alaska. Through the program, called the Southeast Alaska Sustainable Arts Project, students in Kake, Sitka, Prince of Wales Island, Hoonah, Juneau and Yakutat will learn to stretch hides, cut patterns and hand-sew hats and scarves from furs. The first class is scheduled next week in Kake and the workshops are open to everyone. One of the goals is to build a cottage industry in economically depressed areas, said Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl...(more) (3-5-13)

Rasmuson Foundation awards grant to SHI
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute, a Juneau-based nonprofit organization affiliated with the Sealaska Corp., has received a grant from the Rasmuson Foundation to purchase new media and publications equipment, according to an announcement from SHI Monday...(more) (2-26-13)

Sealaska offers free formline design workshops
KRBD-FM
Sealaska Heritage Institute has scheduled a series of free formline design workshops in communities throughout Southeast Alaska. The goal is to revitalize interest in formline design, a term that describes the complex designs, such as ovoids and split Us, that are the underlying components of Northwest Coast art, and to ensure that people are learning the designs correctly. “There have been a number of master artists who have commented on a bit of decline in the integrity of formline design and so we’ve been directed by our Native Artist Committee to focus on helping to improve the quality of the formline,” said SHI Arts Director Rico Worl...(more) (2-8-13)

Sealaska board member, Tlingit Elder Clarence Jackson, walks on
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
Tlingit elder and board member of the Sealaska Corporation since its inception, Clarence Jackson Sr., lost his battle with cancer on January 31. He was 78 years old. He signed theSealaska articles of incorporation in 1972 and is the only board member to serve continuously since the organization’s founding. He also served as a trustee for the Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) from the time it was created in 1980, reported KTOO News...(more) (2-1-13)

Tlingit elder, Sealaska board member Clarence Jackson dies
By Casey Kelly
KTOO-FM
Tlingit elder and original Sealaska Corporation board member Clarence Jackson died Thursday after a battle with cancer. He was 78. Jackson was born in 1934 in Kake, where he lived most of his life. He attended Sheldon Jackson High School in Sitka, and was involved in the Alaska Native claims movement in the 1960s with the Tlingit and Haida Central Council. He served as Central Council president from 1972 through 1976. Also in 1972, he signed the articles of incorporation for Sealaska, the regional Native Corporation for Southeast, created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Jackson had been the only board member to serve continuously since Sealaska was founded. He also served as a trustee for the Sealaska Heritage Institute from the time it was created in 1980. SHI President Rosita Worl says Jackson was an ambassador of Tlingit culture in the board room and his personal life...(more) (1-31-13)

Sealaska Board Member Clarence Jackson dies
JUNEAU EMPIRE
A link between the past and the present was lost yesterday when Clarence Jackson, the last continuously serving founder of Sealaska, and later the Sealaska Heritage Institute, died at 78. He signed the Sealaska articles of incorporation in 1972. He was the only Sealaska board member who served continuously since inception until now, according to a release from Sealaska. “He travelled throughout our communities comforting those who had lost loves ones,” said Sealaska board chair Albert Kookesh. “He was our ambassador, he was the “Face” of Sealaska. We are enriched for having known him, and we are comforted to have the tremendous benefit of work that will touch generations to come. Cherished memories of him and his spirit will remain with us always"...(more) (1-31-13)

Juneau Assembly moves historic district boundary to clear way for Soboleff Center
By Casey Kelly
KTOO-FM
The Juneau Assembly on Monday voted to change the boundary of the city’s historic district, clearing the way for Sealaska Heritage Institute’s proposed Walter Soboleff Center to be built as designed. The four-story, 29,000 square foot education and cultural facility will be constructed on a vacant lot at the corner of Seward and Front Streets downtown. The property was right on the edge of the historic district until Monday, when the Assembly voted to remove it...(more) (1-29-13)

City exempts new SHI center from historic district rules
By Russell Stigall
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute’s cultural center won an exclusion from Juneau’s downtown historic district. The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly granted SHI’s ordinance Monday. The ordinance excludes the block encompassed by Seward Street, Front Street, Shattuck Way and Municipal Way from historic district height and appearance limitations. It is within a block known as ‘the pit’ that SHI plans to build its Walter Soboleff Center for Alaska Native heritage and culture. Juneau’s Historic Resources Advisory Committee proposed in December 2012 to exclude all but the first five feet of the block facing Front Street. This five-foot section of the building would remain in the style of the surrounding buildings...(more) (1-29-13)

ArtPlace names two local arts organizations finalists for national grants
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Two local arts groups have been named finalists for grants from ArtPlace, an initiative to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S. through grants and loans, research, communication and advocacy. Artplace, a collaboration of 13 national foundations and six banks, named 104 finalists from 1,225 applicants across the country. The Juneau-based finalists are Sealaska Heritage Institute and Perseverance Theatre...(more) (1-24-13)

Photo: Hunting for Juneau's resources
By Michael Penn
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Donald Gregory of the Sealaska Heritage Institute gives a tour of Native American artifacts to teachers from Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School on Tuesday. Three groups of teachers from DZMS participated in a scavenger hunt on their inservice day to learn more about resources in the community. The Institute was one of seven locations visited during the day...(more) (1-23-13)

Sealaska Heritage Institute Finalist in ArtPlace Grant
ALASKA NATIVE NEWS
A major national funder has named Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) a finalist in its extremely competitive grant program for the arts. ArtPlace has announced that SHI is one of 104 finalists chosen from 1,225 applicants from across the country to potentially receive a grant through its Creative Placemaking program. ArtPlace, an initiative to accelerate creative placemaking across the U.S., received inquiries from 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and American Samoa, according to a press release by ArtPlace...(more) (1-22-13)

SHI accepting applications for college, voc-tech scholarships
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is accepting scholarship applications for the 2013-2014 school year. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2013 ...(more) (1-17-13)

Formline design workshops scheduled in Juneau, other SE communities
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has organized a series of formline design workshops in Juneau and nine other Southeast communities in an effort to bring a revitalized focus to formline, the basis of Northwest Coast art. Juneau will host the first workshop this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12 and 13, at the University of Alaska Southeast. It will be led by Lance Twitchell and will run from 12-5 p.m. both days. Registration is required and space is limited...(more) (1-10-13)

Moccasin sewing class aims to revive traditional art form
By Emily Russo Miller
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Maggie Tompkins’ grandmother, a Tlingit woman from Klukwan, began wearing moccasins long ago after she stepped barefoot on a frog. The moccasins were adorned with bead work that now sits inside Tompkins’ moccasin-making kit, almost ready to adorn a new pair. “I’m recycling,” Tompkins said, as she began hand-sewing her own pair of moccasins. “I don’t know how to do bead work.” Tompkins, 47, and her 27-year-old daughter Jessica Liska, were some of the 15 to 20 women who attended a Sealaska Heritage Institute workshop this weekend to learn how to make moccasins out of seal skin...(more) (1-6-13)

SHI receives funding from Rasmuson Foundation for Soboleff Center
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage INstitute was awarded $125,000 from Rasmuson Foundation last week toward construction of the Walter A. Soboleff Center in downtown Juneau. The funding, announced Wednesday at the foundation’s biannual meeting, was part of a total $9.9 million in Tier 2 grants, investments and initiatives distributed statewide...(more) (12-13-12)

Walter Soboleff Center receives grant from Rasmuson Foundation
KINY-AM
The Rasmuson Foundation has awarded a grant to aide in construction of the Walter Soboleff Center in downtown Juneau. The grant to the Sealaska Heritage Institute is for $1,250,000. The last $$250,000 is subject to a one to one match. (12-11-12)

SHI lecture features weaver Delores Churchill
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Haida master weaver Delores Churchill was this week’s speaker for the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s lunchtime lecture series, offered on Tuesdays throughout November in recognition of Alaska Native and Native American Heritage Month. Churchill, a renowned artist who has many students in communities throughout Southeast Alaska and beyond, covered plenty of ground in her one-hour talk, reaching back into the 1960s and 1970s to trace the beginnings of the rebirth of traditional weaving in Southeast Alaska, and bringing that history up through the present day...(more) (11-22-12)

New writer laureate bridges cultures, disciplines
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Nora Marks Dauenhauer was honored with a reception at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center Tuesday evening in recognition of her recent appointment as Alaska’s newest Writer Laureate. The event, which included brief speeches in English and in Tlingit, highlighted Dauenhauer’s role in shaping not only the literary arts of the state, but also in revitalizing the traditions and language of her culture. This dual role as a writer and as a Tlingit culture bearer make her unique among our Writer Laureates; she is the first Alaska Native to hold the title. Shannon E. Daut, Executive Director of Alaska State Council on the Arts, said the council was thrilled to honor Dauenhauer...(more) (11-22-12)

Reception to honor Nora Dauenhauer to be held Tuesday
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council will host a reception for NoraDauenhauer, Alaska’s newest Writer Laurate, on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The reception will run from 5-6 p.m. and will include comments from Rosita Worl, President of Sealaska Heritage Institute, and JAHC executive director Nancy DeCherney, as well as UAS chancellor John Pugh. Dauenhauer may read a few poems during the event. All of her books, including the poetry collection, “Life Woven with Song,” will be on display in the JACC gallery...(more) (11-15-12)

CBJ plans to exempt Soboleff Center from historic district standards
By Casey Kelly
KTOO
Officials with Sealaska Heritage Institute and the City and Borough of Juneau are working on a deal to let SHI out of the city’s historic district standards for the proposed Walter Soboleff Center. The four-story, 29,000 square foot education and cultural facility will be built on the edge of the downtown district, which celebrates the late 19th and early 20th century architecture of Juneau’s original mining period. The Soboleff Center will also present a historic look. After all, the history of Southeast Alaska Native architecture goes back over 10,000 years...(more) (11-9-12)

Historical photo: Old community house
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Item 89: Photograph postcard labeled "Old community house, Old Kasaan, Alaska," photograph by W.H. Case, circa 1890s. (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) (11-7-12)

SHI lectures for Native American Heritage Month
By Russell Stigall
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute is celebrating 2012 Native Heritage Month with weekly lunch lectures through November. The lectures focus on Native arts and will add to the institute’s expanded arts program...Worl said the institute’s work helps create opportunity for artists and educate the public. The idea is “to develop a greater cross-cultural understanding,” Worl said in the release...(more) (11-6-12)

Historical photo: Chief Shakes Community House
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Postcard photograph of the Chief Shakes Community House in Wrangell, 1940. (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) (11-1-12)

Films, lectures celebrate Native American Heritage Month
JUNEAU EMPIRE
November is Alaska Native and Native American Heritage Month, and in Juneau there will be plenty of opportunity to learn more about indigenous cultures in Southeast and elsewhere. Here’s a look at some of the happenings. Sealaska Heritage Institute will once again host a lecture series in recognition of Alaska Native & Native American Heritage Month...(more) (11-1-12)

Historical photo: Totem knowledge
JUNEAU EMPIRE
This photograph shows Henry Denny Sr. at Saxman teaching Tlingit youth about a totem pole and its
corresponding history in August 1941. The photograph was taken as a public relations effort to document the Civilian Conservation Corps federal Works Relief Program when Tlingit and Haida carvers created Southeast Alaska’s totem parks...(more) (10-31-12)

Historical photo: Broke and hungry in Alaska
JUNEAU EMPIRE
There’s a bit of whimsey in the historic Harry E. Bonner Photograph Collection. This photo lists the subject, presumably Bonner, as “Broke, hungry, cold, homesick in the center of Alaska.” The Bonner photos, including some of Juneau and Douglas, were likely taken between 1900 and 1909. (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) (10-30-12)

Historical photo: 'Yaxte' Big Dipper Totem
Photograph postcard of "Yaxte' Big Dipper Totem, Juneau, Alaska," photo by Oroway, circa 1900 (Sealaska Heritage Institute collections)...(more) (10-29-12)

AFN calls for change in law to allow use of feathers in Native art
ALASKA NATIVE NEWS
The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) has unanimously passed a resolution calling for changes to federal law to allow Native use of feathers in art and handicrafts for sale. The vote came during the AFN’s convention in Anchorage, following publicity about award-winning Tlingit artist Archie Cavanaugh who recently faced possible prison time and a hefty fine for attempting to sell a headdress and hat adorned with flicker and raven feathers...(more) (10-25-12)

SHI releases curriculum on Alaska Native history
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute has produced a three-volume set of materials to teach Alaska Native history and to help address a need for curriculum on Native studies. The curriculum, developed for grades six to eight, examines Alaska Native history from the Native worldview of creation through modern times and includes an extensive exploration of the landmark Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act...(more) (10-24-12)

Historical photo: Totem carver
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Item 91: Postcard photograph labeled “Alaska Native totem carver,” circa 1939, by Schallerer. It appears this image was taken during the Civilian Conservation Corps federal Works Relief Program when Tlingit and Haida carvers created Southeast Alaska’s totem (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) (10-24-12)

Historical photo: Postcard poses
JUNEAU EMPIRE
This is a brown and white photograph postcard titled “The Dancers,” who were identified on the postcard as Kaw-claa and Prince Stene-tu, photo by Case & Draper, 1910. This staged image shows a Tlingit woman and male youth in traditional regalia with ethnographic items. These individuals were likely paid to pose for this photograph...(more) (10-23-12)

Murkowski and Young criticize government actions to AFN delegates
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
By Kyle Hopkins
Fishermen cited for breaking a subsistence fishing ban on the Lower Kuskokwim River should never have been fined, Sen. Lisa Murkowski told a crowd of hundreds Friday at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. Murkowski and Rep. Don Young, speaking at a forum about hunting and fishing rights and other issues, also criticized recent sanctions against an Alaska Native artist fined for using raven parts and other feathers in his contemporary artwork. "I think this has been an embarrassment for how our government and our federal agencies ignore the traditions and cultures of our first people," Murkowski said...(more) (10--19-12)

Our View: Native artistry using feathers will not endanger birds
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
If a picture is worth a thousand words, try the two shown at the right. Top, traditional Tlingit headdress with flicker feathers, by award-winning artist Archie Cavanaugh. Bottom, same headdress with a haircut, courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Absurd, isn't it?...(more) (10-18-12)

Historical photo: Inside the Nugget Shop
JUNEAU EMPIRE
This is an undated photo of the inside of the Nugget Shop, a downtown fixture that sold Native art and all kinds of Alaskana (Sealaska Heritage Institute collections)...(more) (10-17-12) (Note the Chilkat blanket hanging on the far wall)

Tlingit artist told he's violating federal law
JUNEAU EMPIRE
By Mike Dunham
For hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years, Natives of Southeast Alaska have paid artisans to create tools, clothing and ceremonial regalia adorned with feathers. So contemporary Tlingit carver Archie Cavanaugh was startled last month when U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service personnel told him that items he had advertised for sale violated federal laws. Specifically: a carved hat featuring the wings and tail of a raven, and a headdress, or “shakee.át,” topped with the feathers of a flicker, a robin-size relative of the woodpecker...(more) (10-17-12)

Tlingit artist avoids jail time over use of feathers in artwork
ALASKA DISPATCH
By Suzanna Caldwell
Early last month Tlingit artist Archie Cavanaugh had a bit of shock when a U.S. Fish and Wildlife officer came to his door, telling him he could be charged with a felony because he tried to sell two pieces of Tlingit artwork adorned with bird feathers. What Cavanaugh, 61, didn't know was that those feathers -- flicker and raven -- are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty and Lacey Act, which prohibit the sale of certain protected bird parts...(more) (10-15-12)

Native Alaskan artist told selling his art violates federal laws
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
By Mike Dunham
For hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years, Natives of Southeast Alaska have paid artisans to create tools, clothing and ceremonial regalia adorned with feathers. So contemporary Tlingit carver Archie Cavanaugh was startled last month when U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service personnel told him that items he had advertised for sale violated federal laws. Specifically: a carved hat featuring the wings and tail of a raven, and a headdress, or “shakee.át,” topped with the feathers of a flicker, a robin-size relative of the woodpecker. “They told me that under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act they can charge me up to $10,000 and throw me in jail for a couple of years,” Cavanaugh said. “And they told me that under the Lacey Act they can charge me up to $100,000 and put me in jail for 10 years. It was very scary. I went into complete depression"...(more) (10-15-12)

Historical photo: A proud tradition paddling
JUNEAU EMPIRE
This photograph shows a Tlingit carved long boat full of paddlers with Chief Shakes VII standing in front. The photographer is unknown, but the photo is from 1940. Chief Shakes VII, also known as Charlie Jones, was arrested in 1922 for voting, a right associated with citizenship not granted for another two years. The name "Shakes"--originally Wiisheyksh--comes from a battle fought on canoes generations before...(more) (10-12-12)

Dauenhauer named State Writer Laureate
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Nora Marks Dauenhauer of Juneau has been named Alaska’s State Writer Laureate. Dauenhauer will represent Alaska from 2012 to 2014. Dauenhauer’s award was announced by the Alaska State Council on the Arts Thursday afternoon, along with seven 2012 Governor’s Awards recipients. Dauenhauer is a highly respected writer, poet, linguist and researcher...(more) (10-11-12)

Tlingit author and linguist named Alaska Writer Laureate
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
By Mike Dunham
Tlingit poet, playwright, historican and linguist Nora Marks Dauenhauer of Juneau has been named the new Alaska State Writer Laureate. With her husband, Richard Dauenhauer, she has written important collections of Tlingit oratory and oral histories. The Dauenhauer's won an American Book Award for "Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804." One of her short poems was featured in New York subways as part of a project to place contemporary poetry before mass audiences...(more) (10-11-12)

Historical photo: Chief Kawee and tribe, Juneau
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Cabinet card photograph of "Chief Kawee and tribe, Juneau," by Winter & Brown, circa 1870s. View shows approximately twenty Native men posing in front of a dead brown bear, at what appears to be the old Juneau Indian Village. Background shows some Native women and children amidst Tlingit homes (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) *10-11-12)

Historical photo: A sailboat near Douglas Island
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The words on the back read, "A sailboat near Douglas Is." This undated shot is from the Harry E. Bonner Photo Collection at Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more) (10-9-12)

Historical photo: Glory Hole
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The writing below image reads, "glory hole, Treadwell Mine, Douglas Is." It is undated. (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) (10-8-12)

Historical photo: Douglas Progressive Native Club
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Douglas Progressive Native Group Photograph, 1916. Photo by E[dward] Andrews. Reverse reads "Old Douglas Hospital." (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) (10-6-12)

Historical photo: 'City of J'
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The writing below image reads "City of J." Hmmm, looks familiar. The photographer on this tour of Southeast Alaska had an interesting way of cutting photos into unique shapes, and often added humorous captions (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) (10-5-12)

Historical photo: Chief Shakes House
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Chief Shakes House with totems in left foreground, circa 1920s, Wrangell, Alaska (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)... (more) (10-5-12)

Young Tlingit artist honors tradition with Trickster brand
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The juxtaposition of tradition and innovation is fairly common in contemporary Tlingit art; less so is the blend of seriousness and exuberance found in Rico Worl’s skateboard designs. The designs Worl creates for his boards are graphic, modern, and — backed with colorful paint splatters — even playful; and yet his execution of formline design and other Tlingit elements is carefully considered, the product of in-depth study of traditional rules and cultural protocol. Raised amidst the influence of many highly respected Tlingit artists and culture bearers — including his grandmother Rosita Worl, his aunt Celeste Worl, and clan member Nathan Jackson — Worl’s cultural education began early, and included an appreciation of art as an integral element of his life...(more) (10-4-12)

ANB celebrates a century, plans for the future
By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News
The Alaska Native Brotherhood is celebrating its 100th birthday. The Southeast-based organization and its partner group, the Alaska Native Sisterhood, have been at the forefront of Alaska's civil rights movement since they formed...(more) (10-3-12)

Historical photo: Children gathering herring on Douglas
JUNEAU EMPIRE
This photograph shows Tlingit children gathering herring on a Douglas Island beach, near Juneau in 1895. The Douglas Pharmacy building is in the background. (Sealaska Heritage Institute collection)...(more) (10-3-12)

KSTK donates audio to Sealaska Heritage Institute
By Ariel Van Cleave
KSTK NEWS
The Sealaska Heritage Institute now has a couple hundred radio recordings from Wrangell dating from the 1960s to 1990s. KSTK recently donated approximately 200 reels of audio that document the history and events of the community through interviews and talk shows. Zachary Jones is an Archivist and Collections Manager with SHI. He said the recordings offer insight into what life was like in Wrangell during that time...(more) (10-2-12)

Radio station gifts historic archives to SHI
Alaska Dispatch
Radio station KSTK-FM has donated hundreds of audio recordings to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) in Juneau, according to a Sealaska press release. The recordings are between 20 and 50 years old, some dating as far back as 1960, and document history, events and happening in the community of Wrangell, in Southeast Alaska...(more) (10-1-12)

Historical photo: Old Witch Doctor and Nugget shop
JUNEAU EMPIRE
This color postcard of the "Old Witch Doctor and Nugget Shop, Juneau, Alaska," is postmarked 1938.. (Sealaska Heritage Institute EBay collection)...(more) (9-30-12)

Historical photo: Canoe race
JUNEAU EMPIRE
This is a photograph taken circa 1904 by the Albertype Co., NY, circa 1904 showing people racing canoes off the Juneau shore. (Sealaska Heritage Institute EBay collection)...(more) (9-28-12)

Strong turnout for Alaska Native vote
By MARK MILLER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Attendees of an Alaska Native Vote event at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall Thursday had the opportunity to learn about the voting process, get registered to vote and more. The event, supported by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Sealaska Corp., the League of Women Voters, the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 70, and the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority, was aimed at empowering Native residents to organize politically and participate in upcoming elections...(more) (9-28-12)

Sealaska Heritage gets education & Soboleff center grants
By Rosemarie Alexander
Sealaska Heritage Institute has received a total of $4.5 million for educational programs and the Walter Soboleff Center to be built in downtown Juneau. The federally funded Alaska Native Education Program has awarded three grants; the first for about $2 million over two years, dedicated to construction of the Soboleff facility. The second grant is $1.2 million over three years for cultural orientation programs for teachers in the Juneau School District and University of Alaska Southeast. The heritage institute has already signed an agreement with the school district and UAS for educational programs. SHI president Rosita Worl says the program for teachers’ began informally this fall...(more) (9-27-12)


Jones in Wrangell to study 1869 Bombardment
WRANGELL SENTINELL
Zachary Jones, a historian and archivist for Sealaska Heritage Institute, was in Wrangell last week to speak to the public about his ongoing research into documentation of the 1869 Battle of Wrangell. Jones, a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnohistory at University of Alaska Fairbanks, has worked for Sealaska for five years as a curator on Native artifacts...(more) (9-27-12)

Radio station donates archives to heritage group
The Associated Press
Sealaska Heritage Institute says a southeast Alaska radio station has donated hundreds of audio recordings to the institute. The archival donation from Wrangell radio station KSTK consists of hundreds of hours of recordings made from the 1960s to the 1990s. Institute officials say the recordings document some topics of interest to Alaska Natives as well as the wider community...(more) (9-27-12)

Historical photo: Native village in Juneau
JUNEAU EMPIRE
This photo from the Sealaska Heritage Institute collection by Edward deGroff shows what he called the “Indian City at Juneau” and was taken circa 1880. It shows Tlingit homes and canoes along a beach on the Gastineau Channel. (John Delgado collection, #5185567553350289250)...(more) (9-23-12)

Joint effort seeks information about 1869 Battle of Wrangell
by Ariel Van Cleave
KSTK News
Local residents are asked to share stories they may have about the 1869 Battle of Wrangell. The Wrangell Cooperative Association is teaming up with the Sealaska Heritage Institute to find out more information about the conflict and work on ways to commemorate the event. The partnership is thanks to a $32,000 grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program. Zach Jones is with the Heritage Institute and has been in Wrangell the last few days talking with residents and performing research...(more) (9-21-12)

SHI awarded two grants to perpetuate, interpret Native arts
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has been awarded two grants to perpetuate Native arts and to help the general public interpret Northwest Coast art designs. The Alaska Humanities Forum has given SHI a $7,000 grant to develop a booklet that interprets the distinctive Native designs known as formline. Members of the public frequently ask for assistance in understanding the designs — it’s one of the most common questions fielded by SHI and art and tourism organizations. ...(more) (9-13-12)

Native art teachers sought
Sacramento Bee
Sealaska Heritage Institute is looking for Native art instructors. Institute officials say the teachers are needed to host two-day workshops in Southeast communities on a design element known as formline. Officials say applicants should have advanced skills in formline, and teaching experience is preferred...(more) (9-7-12)

Grant funds Battle of Wrangell research
BY ED SCHOENFELD
CoastAlaska News
Did you know the United States Army and Stikine Tlingits fought a battle in Wrangell almost 150 years ago? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. Tis Peterman has lived in Wrangell all her life. But until a few years ago, she’d never heard of the 1869 Battle of Wrangell. “I happened to come across it when I did some research for the museum that was built here,” she says. Peterman works for the Wrangell Cooperative Association, the Southeast community’s tribal government. “And it was just this very little story"...(more) (8-21-12)

Alaskans join huge Lower-48 Native art market
BY ED SCHOENFELD
CoastAlaska News
A Southeast Alaska dance group performs this weekend (Aug. 18-19) at a major Southwest U.S. Native arts event. The Tsimshian Git Hoan Dancers are part of Alaska’s contribution to the Santa Fe Indian Market. The annual event attracts more than 1,000 Native artists and 100,000 visitors to the New Mexico city. Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl says the Git Hoan Dancers are very popular at Celebration, a biennial dance-and-culture festival in Juneau...(more) (8-16-12)

Native students get crash course on cultural values
BY MARK D. MILLER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Students attending the Latseen Leadership Academy in Juneau got a special visit Thursday from Rosita Worl, president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute. The institute hosts the week-long camp every summer, and Worl was there to give a talk on the cultural values of Southeast Alaska’s Native people. In her half-hour lecture, Worl emphasized four “core cultural values” ...(more)
(7-20-12)

Sealaska Heritage Institute to work with WCA in researching 1869 bombardment of Wrangell
The event had Wrangell in the national news and the crosshairs of the U.S. military
A largely forgotten piece of Wrangell history may soon come to light, as the Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has been awarded a grant to research the 1869 Bombardment of Wrangell. SHI was the recipient of a one-year National Park Service (NPS) Battlefield Preservation Grant to document 1869 Bombardment through oral history work with elders in partnership with the Wrangell Cooperative Association (WCA). This is the first ever Battlefield Preservation Grant awarded to an organization in Alaska to study a U.S. military conflict with a Native American tribe...(more)
(7-18-12)

Famous carver Amos Wallace's documents headed for public archive
BY ED SCHOENFELD
CoastAlaska News
Amos Wallace was a keeper. So his longtime home on Juneau’s Douglas Island held numerous documents from his nearly 70-year career. Since he and his wife Dorothy passed away, their son, photographer Brian Wallace, has been going through the collection. “I was in the basement in the earlier part of this year and I opened up some boxes of stuff and I saw some photos that I’ve never seen before, and unfortunately I found this,” Brian Wallace says...(more) (7-16-12)

Carver's archives donated to Sealaska
BY MIKE DUNHAM
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
Photos and drawings owned by the late master carver Amos Wallace have been donated by his son, Brian, to Sealaska Heritage Institute. A press release descibed the collection as "a treasure trove of original drawings made by the famous artist as he was designing totem poles and other carvings destined for museums, universities and private collections." Plans are for the images to be archived and shared at the Institute's Walter Soboleff Center, construction of which is scheduled to start next year...(more) (7-14-12)

SHI to sponsor free basketball camp
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor free basketball camps in Juneau for kids in grades 5 to 12. The camps will be held at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School and are open to youth of all skill levels...(more) (7-12-12)

Amos Wallace collection donated to Walter Soboleff Center
Collection includes hundreds of formline drawings made by master carver
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The son of the late master carver Amos Wallace has donated his father’s collection of drawings and historical photographs and papers to Sealaska Heritage Institute. The collection, donated by Brian Wallace, is a treasure trove of original drawings made by the famous artist as he was designing totem poles and other carvings destined for museums, universities and private collections. Brian Wallace donated it to the institute because he wanted it to be archived and shared at SHI’s Walter Soboleff Center, scheduled to break ground next year...(more) (7-12-12)

Grants go to city museum, Sealaska internship
MIKE MILLER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Alaska State Museum announced $105,600 in grants to institutions throughout the state Thursday, including a grant for the Juneau-Douglas City Museum and a smaller grant for Sealaska Heritage Institute. The two Juneau grant money beneficiaries received a combined $10,049, amounting to just over 9.5 percent of the total amount awarded between the State Museum’s 23 grants...(more) (7-6-12)

UAF partners with Google to preserve Alaska Native languages
KTOO-FM
BY HEATHER BRYANT
Alaska’s 20 native languages are a generation away from disappearing. But a new effort is adding technology to the list of tools for saving the languages. The Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has joined Google in the Endangered Languages Project, a worldwide effort to collaborate on a website where users will find comprehensive information on endangered languages...“It’s a great way to bring attention to the plight of native languages,” said Rosita Worl, president of Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more)

Photo: Honoring traditions in art and family
BY MICHAEL PENN
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Leaders of Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority (THRHA) and the Juneau Community Foundation talk with Ed Kunz, Jr., right, and his daughter, Micalyne Kunz McGhee, second from right, during an announcement of a partnership between SHI and THRHA to replace two totem poles and refurnish a screen at the Gajaa Hit building on Thursday...(more)

Ferry sailings spike during Celebration
Chamber says Juneau reaps benefits of the event; ferry system serves more travelers
BY MARK D. MILLER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sailings to and from the Auke Bay ferry terminal were up during the week of Celebration earlier this month, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities — but don’t expect that bump in revenue to buoy Juneau’s economy. Nearly twice as many people traveled to or from Juneau via the Alaska Marine Highway System from June 5 to June 11 as did during the seven-day period before. The spike suggests that ferry tourism surged during the cultural festival...(more)

Study: Celebration a $2M boon to local economy
BY MARK D. MILLER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Visitors to Juneau spent $1.1 million during Celebration 2012 last week, bringing a sizable amount of new revenue to the city and local businesses, according to the results of a study released Thursday by Sealaska Heritage Institute. The institute, which stages the event every two years, said the McDowell Group calculated the total economic impact of Celebration 2012 at $2 million. The 3,300 non-residents who bought tickets for the cultural festival, including Native dancers from outside Juneau, were responsible for more than half of that spending...(more)

Celebration dumps $2 million into Juneau economy, study says
BY ROSEMARIE ALEXANDER
KTOO-FM
Celebration 2012 reportedly brought $2 million into the Juneau economy. An economic impact study conducted by Juneau research firm McDowell Group indicates that $1.1 million is new money, brought into Juneau by visitors...(more) (6-15-12)

Photos: A grand entrance indeed
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Maka Mongure of the Mt. St. Elias Dancers of Yakutat dances off the stage in Centennial Hall during Celebration 2012's Grand Entrance on Thursday. (Photos)

Celebration juried art competition winners named
BY MATT MILLER
KTOO-FM
One of the early events of Celebration 2012 featured the announcement of winners of the juried art competition and unveiling of a month-long exhibit of their work...(more)
(6-7-12)

SHI's juried art exhibit opens at JACC
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute held an opening reception and awards ceremony for their sixth Juried Art Show and Competition Wednesday evening, naming seven winners across three categories, and recognizing 14 additional artists in the exhibit. The art show, held at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center following an informal Native Artists Gathering, is one of the first major events of Celebration 2012, which continues today and runs through Saturday...(more) (6-7-12)

Strengthen yourself at Celebration
BY RUSSELL STIGALL
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Southeast Alaska’s premier Native culture, art and dance event returns to Juneau as the Sealaska Heritage Institute hosts its biennial Celebration, Juried Art Show and Native Artists Gathering this week. Celebration’s motto this year is "Strengthen Yourself" — Ayanaltseenáa (Tlingit), Án hl is daguyáa (Haida) and Lip sha gotgyednshm (Tsimshian)...(more) (6-6-12)

Genetic researchers hope to trace Raven and Eagle lineages
DNA study under way at Celebration
BY MIKE DUNHAM
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
Alaska Natives in Juneau for this week's Celebration gathering are being asked to participate in a DNA study that may help determine which came first -- the Raven or the Eagle. Southeast Alaska Natives are identified as members of two moieties, sometimes called clans, named after those two iconic birds. People do not typically marry within their clan, and children assume the clan of their mother. The practice is widespread in the Pacific Northwest, and its ancient origins are obscure. Some indigenous groups have resisted taking part in genetic studies for various reasons, but this DNA drive is sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Institute, a tribal organization dedicated to perpetuating and enhancing Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska...(more)

Sealaska Heritage Institute sponsoring DNA study
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sealaska Heritage Institute is sponsoring a University of Pennsylvania DNA study of North America indigenous populations. Institute officials say the principal investigator in the study, Theodore Schurr, will be at Juneau's Centennial Hall during Celebration 2012, a Native cultural festival being held Thursday through Saturday. According to officials, the study will aim for better understanding of migration paths traveled by early humans...(more) (6-5-12)

Celebration kicks off this week in 30th year
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will kick off its biennial Celebration this week, marking the 30th year since the inception of the popular dance and culture festival. Celebration is a major event organized by Sealaska Heritage Institute every two years. First held in 1982, it has become the largest cultural event in the state, drawing thousands of people to the capital. It’s a time when Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian people come together to celebrate their survival as a culture, said SHI President Rosita Worl, adding it’s also a community event open to the general public...(more) (6-4-12)

Biennial Celebration starts in Juneau next week
Festival of dance, art and storytelling begins with procession
BY MIKE DUNHAM
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
Celebration, one of the largest cultural events in Alaska, will take place Thursday through June 9 in Juneau. The festival of dance, art, storytelling and traditional skills of Southeast Native Alaskans is organized every two years by Sealaska Heritage Institute and draws thousands of people to the state capital...(more) (6-1-12)

Upcoming art-oriented Celebration events
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Just about every aspect of Celebration could be considered "art"--from the drumming to the dancing to the exquisitely-crafted regalia. But a few events are designed specifically to celebrate Native arts. Here's a look at what's coming up early next week. For more on Celebration, and a full schedule, see the Empire’s special section in this Sunday’s paper. For more on the Juried Art Show, see next week’s Arts section...(more) (5-31-12)

Sealaska Heritage Institute says shareholders, descendants recipients of $401K in scholarships
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Sealaska Heritage Institute officials say the nonprofit tribal organization has awarded nearly $410,000 in scholarships to shareholders and their descendants. The scholarships are for students pursuing vocational-tech training or graduate and undergraduate degrees in the 2012-2013 school year...(more) (5-22-12)

New book is guide to Native-language place names in Southeast
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
A 20-year project to compile Alaska Native place names in Southeast Alaska has led to a new book with about 3,000 such names, published by the University of Washington Press and the Sealaska Heritage Institute. The book, "Haa Leelk'w Has Aani Saax'u (Our Grandparents' Names on the Land)," also includes scholarly discussion of Southeast languages...(more)

Worl to receive honorary doctorate from University of Alaska Anchorage
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The University of Alaska Anchorage will award SHI President Rosita Worl with an honorary doctor of sciences degree. The award will be made Sunday, May 6, at the university’s 2012 commencement ceremony at the George Sullivan Arena in Anchorage. Worl is one of four people, including former Gov. Tony Knowles, who will receive honorary degrees at the event...(more) (5-3-12)

Volunteers needed for Celebration 2012
BY JUNEAU EMPIRE STAFF
Sealaska Heritage Institute is looking for able and willing bodies to volunteer time and talent to its biennial festival of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribal members. (bit.ly/IkNPYf) Celebration is a biennial festival of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribal members organized every two years by Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more)

Place names book documents Southeast Alaska history
by Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska News
What’s in a name? If it’s a beach or a mountain or a stream, it can tell you what it looks like – or who’s been there. It can also document a change of ownership or geography — or the movement of a people. A new book from the Sealaska Heritage Institute and the University of Washington Press presents about 3,000 Southeast Alaska Native place names. Many came close to being lost, replaced by western labels...(more) (4-30-12)

Sealaska Heritage Institute releases cultural atlas
FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER
JUNEAU, Alaska — "Haa Leelk'w Has Aan' Saaxu: Our Grandparents' Names on the Land," might seem at first glance to be an academic work, not easily accessible to or designed for the general public. But this important book, released Friday by Sealaska Heritage Institute, becomes less intimidating when viewed as a different kind of atlas, a rich geographical and cultural reference, all the more fascinating for its ability to reintroduce us to the place we live...(more) (4-28-12)

SHI launches Box of Knowledge occasional papers
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has launched a series of occasional papers on Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian studies in an effort to disseminate research more widely and to circulate work that has not been published. The series, Box of Knowledge, will include essays or reports by researchers working with the institute, contributions prepared by external experts, and work by staff, said SHI President Rosita Worl...(more) (4-26-12)

SHI launches box of Knowledge Occasional Papers
ALASKA BUSINESS MONTHLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute has launched a series of occasional papers on Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian studies in an effort to disseminate research more widely and to circulate work that has not been published...(more) (4-21-12)

Sealaska Heritage to partner with JSD, UAS
JUNEAU EMPIRE STAFF REPORT
Sealaska Heritage Institute has signed a memorandum of agreement with the Juneau School District and University of Alaska Southeast’s Juneau Campus in an effort to increase the communication and collaboration among the organizations...(more) (4-19-12)

A new kind of atlas for Southeast
By Amy Fletcher
JUNEAU EMPIRE
“Haa Leelk’w Has Aan’ Saaxu: Our Grandparents’ Names on the Land,” might seem at first glance to be an academic work, not easily accessible to or designed for the general public. But this important book, released Friday by Sealaska Heritage Institute, becomes less intimidating when viewed as a different kind of atlas, a rich geographical and cultural reference, all the more fascinating for its ability to reintroduce us to the place we live. “I hope people who are interested in the region will think of it like an atlas, but also almost like an instrument – to reorient the way they think about the region of Southeast Alaska, or maybe just the places they’ve known,” said editor Thomas Thornton...(more) (4-19-12)

SHI publishes atlas of Native place names
Author Thornton will be in Juneau at noon Friday in the lobby of the Sealaska building
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has published a landmark book documenting more than 3,000 Native place names and their locations in Southeast Alaska. Nearly 20 years in the making, “Haa Léelk’w Hás Aaní Saax’ú: Our Grandparents’ Names on the Land,” compiled by Thomas Thornton, is the most comprehensive study of its kind. SHI will host a book signing with Thornton from noon to 1 pm, Friday, April 13, in the lobby of the Sealaska building in Juneau...(more)

SHI publishes landmark atlas
FOR THE CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has published a landmark book documenting more than 3,000 Native place names and their locations in Southeast Alaska. Nearly 20 years in the making, "Haa Léelk'w Hás Aaní Saax'ú: Our Grandparents' Names on the Land," is the most comprehensive study of its kind...(more)

What's in a name? Sealaska Heritage Institute works to preserve Native Alaskan history
By Kirsten Swann
KTVA-TV
ALASKA – Dzantik’i Héeni: The words mean “Flounder at the base of the creek,” and on a map they refer to the wooded area east of Alaska’s capital city.The Tlingit phrase is one of more than 3,000 memorialized in a recently published atlas of Native Alaskan place names released by the Sealaska Heritage Institute. President Rosita Worl said the names denote everything from geographical markers to cultural uses and resources...(more)

SHI awarded grant for program to teach formline
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has received a grant to establish a Native art academy in an effort to ensure younger artists are learning formline— the basis of Northwest Coast art. Formline is a term that describes the complex designs, such as ovoids and split Us, which are the underlying components of the distinctive art of the region. the $517,500 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation will help artists at all levels to learn and enhance their formline...(more)

Grant funds Native art academy $500,000 to teach Northwest Coast formline
JUNEAU EMPIRE
A half-million dollar grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation has allowed Sealaska Heritage Institute to start a three-year project called the Jinéit Art Academy - Jinéit means handmade. Under the grant, artists of all skill levels can develop their formline in the artists’ chosen medium, according to a Sealaska Heritage Institute press release...(more) (4-4-12)


Hoonah weavers study ancestors' work at Smithsonian Institution
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Five master weavers from Hoonah traveled to Washington, D.C., last week to study hundreds of Tlingit and Haida woven artifacts in the Smithsonian Institution’s collections...Each of the master weavers has participated in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Northwest Coast Art Certificate Program with a specialty in basketry or attended Northwest Coast Art Basketry classes at University of Alaska Southeast...(more) (3-29-12)

SHI to sponsor Latseen Leadership Academy
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Applications are now available for Sealaska Heritage Institute’s eighth annual Latseen Leadership Academy. The training is designed to provide engaging culturally-based education and activities for junior high school students in support of their future academic and personal success with a focus on rigor, relevance, and relationships...(more) (3-4-12)

Applications accepted for juried art competition
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is now accepting applications for its juried art show and competition. Native artists ages 16 and under can compete in a new category added this year for young artists. The show and competition will occur during Celebration 2012, June 7-9. The event showcases a broad range of pieces made by the indigenous people of Southeast Alaska...(more) (2-22-12)

2012 Native youth olympics results
JUNEAU EMPIRE
By Klas Stolpe
The results of the 2012 Native Youth Olympics, held at Riverbend Elementary School were not just about who won, or who placed, but about the knowledge gained through a month of cultural study leading up to the competitions. The event was sponsored by Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more) (2-15-12)
(Photos)

SHI accepting applications for juried art show
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is accepting applications for its sixth, biennial Juried Art Show and Competition during Celebration 2012, scheduled June 7-9 in Juneau. For the first time, Native artists who are under the age of 16 will be able to compete in the event, which showcases a broad range of pieces made by the indigenous people of Southeast Alaska...(more) (2-12-12)

Opposition to selling otter pelts to non-Natives
JUNEAU EMPIRE
By Russell Stigall
Sea otter management resolution seeks to give added economic benefit to SE sea otter cull. House Joint Resolution 26 seeks to set a course for management of the reintroduced sea otter population of Southeast Alaska....This section of the resolution did not sit well with the Alaska Federation of Natives and Sealaska Corp. by way of the testimony of AFN board member and Sealaska Heritage Institute President, Rosita Worl...(more) (Video)

Bill would help preserve Alaska Native languages
Alaska Public Radio Network (APRN)
Ben Matheson
The Alaska Senate State Affairs committee heard testimony Tuesday on Senator Donny Olson’s bill to create an Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council. Annette Evans Smith, the President of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, says the time for action on keeping languages alive is now...(more) (2-1-12)

Rural lawmaker wants council on Alaska Native languages
ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
By Austin Baird
Linguists and Native groups from across Alaska are lining up behind a proposal aimed at preserving and revitalizing the state's 20 Native languages...Sen. Donald Olson, D-Nome, is recommending that the state create the Alaska Native Language Preservation Council, which would advise the governor on programs and projects that will make the most of resources available to Native groups...(more) (2-1-12)

Century of Soboleff
Words of grace for a century
The teacher pulled aside the Tlingit boy, whose rapt attention he secured to deliver an indelible message. He said to young Walter Soboleff: "Take care of the old person you are going to become." "I never forgot that," Soboleff says. "At first I thought it was a very strange talk. But it just remained with me...(more) (February/March 2011 edition)

Scholar donates Haida archives
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
An anthropologist who studied the city of Hydaburg and the Haida history and culture has donated his field work and doctoral papers to Sealaska Heritige Institute (SHI). Dan Vaughan, Ph.D., worked in Hydaburg as a cultural anthropologist for the University of Washington from 1974 to 1984...(more) (1-25-12)

SHI to sponsor formline workshop
The Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor an all-levels workshop on formline design taught by Steve Brown on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 21-22 in Juneau. According to a release from Sealaska, Brown is a master of formline and Northwest Coast art history..(more) (1-19-12)

Sealaska gets papers, fieldwork on Haida culture
Associated Press
JUNEAU--The papers and fieldwork of an anthropologist who worked in the Southeast Alaska city of Hydaburg studying the Haida culture have a new home. Dan Vaughan, a former cultural anthropologist for the University of Washington, has donated his work to the Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more) (1-18-12)

Sealaska offers scholarship bonus
Ed Schoenfeld
CoastAlaska
Descendents of Sealaska shareholders have until March to apply for corporate scholarships. But those submitting applications this month will receive an extra $50. About 400 college, university and vocational school students receive the scholarships every year. The money comes from Sealaska, the regional Native corporation for Southeast. It’s distributed by the Sealaska Heritage Institute, the businesses’ cultural arm...(more) (1-6-12)

SHI opens scholarship application period
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting applications for the 2012-2013 college and vocational school year. Awards will be made to Sealaska shareholders and descendants enrolled in accredited colleges, universities and voc-tech schools. About 400 students receive the scholarships each year..(more) (1-4-11)

Native culture topic of last lecture in SHI lecture series
By RUSSELL STIGALL
JUNEAU EMPIRE
“Our Tlingit tradition is an oral tradition, said state Sen. Albert Kookesh as he introduced Sealaska Board Vice Chair and President of Sealaska Heritage Institute Rosita Worl — the final speaker in the Native American Heritage Month lecture series. “And she is very, very versed in that area,” Kookesh said...(more) (11-30-11)

ANCSA: Assimilation or cultural survival?
Ed Schoenfeld
JUNEAU
Is the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act a path to assimilation or a means of cultural survival? That’s the question posed by Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl. She spoke Monday (this week) as part of a Juneau lecture series focusing on ANCSA, which has its 40th anniversary next month...(more) (11-29-11)

Sealaska president urges unity in development of Southeast resources
McNeil featured at SHI brown bag lecture series
By RUSSELL STIGALL
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Corp. President and CEO Chris McNeil told a full house in Sealaska’s fourth floor conference room that Native corporations, tribes and villages must work together to manage the use of the region’s natural resources over the long term. McNeil spoke on the legal status of Alaska Native corporations and economic self-determination during the latest in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s noon lecture series...(more) (11-22-11)

Native leader seeks stronger ties between tribes, corps
By Russell Stigall
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The room on the fourth floor of Sealaska Plaza was packed with more than 30 people. They’d gathered as part of Native Alaskan Heritage Month to hear Edward Thomas, president, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska and a director on Sealaska Corp.’s board speak about tribes and Native corporations...(more) (11-18-11)

SHI Native American Heritage Month lecture series begins Friday
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The first lecture in Sealaska Heritage Institute’s November noon lecture series will be held on Friday. “ANCSA: Good or Bad?” led by First Alaskans Institute Fellow Byron Mallott begins at noon in the boardroom at Sealaska Plaza. The series, organized to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November, focuses on the impact of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, passed by Congress 40 years ago...(more) (11-3-11)

SHI to host  brown-bag lecture series on Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
JUNEAU EMPIRE STAFF REPORT
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor a noon lecture series to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November. The series will focus on the impact of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, or ANSCA.Congress passed ANSCA 40 years ago...(more) (10-27-11)

Sealaska Heritage Institute to sponsor lecture series for Native American Heritage Month
ALASKA BUSINESS MONTHLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a noon lecture series to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November.The brown-bag lunch series will focus on the impact of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) which was passed by Congress forty years ago, said SHI President Rosita Worl, adding Tlingit and Haida and Sealaska Corporation also will sponsor a November luncheon in recognition of ANCSA...(more) (10-25-11)

Worl named Citizen of the Year by AFN
By Emily Russo Miller
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Alaska Federation of Natives on Friday awarded its highest honor, the Citizen of the Year award, to Juneau Resident Rosita Worl, president of Sealaska Heritage Institute. AFN President Julie Kitka lauded Worl, an Eagle from the Shangukeidí Clan and the House Lowered from the Sun in Klukwan whose Tlingit names are Yéidiklats’okw and Kaahaní, for her lifelong dedication to helping Native people throughout the state during the AFN annual convention in Anchorage...(more) (10-23-11)

SHI receives grant to study historic Tlingit recordings
By Russell Stigall
JUNEAU EMPIRE
From the early 1900s to the present, audio recording technology has undergone several major advancements. From vinyl records to magnetic tape to optical disc and most recently magnetic disc drive and Flash memory...(more) (10-20-11)

SHI solicits articles for Box of Knowledge
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Sealaska Heritage Institute is soliciting essay-length articles for its new “Box of Knowledge Occasional Papers” series. The institute welcomes submissions dealing with all aspects of Alaska Native life, including history, anthropology, archaeology, art history, political science, linguistics, sociology, and literature...(more) (10-20-11)

Grant allows Sealaska Heritage to digitize historic recordings
ALASKA DISPATCH
According to a press release, Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), a regional nonprofit representing the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska, has received a federal grant to research and migrate old Tlingit language recordings to a format that will make them more accessible to modern-day Native language students and scholars...(more) (10-19-11)

Basketry's renewed popularity seen at Indian Market
SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN
The Chippewa and Potawatomi use the bark and wood of black ash trees in southwest Michigan — the same tree that the Seneca and Onondaga Iroquois harvest in upstate New York. Navajo basketmakers in New Mexico and Arizona harvest sumac for their colorful flat vessels...Holly Churchill's family has been part of the basket renaissance among the Haida people. She learned from her grandmother and from her mother, who taught uncountable others the traditional methods for collecting cedar and shaping it into baskets...(more) (8-20-11)

Alaska Native art, culture to be showcased
By Klas Stolpe
JUNEAU EMPIRE
A group of Southeast Alaskan Native artists will be showcasing this region's indigenous art and culture at New Mexico's Santa Fe Indian Market in an effort to educate and attract art enthusiasts and collectors and develop a similar gathering in Juneau...(more) (8-11-11)

Teaching vanishing Native languages
By Jonathan Grass
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Tlingit speakers and educators are fighting to keep that language alive. As those at Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) put it, creating new speakers will be key in accomplishing this. In fact, the Native institute has just introduced a new Tlingit language card program as part of this mission. The program is a set of flash cards and audio CDs to help gain efficiency in the alphabet...(more) (8-1-11)

Former Kake family heirloom ordnance dearmed, deactivated
By Klas Stolpe
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Organized Village of Kake (OVK) with the assistance of the Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) diffused the historic Civil War Parrott Shell ordnance that a Kake family had passed among family members for decades. “It has been in our family over 100 years,” Kake elder Michael Jackson said when State Troopers and Elmendorf Air Force explosives experts had first traveled to Kake to investigate the shell on June 23, 2011...(more) (7-30-11)

Language tool teaches Tlingit alphabet
Ed Schoenfeld
Do you want to learn Tlingit? You could start with the 50 letters, including some sounds that are not found in other languages. A new online tool, plus a note-card-and-audio system, is aimed at children. But it can help students of any age...(more) (7-25-11)

SHI releases Tlingit alphabet cards, online tools
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has released flash cards, an audio CD and an online interactive tool designed to teach the Tlingit alphabet to young people. The materials feature original, whimsical art and are meant to provide a fun way for kids to interact and become familiar with the Tlingit alphabet. Each card includes a character in the Tlingit alphabet, a Tlingit word that uses that character and an image depicting the Tlingit word, said Linda Belarde, who writes curriculum with a focus on the Tlingit language for the institute...(more) (7-21-11)

Sealaska Heritage Institute awards second Judson L. Brown leadership award
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
SHI recently awarded a $5,000 scholarship to Helen Dianne Dangel to assist her in her pursuit of a master’s degree in psychology at Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education and Counseling...“I think my uncle would be very proud of Helen and her vision to serve Native people with her life’s work,” Chris McNeil Jr., president and CEO of Sealaska Corporation, said in the release. He and his wife Mary established the Judson L. Brown Leadership Award in 2006 with an endowment of $100,000...(more) (7-21-11)

Ancient, moss-covered canoe found in Alaska forest
By Yereth Rosen
Reuters
An unfinished Indian canoe, apparently abandoned 500 years ago, has been discovered in a remote section of an Alaska rain forest, according to officials. The canoe, carved from cedar, was discovered under a thick layer of moss and is surrounded by trees that are several hundred years old, Sealaska Corp., the Alaska Native corporation that owns the land, said in a statement...(more) (7-14-11)

Canoe found in Southeast may be 500 years old
Ancient tools were used to hew wood in 34-foot craft
By MIKE DUNHAM ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS
A centuries-old Haida canoe has been discovered near the Prince of Wales Island village of Kasaan, Sealaska Corp. announced Tuesday. Work on the nearly 34-foot vessel may have stopped around the same time that Columbus sailed from Spain...(more) (7-13-11)

Foresters find historic canoe on Prince of Wales Island
Partially-complete artifact could become model for modern craftsmen
By Pat Forgey JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska foresters working on Prince of Wales Island have unearthed a partially complete Haida canoe from the forest floor, and are estimating its age at more than 100 years old. A Sealaska Timber Corp. surveyor working in the area during the winter discovered the canoe. Later, when snow melted, it was confirmed to be an ancient canoe, the company said. Several cedar trees in the area appear to have been felled with traditional tools, and the canoe was constructed with traditional tools, said Sealaska Heritage Institute officials...(more) (7-13-11)

Sealaska Heritage Institute gets support from Legislature
Additional fundraising needed to complete downtown center
By Pat Forgey JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Native cultural center, named after Dr. Walter Soboleff, is expected to give a big push to the study and preservation of Alaska Native history, culture, art and language. The center’s building is located across from Sealaska Corp.’s headquarters on a site that once was a downtown eyesore. It is also expected to give a boost to the city’s center. Sealaska officials are showing off a new architect’s model of the $22.5 million building, as they continue fundraising to get it built...(more) (7-12-11)

Aged bomb in Kake gets official inspection
Family heirloom a reminder of clashes with government
By Klas Stolpe JUNEAU EMPIRE
Della Cheney remembers playing with a family heirloom growing up, a rather strange looking metallic object that wasn’t easily moved about. “It was very heavy,” Cheney said. “At least 25 pounds.” The heirloom? A roughly 12-inch long, 30-pound unexploded round of ammunition that struck the village more than 140 years ago. Or in the words of one of the descendants who found the shell resting on the other side of a hole in a Southeast rainforest soaked stump, “It was an annoying object when you stubbed your toe on it but a great conversation piece...(more) (6-23-11)

Students encouraged to sign up for STAR program
Capital City Weekly
Summer is here and it is time to get those kids, grandkids, and neighbors signed up for Perseverance Theatre's Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous (STAR). Rehearsals and classes begin July 11. This five-week program is perfect for students ages 10-18 who are enthusiastic about theatre. A limited number of full scholarships for Alaska Native students are available thanks to the support of Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more) (6-22-11)

New internship seeks to get Native students involved in museums, preservation work
By Jonathan Grass JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has just joined with the University of Alaska Southeast in an internship program to encourage more Native archivists and museum curators. SHI archivist said that more Natives are needed in these fields that are devoted to the preservation of their cultures. “This field certainly needs diversity. Especially with museum materials, it’s important to have Natives working in their museums...(more) (6-21-11)

New internship program fosters more Native archivists
SitNews
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has joined with a state university in an internship program designed to foster more archivists and museum curators. SHI’s first Tlingit intern under the program, founded this year by the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), was just accepted into graduate school to pursue a career in archives and given a full scholarship...(more) (6-20-11)

360 North plans Soboleff coverage Friday
JUNEAU EMPIRE STAFF REPORT
360 North is planning an evening of programming dedicated to Walter Soboleff on Friday. The celebrated Tlingit elder, educator and Presbyterian minister died May 22 at the age of 102...(more) (Web Link) (6-8-11)

SHI awards nearly $450K in scholarships
JUNEAU EMPIRE STAFF REPORT
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has awarded approximately $447,000 in scholarships to Sealaska shareholders and descendants and given a leadership award from a separate endowment to a student pursuing her master’s degree. The awards, funded mostly by Sealaska Corporation, will help students pursuing graduate and undergraduate degrees and vo-tech training for the 2011-2012 school year. A portion also will fund heritage studies, language studies and culture camps. SHI President Rosita Worl said the scholarships for university and voc-tech studies went to 356 Alaska Natives...(more) (5-25-11)

In honor of Dr. Walter Soboleff, who has left after more than 102 years amongst us
By BILL HESS
Yesterday afternoon I learned that Dr. Walter Soboleff had passed away in Juneau Sunday at the age of 102. So I have postponed for tomorrow what I had planned for today in order to dedicate this post solely to his memory and honor. I am not going to write much about him right now, save to say that he was truly one of the most honorable, decent, and gentle men that I have ever met and that he was truly a giant in shaping those parts of modern-day Alaska that are good. It did not matter if one was Native, white, black, Asian or other - in the presence of Dr. Walter Soboleff, one felt only love and warmth - and this was true even if what Dr. Soboleff was doing was fighting for Native rights. I know, because I personally felt that warmth and love and I could see that all who came into his presence also felt it...(more) (5-24-11)

Murkowski remembers reverend Dr. Walter Soboleff
www.akbizmag.com
Mr. President, it was only a few short years ago, in October of 2008, that I stood before this body to honor one of Alaska's most cherished elders, the Reverend Doctor Walter A. Soboleff, in commemoration of his 100th birthday. Today, I come before you with a heavy heart, to share with you news of the passing of that distinguished and revered Tlingit elder and leader.  On this day I ask that we honor the life of an extraordinary man and remember his inspirational journey...(more

Tlingit leader Soboleff, dead at 102, celebrated tolerance
By KLAS STOLPE
Juneau Empire
JUNEAU -- Longtime Juneau and Alaska Tlingit spiritual leader, elder statesman and Native icon Walter Soboleff died early Sunday in his home, surrounded by family. According to daughter Janet Burke, Soboleff died from bone cancer and prostate cancer. "Memorial services are pending," Burke said. "No date is set yet. This very quickly can get out of our hands because we know the scope of our father's influence on so many people. When we think of him we think of the knowledge he had, the knowledge of his culture and the love for his family. That was so important to him. ...(more)

Soboleff's efforts for Natives spanned a century
The Bristol Bay Times
A Tlingit elder known for his wisdom, attentive ear and reassuring smile - all underscored by deep faith - has died Sunday.The Rev. Walter A. Soboleff Sr. was 102. Soboleff was born on Nov. 14, 1908, in Killisnoo a village that once existed in Southeast Alaska. He attended two schools in Sitka before getting his attended the University of Dubuque in Iowa, where he earned a bachelor's degree in divinity.He returned to Alaska, this time Juneau, where he began a career in ministry with messages that eventually reached Southeast villages and even small Yukon towns. "I sat in front of the radio and listened to Walter every Sunday," said Bill Thomas, a state representative who grew up in Haines. "He always said, 'I'm proud of you.' He meant it"...(more) (5-23-11)

Noted Tlingit elder Walter Soboleff dies
By Klas Stolpe JUNEAU EMPIRE
Editor's note: Information from the Empire's archives contributed to this report.
Long time Juneau and Alaska Tlingit spiritual leader, elder statesman, and native icon Walter Soboleff died early Sunday morning in his home, surrounded by family. According to daughter Janet Burke, Soboleff died from bone cancer and prostate cancer. “Memorial services are pending,” Burke said. “No date is set yet. This very quickly can get out of our hands because we know the scope of our father’s influence on so many people. When we think of him we think of the knowledge he had, the knowledge of his culture and the love for his family. That was so important to him.” Soboleff had turned 102 years old on Nov. 14, 2010...(more) (5-22-11)

City museum to offer annual workshops on local history and culture
Contemporary Expressions of Traditional Tlingit Culture: Learn about Tlingit culture, social structure and contemporary issues with culture and language specialist Linda Belarde from the Sealaska Heritage Institute. This workshop will be offered by the Juneau city museum from 6-8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2, from and will be repeated at the same time on Tuesday, May 3...(more) (4-27-11)

Worl receives lifetime achievement award
By Jonathan GrassJUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl received the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Tlingit and Haida Tribal Assembly. Worl has a long and varied history as an authority in tribal matters.“It’s a great honor to be recognized by your tribe and your people,” said Worl. “My mother always taught us that we don’t need to speak about ourselves because if you’re worthy of being known, people who you are. I guess I’ve arrived at that point in my life"...(more)

Sealaska Heritage Institute Accepting Applications for Latseen Leadership Academy
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting applications through June 10 to attend its Latseen Leadership Academy held in Juneau, Alaska.According to SealaskaHeritage.org, the academy “is designed to provide engaging culturally-based education and activities for youth in support of their future academic and personal success with a focus on rigor, relevance, and relationships.” Participants can make traditional drums, learn how to fillet salmon and prepare traditional foods, as well as learn Native languages.The academy is for Sealaska shareholders or shareholder descendants entering sixth, seventh and eighth grades...(more) 3-17-11)

Sealaska Heritage Institute opens applications for academy
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute is accepting applications to attend its annual Latseen Leadership Academy in Juneau. This year’s camp is for incoming sixth- to eighth-grade students who are Sealaska shareholders or shareholder descendants. Full scholarships are available...(more) (3-17-11)

Cultural objects returning to Hoonah after 80 years
By Jonathan Grass JUNEAU EMPIRE
Eight Native cultural objects are returning home after a long struggle following an even longer absence. The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has sent a letter to the T’akdeintaan Clan, Snail House, of Hoonah, saying it plans to return eight objects the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee recently deemed the rightful property of the clan under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGRA. The clan has been trying to reclaim 50 objects from the museum for 16 years...(more) (2-8-11)

Sealaska buys 100-year-old Haida mat using PFD donations
Anchorage Daily News
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has acquired a rare, cedar-bark Haida mat traditionally used as bedding or as room dividers in clan houses plus two old halibut hooks...(more) (1-4-11)

Sealaska scholarship program goes online
Ed Schoenfeld
Applications are now available for Sealaska's college scholarship program. For the first time, shareholders and lineal descendants can apply online...(more) (1-4-11)

Anonymous donor gives collection of Native objects to Sealaska Heritage Institute
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
An anonymous donor who wanted his collection of Native cultural objects to go home has given 15 pieces that date at least to the early 1900s to Sealaska Heritage Institute. The collection includes some very important ceremonial pieces, said SHI President Rosita Worl...(more) (12-22-10)

Angoon leader concludes Sealaska lecture series with historical bombardment account
By Jonathan GrassJUNEAU EMPIRE
As Native American Heritage Month has come to a close, Sealaska Heritage Institute concluded its lecture series Monday with a lecture on the importance of Tlingit communications and understanding. Cyril George Sr. spoke to a packed room on how failure to communicate led to problems between Angoon Natives and the federal government that last to this day. George is a clan leader of Deisheetaan of Angoon and Kaakáak'w Hít. He spoke on how proper communications and cultural understandings are integral to Tlingit relations, both in the past and today...(more) (12-14-10)

Some Native donations may not be so Native
By Jonathan GrassJUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute received a collection of 18 Native cultural objects and tourist items from an anonymous donor last month. However, studies on these objects have led SHI researchers to believe three of them may not be Native made. SHI President Rosita Worl said a beaver crest clan hat and two rattles among the collection may have been made by a non-commissioned non-Native. Worl said the researchers came to this conclusion because, while the items look old, the wear and tear on them was not consistent with the apparent age...(more) (12-8-10)

Native leader explains Tlingit education's relevance for all societies
By Jonathan GrassJUNEAU EMPIRE
Tlingit educational values have kept its clans alive since before European contact in Alaska, and Tlingit leaders recognize how the pillars of that education are important to Native and non-Native students alike, a speaker discussing Native education said Monday. David Katzeek, who goes by Kingeisti, is a leader of the Eagle Thunderbird Clan of Klukwan. He's spent years discussing education with students across Alaska for years, and shared the insights of that journey as part of Sealaska Heritage Institute's lecture series...(more) (12-7-10)

Alaskan clan says it may sue University of Pennsylvania to get items back
By Tom Avril Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA - A federal advisory committee has recommended that the University of Pennsylvania return a trove of native artifacts it acquired nearly 90 years ago from a clan of Tlingit people in southeast Alaska. The recommendation last month regarding the collection of more than 40 items, among them headdresses, carved masks, and ceremonial horns, is not binding on Penn's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The museum has offered instead to turn over eight of the objects, allowing the clan to serve as cocurator of the rest...(more) (12-6-10)

Spokesman: 'We proved ... that we owned it'
By Jonathan GrassJUNEAU EMPIRE
Years ago, two different Native clans made claims for the ownership of certain objects in museums in Alaska and Pennsylvania. Those claims are now one step closer to fulfillment, and the clans couldn't be happier about it. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, or NAGRA, Review Committee in Washington, D.C. found a Native object in the Alaska State Museum and several in the University of Pennsylvania Museum are actually the property of the Teeyhíttaan Clan of Wrangell and T'akdeintaan Clan of Hoonah, respectively...(more) (12-1-10)

Pennsylvania museum told to return Alaska Tlingit artifacts
A shaman's owl mask. A brass Loon Spirit hat. A faded hide robe that memorializes ancestors of the
Hoonah T'akdeintaan clan wiped out by a tidal wave in Lituya Bay.
These items and dozens more belong to clan members, not the Pennsylvania museum where they've been stored for decades, a federal committee ruled recently. Marlene Johnson, a T'akdeintaan elder, has been trying to return the objects to Alaska ever since watching a slideshow of the collection in the mid-1990s. As long as there's one of us around, it belongs to us," she said...(more) (11-29-10)

Anonymous donor returns Tlingit treasures to Heritage Institute
Speaking of museum quality art, the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau is walking in the clouds over the recent gift of 18 Native cultural objects dating at least to the early 1900s. The unnamed donor, from Michigan, gave the collection to a Native woman in the Lower 48 with instructions to send it home -- to the Native people of Southeast Alaska, according to a press release...(more) (11-27-10)

An interview with Southeast writer Vivian Faith Prescott*
By Katie Spielberger Capital City Weekly
"I come from many generations of storytellers. Poetry is the medium I use to tell our stories." So Vivian Faith Prescott introduces Slick, her collection of prose poetry recently published as a digital chapbook by White Knuckle Press...(more) (11-24-10)
(*This story touches on work by Vivian Mork, a Tlingit woman who had participated in SHI's language program and is now teaching Tlingit in Wrangell)

Mystery donor bestows new cultural objects to Sealaska
By Jonathan GrassJUNEAU EMPIRE
Folks at the Sealaska Heritage Institute may not know the person's name, but are grateful for his or her philanthropic spirit. An anonymous donor has given the institute 18 Native cultural objects and tourist items. SHI President Rosita Worl said the collection contained sign<<Selection in Document>>ificant ceremonial pieces and would provide important research opportunities. Worl said such donations are unusual. Those who part with such collections most often do so for a price. "What I was most amazed about the donor is he wanted it to return home," said Worl, noting she was only assuming the donor was a "he"...(more)  (11-24-10)

A new look at an old battle
By Pat ForgeyJUNEAU EMPIRE
"It was called the "Kake War" of 1869 but few people today know of it, said Zachary Jones, archivist with the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Among those who are aware of it are the Kéex' Kwaan Tlingit of the Kake area, as well as other areas where related battles were fought, including Sitka, Wrangell and Cape Fox. Jones spoke of his research as part of a series of talks held at the Sealaska Building during Native American Heritage Month. He's been using Tlingit oral histories to add to the official record of the clashes, and has been filling in a picture that's been bases mostly on Caucasian written records...(more) (11-16-10)

Thanks for making way for dancers
On Nov. 5, the Git-Hoan Dance Group traveled to Juneau for special performances to honor Native American Heritage Month. Auke Bay Elementary School is grateful and honored by the help and willingness of the Sealaska Heritage Institute and the Git-Hoan dancers to provide an opportunity for Auke Bay students to experience this extraordinary performance...(more) (11-14-10)

Archeologist discusses pre-contact Tlingit warfare as part of Native American Heritage Month lecture series
When Sealaska Heritage Institute invited anthropologist Madonna Moss to speak during the Native American Heritage Month lecture series, she didn't want to talk about war. "I wanted to talk about herring and herring bones!" she told the several dozen people filling the Sealaska boardroom last Friday...(more) (11-10-10)

Sealaska Heritage Institute among Alaskan recipients of Native Arts and Cultures Foundation grants
The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) recently awarded its first grants to 26 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists and organizations. This year's recipients include three Alaska Native artists and three Alaska Native arts and cultural organizations...(more) (11-10-10)

National Heritage Month: Professor discusses warfare in ancient Tlingit times
By Jonathan GrassJUNEAU EMPIRE
The Sealaska Heritage Institute's second annual lecture series for Native American Heritage Month opened Friday with an in-depth look at what warfare meant to ancient Tlingit cultures. Madonna Moss, a professor of anthropology at the University of Oregon, brought her studies of Tlingit warfare to Juneau. She said her purpose was to expose locals to the differences between researched data and preconceived notions of Tlingit warfare, since it's quite a sensitive topic...(more) (11-7-10)

Heritage Month gets off to a busy start
JUNEAU EMPIRE
November is Native American Heritage Month, and here in Juneau there's plenty of opportunities to honor, celebrate, and learn more about the rich Native cultures of Southeast Alaska. The month gets off to a busy start Friday, with a full schedule of activities planned by Sealaska Heritage Institute, including a lunchtime lecture, dance performances and a Native artists market...(more) (11-4-10)

Local lectures, dances, artist market scheduled for Native American Heritage Month
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor a noon lecture series, dance performances, and a Native art market to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November. The brown-bag lunch series will focus on topics such as Tlingits and combat and Native history and language. The program this year will include dance performances at the Juneau-Douglas High School, plus a Native artist market, which will be set up in the commons of the school during the afternoon of the performances...(more) (10-21-10)

Sealaska Heritage Institute receives donation of recordings of Native elders
Local radio host Cy Peck, Jr., has donated to Sealaska Heritage Institute a major collection of recordings capturing the words of Native Elders and leaders. The recordings, which have been digitized, include interviews with many Native Elders and leaders, including Cy Peck, Sr., Matthew Fred, Austin Hammond, Charlie Jimmie and Walter Williams to name a few. "I think it's found a home here," said Peck at a recent ceremony in Juneau where the collection was formally presented to the institute. "I want everyone to know where to come and hear the Elders speak in their original way they spoke at potlatches and ceremonies and honoring people"...(more)  (10-07-10)

Photo: Native 'Jam Session' (08-31-10)

Shocking story behind Sealaska art show winner
Powerful start: Alder left Juneau in dark; war helmet proved its mettle
By Mike Dunham
The "Best of Show" piece in the traditional category at the fifth Sealaska Juried Art Competition, a Tlingit war helmet by carver Wayne Price, came with an electrifying back story. The wood came from an alder tree that knocked out the power in Juneau for half a day when it came down, the artist said. "That wood has had twenty-five thousand volts go through it," Price said, "and it didn't crack when I carved it. So it really had a really good start”...(more) (06-09-10)

Grand Entrance (06-04-10)

Finding Long Lost Relatives
By Kim MarquisMany people have some idea where they come from, but Brian Kemp's research branches out much further than any family tree. The anthropologist used DNA samples he collected in Juneau two years ago to draw genetic connections not only among Native Southeast Alaskans but also to regions in other parts of the Americas. Kemp found maternal lineages to Southern California and, surprisingly to him, a high frequency of genetic connections to the American Southwest...(more) (06-03-10)

Celebration 2010 begins Wednesday
It's time to Celebrate. Celebration, Southeast Alaska's largest cultural event, is expected to draw 5,000 people when registration starts here Wednesday. The biennial gathering, held June 2-5, will include 51 dance groups and more than 2,000 dancers from Alaska, Canada and the Lower 48 states, according to Sealaska. The Sealaska Heritage Institute started the popular dance-and-culture festival in 1982 to celebrate Tlinit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures...(more) (05-31-10)

Southeast languages focus of books
NATIVE: Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian words, phrases are included
BY MIKE DUNHAM
MDUNHAM@ADN.COM

Sealaska Heritage Institute has published a new series of learners' dictionaries for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages and the first-ever Alaska Haida phrasebook. "We've been working on language restoration for nearly 10 to 12 years, and I would say for a greater part of this we've been working on these dictionaries," institute president Rosita Worl said in a press release. The new books incorporate some important innovations...(more) (05-29-10)

Sealaska Heritage Institute releases dictionaries for Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian
for the juneau empire
Sealaska Heritage Institute has published a new series of learners' dictionaries for the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian languages and the first-ever Alaskan Haida phrasebook. The dictionaries are the product of years of documentation with assistance from Elders fluent in Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. The phrasebook was written by Dr. Erma Lawrence, one of the few remaining fluent speakers of Alaskan Haida. "We've been working on language restoration for nearly 10 to 12 years, and I would say for a greater part of this we've been working on these dictionaries. So, they're pretty broad in scope, and to have three of them released all at the same time I think is fairly significant," said SHI President Rosita Worl...(more) (05-27-10)

"All Things Eagle and Raven" exhibit opens
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum will open its summer exhibit, "All Things Eagle & Raven," on Juneau Museum Day, May 15 with a free public reception from noon to 5 p.m. This exhibit is a celebration of these two birds and their connection to our lives...A life-size replica of an eagle and raven's nest will be on exhibit with information about mating, nesting and parenting habits. Eagle and Raven Tlingit phrases supplied by Sealaska Heritage Institute will also be displayed...(more) (05-12-10)

Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center restores pieces of the Alaska Native story
By Fran Golden
Special to The Washington Post
A
$40 million Alaska Native collection is debuting in Anchorage this month, representing a homecoming for 600 rare objects, most of which have never before been seen in public, much less touched. Paul Ongtooguk, an Iñupiag from the north of Alaska, said in an interview at the Anchorage Museum that he is looking forward to the "family reunion...(more) (05-09-10)

Sealaska institute awards scholarships
The Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska - The Sealaska Heritage Institute has awarded about $356,000 in scholarships to Sealaska shareholders and descendants. Institute President Rosita Worl says scholarships for university and vocational studies went to 386 Alaska Native students. The scholarships will aid students for the 2010-2011 school year...(more) (04-27-10)

Eagle totem brings 'balance' to UAS campus
By Klas Stolpe   JUNEAU EMPIRE
Native legends say that forever ago, long before their ancestors walked, the Raven and the Eagle shared the skies, forests and streams of Alaska, bringing a balance to the world as they would jest, joust and shout above the winds and sun. That balance was brought to the University of Alaska Southeast campus Saturday with an Eagle pole-raising ceremony. It came 18 years after a Raven pole was erected there. The Eagle totem symbolizes a school united with the community, Native peoples and their ancestors. "We have been looking forward to this for a while," Hydaburg's TJ Young said. "We hope everybody is proud of it"...(more) (04-25-10)

33 cultural objects repatriated
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
Sealaska Corporation has repatriated 33 cultural objects from a Massachusetts museum on behalf of Tlingit clans in southeast Alaska. Most of the objects were repatriated on behalf of the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe and title will be officially transferred to them at a future ceremony, said Sealaska Heritage Institute President Rosita Worl, an anthropologist who assisted in the repatriation. The collection underscores the creativity and talent of our ancestors, Worl said...(more) (04-06-10)
 

33 Native cultural objects repatriated through Sealaska
For the Juneau Empire
Sealaska Corp. has repatriated 33 cultural objects from a Massachusetts museum on behalf of Tlingit clans in Southeast Alaska. Most of the objects were repatriated on behalf of the Yakutat Tlingit and title will be officially transferred to them at a future ceremony, said SHI President Rosita Worl, an anthropologist who assisted in the repatriation. The collection underscores the creativity and talent of Tlingit ancestors, Worl said...(more) (04-01-10)

Preserving cultural knowledge
Tlingit carver Rick Beasley releases step-by-step guides to a traditional art form
By Amy FletcherA new series of books on traditional Tlingit carving offers an innovative approach to learning the art, by providing a detailed description of the techniques in printed form. Traditionally, the cultural knowledge inherent in the creation of the artwork has been passed down through master-apprentice relationships and workshops, and the books' introduction makes clear this is still the best way to learn. But for those without access to a teacher or a class, and for those who live outside Southeast Alaska, the series offers a way in...(more) (01-14-10)

(Listen to a radio story about SHI's books on the Developmental Language Process)
A Southeast Alaska cultural organization is releasing a series of books it hopes will increase students' success rates. Sealaska Heritage Institute is presenting the books on what's called the Developmental Language Process to educators in four of the region's communities. CoastAlaska's Ed Schoenfeld reports from Juneau...(more) (01-05-09)

Sealaska Heritage Institute implements book series on language development
Staff holds training sessions across Southeast, works on new middle school set
By Kim Andree"A child who is language-delayed is going to fail. He or she does not have a chance to succeed in academics. They can succeed elsewhere, but not in academics. ... My heart goes out to anyone who is in high school and who is language delayed, because they face failure everyday. And we wonder why they drop out of school. ... This sense of failure due to language delay is incredibly powerful"...(more) (01-03-10)

SHI releases book series on language development
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has released a series of books to help students overcome a common problem in schools today: a delay in academic language development. The series was funded through a grant from the Alaska Native Education Program and includes books on science, math and literature for high school students, plus books on Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian for all grades. The books outline a method called the Developmental Language Process, which was pioneered by SHI Curriculum Director Jim MacDiarmid, a longtime educator in Canada and Alaska and author of "Replacing Thinga-ma-jig: the Developmental Language Process."...(more) (12-16-09)

Celebrating 101 Years
Tlingit elder's wishlist includes world peace and the wild game stews of his youth

Walter Soboleff has done a lot in his 100-plus years on Earth, but his family's gift of a cruise through the Panama Canal is something new. "I've never been on a vacation cruise," Soboleff said last week before leaving town for the trip. "Never out on the ocean in warm weather. I think I will just be taking a rest, seeing the canal and the gates open and the ships passing through. I know I will be leaving my wool shirt at home."...(more) (11-13-09)

Professor says most Natives supported statehood in 50s
History lecture highlights contrast in state vs. federal subsistence debate

From the days before statehood, Native elders passed down stories of "being able to walk across rivers on the backs of salmon," which seafood suppliers for large out-of-state companies devastated by using fish traps. At the time, most Natives believed that statehood would protect their fishing rights and their way of life from outsiders who they watched discard less desirable species and overharvest top dollar species, University of Alaska Anchorage associate professor Jeane Breinig said Wednesday...(more) (11-4-09)

A potato revival
Tuber cropping up in community gardens probably several hundred years old
A potato that Native Alaskan communities grew hundreds of years ago is making a reappearance in Juneau. The heirloom Tlingit potato takes almost too well to Southeast Alaska's moist climate, said Merrill Jensen, manager of the Jensen-Olson Arboretum. He expects as many as 1,500 pounds of the vegetable to be harvested next month from four rows of plants sprouting in the city-owned garden...(more) (Click here to hear the Tlingit word for potato and other items) (08-06-09)

Sealaska announces first youth board advisor position
Juneau's Megan Gregory, originally from Kake, to serve for a year in inaugural position
By Kim Andree  JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska's Board of Directors recently elected 22-year-old Megan Gregory, originally from Kake, to serve in its inaugural youth board advisory position.
The new year-long position was announced during Sealaska's 2009 Annual Meeting on June 27 in Sitka. As youth advisor, Gregory will provide input on youth perspectives and gain board membership training...(more) (07-19-09)

Sealaska Heritage Institute acquires photo collections
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has acquired two photograph collections documenting Southeast Alaska Native cultures from circa 1883 to the 1990s...(more) (07-15-09)

Sealaska institute acquires photography collections
Empire photographer donates hundreds of ANB/ANS images
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has acquired two photographs documenting Southeast Alaska Native cultures from circa 1883 to the 1990s. Longtime photojournalist Brian Wallace donated several hundred images, including photos of the founding fathers of the Alaska Native Brotherhood (circa 1912) and past Alaska Native Sisterhood presidents...(more) (07-13-09)

Inland Tlingit Celebration to be held July 22-28
B

TESLIN, Yukon - Just because there's no Celebration in Juneau this year doesn't mean there's no Celebration this year. The Teslin Tlingit Council is planning the first ever Ha Kus Teyea Celebration in the small community of Teslin, Yukon Territory, for July 22-28. "Has Kus Teyea" means "our culture" or "the Tlingit way." The event will be the largest Inland Tlingit gathering ever held in Canada...(more) (07-08-09)

Summer Theater: Where STARs are Born
By Amy Fletcher | Juneau Empire
The only prerequisite for participating in Perseverance Theatre's Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous (STAR) program is a willingness to put your heart into the experience, says Director of Education Shona Strauser. Shy kids, gregarious kids, inexperienced and experienced, all can - and do - find their place and flourish...(more) (Sponsored by SHI) (07-02-09)

Unique Haida curriculum series distributed
Sealaska Heritage Institute hopes curriculum will help weave more Native lessons into schools
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has produced a unique collection of Haida curriculum for distribution to schools with Haida language programs, in hopes of weaving more Native lessons into the public school system...(more) (07-01-09)

Unique Haida Curriculum Series Distributed
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has produced a unique collection of Haida curriculum with audio CDs for distribution to schools with Haida language programs in hopes of weaving more Native lessons into the public school system...(more) (06-28-09)

Photo: Uncovering an eagle
See a photo in the Juneau Empire of Joe Young and his brother TJ working on an Eagle totem pole at the University of Alaska Southeast. (News Photo) (06-16-09)

Artists chosen to carve Sealaska Heritage Institute, university
Traditional welcoming ceremony to be held Thursday at UAS
For the Juneau Empire
Artists Joe and TJ Young, residents of Hydaburg on Prince of Wales Island, recently won a contract to carve a totem pole for Sealaska Heritage Institute on behalf of the University of Alaska Southeast. A selection committee comprised of SHI and UAS representatives chose the brothers from a pool of applicants last week...(more)

Ketchikan Indian Community Partners with Sealaska Heritage Institute to Provide Language Workshop
SitNews
Ketchikan Indian Community (KIC) has partnered with Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) to present a Heritage Language Development Workshop for language teachers and curriculum developers on April 30 and May 1, 2009. The language workshop is one example of the kinds of efforts the Tribe is making to ensure the survival of the Haida, Tlingit, and Tsimshian languages...(more) (04-29-09)

Sealaska Heritage awards $446,000 in scholarships

JUNEAU - Sealaska Heritage Institute has awarded approximately $446,000 in scholarships to Sealaska shareholders and descendants. The awards, funded by Sealaska Corporation, will help students pursuing graduate and undergraduate degrees and voc-tech training for the 2009-2010 school year. A portion also will fund heritage studies, language studies and culture camps...(more) (04-24-09)

Sealaska seeks proposals for totem pole
T
he Associated Press
Sealaska Heritage Institute is seeking proposals for the creation of a traditional-style totem pole. Sealaska has extended the deadline to Friday for proposals for the 36-foot pole. Officials say the pole is to include the Eagle crests of Eagle, Shark, Wolf and thunderbird...(more) (04-22-09)

Workshop aims to boost Native languages
Education director says new process will provide framework for teachers

Sealaska Heritage Institute is looking to reinvent the wheel of how the indigenous languages of Southeast Alaska are taught. New education director Jim MacDiarmid is hosting a two-day workshop Wednesday and today on a developmental language process he has created to help educators instill the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages into the long-term memories of their students. The nonprofit educational and cultural arm of Sealaska Corp. has been at the forefront of Alaska Native language curriculum development in recent years, but MacDiarmid said incorporating this new process will help provide a better framework for teachers to present the languages to the students...(more)

Sealaska posts collections database online
Holdings include about 25,000 photos, 1,000 cultural objects

Sealaska Heritage Institute is hoping a newly posted searchable catalog on its Web site will help spur more research on the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures. SHI, a Native nonprofit that administers educational and cultural programs for Sealaska Corp., says it is a "major breakthrough" that will give researchers a better understanding of the many thousands of objects the institute houses...(more)

DNA tracks ancient Alaskan's descendants
10,300 YEARS OLD: Tests of Southeast Natives challenge prior anthropological results
By GEORGE BRYSON
An ancient mariner who lived and died 10,000 years ago on an island west of Ketchikan probably doesn't have any close relatives left in Alaska. But some of them migrated south and their descendents can be found today in coastal Native American populations in California, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina...(more)

Book on Tlingit battle wins national award
Among the 14 winners of the Before Columbus Foundation's 28th annual American Book Awards was "Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká: Russians in Tlingit America, The Battles of Sitka 1802 and 1804" - a book by Juneau residents Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer and the late Lydia Black, of Fairbanks. The fourth volume in the award-winning series "Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature," jointly published by Sealaska Heritage Institute and the University of Washington Press, this book describes the historic battles between the Russians and Tlingits in the early 19th century...(more)

Annual Native Arts and Crafts Fair
Capital City Weekly
JUNEAU - The annual Native Arts & Crafts Fair will be held at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum on Dec. 5 from 4:30-8 p.m. and Dec. 6 from 12-4 p.m. . Meet local Alaska Native artists and learn as they demonstrate techniques and sell their wares...(more)

Celebrating An Alaska original
Native leader Walter Soboleff marks 100th birthday today
One day when Bill Martin was 14 and working at a grocery store in Juneau, a man he knew for his Tlingit radio broadcasts spotted him and said, "Tell your father I said, 'Hi.'" Martin had never met the man and wondered how he'd made the connection. "All he had to do was see you, and he knew," Martin recalled his father telling him. Martin, now 65, is president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes...(more)

Historic perspective: 'Russians in Tlingit America' book sheds new light on Sitka battles of 1802 and 1804
By Eric Morrison
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The historical battles between Tlingits and Russians near present day Sitka at the dawn of the 19th century were more significant than most people likely acknowledge, linguist and author Richard Dauenhauer said. "I think the battles of 1802 and 1804 are part of that history that ultimately shaped the entire American map of the United States in later years," he said...(more)

Juneau home to southeast Alaska Native research center
INDIAN COUNTRY TODAY
The Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau recently opened its doors to the redesigned and expanded Special Collections Research Center. The center holds extensive archival recordings of traditional Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian ceremonies as well as historical documents, photographs and cultural objects. Renewed interest in the facility has brought with it an increase in donations. ''We have a small but growing ethnographic and archaeological collection. Now that we have the facility to care for these objects, we have noticed that more people are starting to come to us with donations,'' said Rosita Worl, SHI president...(more)

Tlingit canoe makes maiden voyage ... to the Smithsonian
by: Rob Capriccioso
WASHINGTON - A traditional Tlingit dugout canoe made by contemporary Indians sailed grandly through gleaming Potomac waters in a ceremony celebrating its forthcoming inclusion in the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The June 19 event was attended by a group of Tlingit tribal members young and old who were overjoyed to explain the significance of their contribution...(more)

Sealaska looks to educate future leaders
Twelve days of classes include physical fitness training, Tlingit, Haida language instruction, etc.
By Erik Stimpfle

High school students from communities throughout Alaska have converged in Juneau to participate in the Lasteen Leadership Training Program, which blends the study of western subjects such as math and science with the study of traditional Native ways...(more)

Whipping up soapberries
John Ryan, KTOO-FM
The translucent red berries known as soapberries... are tiny, bitter, and soapy to the touch. But in the right hands, soapberries can be whipped into a frothy treat. At Southeast Alaska's largest Native gathering, women from Alaska and northern Canada competed to make the tastiest version of the rare delicacy. John Ryan reports from the first-ever soapberry contest at Celebration...(Listen)

News Articles and photos of Celebration 2008
Native women whip up soapberries, fond memories
Youth light up cultural festival
Photos: Celebration 2008
Natives give DNA samples to see if they match ancient remains
Photo: Grand entrance
Lead group unveils new dance today
Photo: Carving culture
Artist weaves Native values into baskets
Photo: Traditional display
Celebrate award-winning Native artists on First Friday
Juneau's Natives Welcome Guests

Saliva samples could reveal ancient Alaskan's descendants
Natives' DNA may match cave man's
By GEORGE BRYSON
gbryson@adn.com
Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Indians gathering in Juneau today will get a chance to prove they're directly related to one of the very first Alaskans -- a 10,300-year-old mariner whose bear-chewed bones were discovered a decade ago in a cave on Prince of Wales Island. In return, molecular anthropologists collecting the participants' DNA hope to add to their knowledge about how the earliest Americans spread across the western hemisphere -- possibly along a coastal sea route -- in spite of the ice-choked plains...(more) (06-06-08)

Rare Tlingit warrior's helmet captures $2 million at auction
By Eric Morrison l JUNEAU EMPIRE
A Tlingit warrior's helmet previously unknown to exist was recently sold to a private collector for what is believed to be a record amount for a Native American artifact at an auction. On May 18, Fairfield Auction of Newton, Conn., hosted an auction that fetched $2,185,000 for the helmet that experts believe originated in the late 18th or early 19th century. An anonymous woman brought the piece to the company during an appraisal clinic several months ago, not realizing the value of the artifact, auction house owner Jack DeStories said...(more) (06-02-08)

Sealaska searches for descendants of 10,000 year old man
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau
A Southeast cultural organization is looking for relatives of a 10,300-year-old man whose remains were found in a remote cave. The Sealaska Heritage Institute plans to collect DNA samples from Southeast Natives. They will be compared to DNA from the ancient man’s bones, found in Prince of Wales Island’s On Your Knees Cave in 1996. (Listen) (05-23-08 )

Canyon Country family linked to iceman
By Jerry Berrios, Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
CANYON COUNTRY_Dorothy Rosenberg's sister called her recently to give her some news about a long-lost relative - a really, really long-ago-lost relative. Rosenberg, 80, who belongs to the Alaskan Tlingit tribe, learned through DNA testing that an iceman who died 200 to 300 years ago in the wilds of British Columbia is one of her ancestors...(more) (05-06-08)

DNA link answers life's big question for Juneau man
By Kim Marquis l JUNEAU EMPIRE
Fernando Rado's family got a whole lot bigger Thursday, when he found out through the results of DNA testing that he is a descendant of an ancient man whose remains were found in a glacier nearly 10 years ago. The news also answered a question many people ponder throughout their lives: Where am I from? "There's a globe of the Earth and there's a point right there where you come from ... it's a lock in the picture for me," Rado said...(more) (05-4-08)

DNA tests support Alaska-Yukon tribal connections
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau
JUNEAU, ALASKA  Remains of a centuries-old man found in a receding Canadian icefield have been linked to Southeast Alaska Natives. Organizations based in the Yukon and Juneau say DNA testing demonstrates the close historic connections between tribal groups on both sides of the border.
..(Listen) (04-30-08)

Smithsonian Bound
By Eric Morrison
JUNEAU EMPIRE

The copper sun embedded in the mouth of the raven carved into the canoe's prow glistened Wednesday as the paddles from nine men rhythmically sliced through the water of Twin Lakes. Observing from the dock on the lake's edge, lead artist Doug Chilton noted that many of the men testing the unnamed 26-foot canoe bound for the Smithsonian Museum had never paddled before...(more) (05-01-08)

Acknowledging differences creates accepting society
Speaker explains misconceptions about Alaska Natives
Mary Lochner
THE NORTHERN LIGHT (University of Alaska Anchorage)

Issue date:
2/19/08 Section: Features
Sealaska Heritage Institute president Rosita Worl gave a talk about the history and reconstruction of Alaska Native identity Feb. 13 in the Student Union. She spoke of the need for Natives and non-Natives to understand cultural differences in order to promote understanding and harmony, rather than ignoring differences and allowing misunderstandings to fester.

Institute posts Soboleff documents online
More than 1,000 papers documenting Alaska Native history by Tlingit elder Walter Soboleff have been posted on the Internet by Sealaska Heritage Institute in what officials are calling a unique and priceless collection. Running from 1929 to 1995, the documents provide insight into the Native land claims struggle and the Alaska Native Brotherhood, institute President Rosita Worl said. The ANB was a key player in the land claims fight...(more) (02-07-08)

Sealaska's historical photo collection grows
Newest donation from Juneau architectural firm includes 150 pictures from the 1930s
KIM MARQUIS
JUNEAU EMPIRE
While Southeast Alaska Natives traditionally passed history down by sharing elaborate stories, the Sealaska Heritage Institute is finding out that handing on the culture these days requires more than just a good ear. Artifacts are being donated with increasing frequency to the Juneau-based institute, and floor plans are under review for a new storage space, reading room and office that will be dedicated to making historical items and information available to the public...(more) (01-16-08)

Web-based class to offer Haida instruction
Course aims to help resurrect language
ALAN SUDERMAN

JUNEAU EMPIRE
The area's first Web-based Native language course is scheduled to start later this month. The Sealaska Heritage Institute will offer an elementary Haida class to interested participants solely on the Internet. The idea, said Dr. Rosita Worl, president of SHI, is to use the Internet's ease and availability to help resurrect a dying language. She said previous attempts using a traveling teacher or video conferencing had been too cumbersome...(more) (01-14-08)

Southeast Native students vie for Sealaska scholarships
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska - Juneau
January 7, 2008 
Alaska Native students with roots in Southeast have another chance to get financial assistance for their studies. The Sealaska Heritage Institute is taking applications for its annual scholarship program...(Listen) (01-07-08)

Ancient stone objects donated by Juneau man
SitNews
A Juneau man has donated four ancient stone objects to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI), marking one of the most significant donations of cultural items received by the nonprofit in recent years...(more) (12-26-07)

New online venture strives to preserve Tlingit language
JOHN RYAN

KTOO-FM
Everybody talks about the weather, but not many people do it in Tlingit. That could change a bit with some new online learning tools produced in Juneau...(Listen) (11-26-07)

Sealaska releases new language tools
Interactive Web program helps teach Tlingit skills
ERIC MORRISON

JUNEAU EMPIRE
Seventy-year-old Tlingit teacher Ruth Demmert has seen firsthand how the Internet and computer technology can inspire the younger generation of Alaska Natives to embrace its culture. "I believe it sparks the interest of the younger people, and I know there's a lot more younger people out there showing pride in the language," she said...(more) (11-22-07)

Forest Service returns ancient human remains to Tlingit tribes
RACHEL D'ORO
The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE - Human remains estimated to be more than 10,000 years old that were found in a cave in the Tongass National Forest rightfully belong to the southeast Alaska Tlingit tribes, the federal government said. Now, 11 years after they were found during a U.S. Forest Service archaeological survey, the remains will be returned to the tribe, agency officials announced Friday. It will be the first time a federal agency has handed custody of such ancient finds over to an indigenous group under the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, they said...(more) (10-21-07)

SHI Sponsors Latseen Basketball Camps
Some Southeast students are learning to play basketball in Tlingit. Sport camps sponsored this summer by the Sealaska Heritage Institute are mixing language skills and court time. More camps may be offered next year. CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld reports...(Listen) (08-02-07)

Office closure could halt return of artifacts
Southeast Native groups join protest against university's decision
KORRY KEEKER
JUNEAU EMPIRE

Groups around the country, including some in Southeast Alaska, are protesting the University of California-Berkeley's decision to eliminate the unit that restores Native artifacts to their original owners...(more) (07-27-07)

Sealaska begins national canoe project for Smithsonian Institute
By Abby LaForce

For CCW

Juneau's own Sealaska Heritage Institute will be providing a special addition to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. In renovating a hall at the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian is creating a new permanent exhibition on the ocean. Featured in the exhibit will be a 26-feet long traditional wood canoe, commissioned by Sealaska. "It's going to be called Oceans Hall. I just visited it last week (and) it's going to be phenomenal," said Rosita Worl, president of Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more)

District sets Tlingit curriculum
Plan provides resources to teach Native language, culture to Southeast students
ERIC MORRISON
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute and the Juneau School District have co-produced what they say is the first broad-scale Tlingit language and culture curriculum that meets state academic and cultural standards. The curriculum, composed of 18 units, has been distributed to every public school district in Southeast Alaska with the intent of providing more tools to teach the Native language at a time when the number of fluent speakers is dwindling, said Yarrow Vaara, Tlingit language specialist for the institute...(more) (07-16-07)

'Macbeth,' North by Northwest
By Nelson Pressley

Special To The Washington Post
Monday, March 12, 2007; Page C01

The Southeastern Alaskan language Tlingit -- pronounced "klinkit" -- isn't especially full of sound and fury in the "Macbeth" of Juneau's Perseverance Theatre. But that's because in this production, which has been carefully imbued with Tlingit symmetry and ceremony by director Anita Maynard-Losh, the most bloody-minded speeches are rendered in English...(more) (Sponsored by SHI)

Tlingit Macbeth in Washington, D.C.
By WAMU-FM (public radio in Washington D.C.) (Sponsored by SHI)
(Listen) (03-16-07)

Perseverance to Do 'Macbeth' in Tlingit
Associated Press Writer
Jake Waid rubbed his bloodshot eyes, blankly stared at a script for Shakespeare's "Macbeth," then resumed an unfamiliar struggle with a set of lines. "Tleil tsu tlax yei l kusheek'eiyi ye yageeyi kwasatinch, ch'a aan yak'ei," he read slowly of what would normally be, "So foul and fair a day I have not seen."...(more) (Sponsored by SHI)

Exploring Cultural Ties
Perseverance Theatre's Tlingit version of 'Macbeth' to open in Washington, D.C.
By ANNE SUTTON
The Associated Press
Battles are waged to the beat of drums, witches slink across the stage as land otters, and Banquo's ghost dons a raven mask in a Tlingit language adaptation of Shakespeare's brutal and bloody tale of a murderous Scottish lord. Sprung from the rain forests of Southeast Alaska, this Washington, D.C., bound production of "Macbeth" marries the Elizabethan tragedy with an ancient indigenous culture - an elaborate conceit that its players say brings new life to both worlds...(more) (Sponsored by SHI)


Hoonah Artists
Linking to their past, providing for the future; 15 students learn Tlingit weaving and carving

By BRITTANY RETHERFORD
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Fifteen Hoonah residents have been busy honing skills that not only connect them to their past, but also help ensure their financial futures. They have been learning Tlingit weaving and carving as part of a three-year art program under the auspices of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, the nonprofit arm of the Juneau-based regional Native corporation, Sealaska...(more) (01-07)

'08 Celebration days announced
By BRITTANY RETHERFORD
JUNEAU EMPIRE

Juneau residents and business owners, prepare to mark your 2008 calendars - the Sealaska Heritage Institute has set the dates for its biennial bash, Celebration, for June 5-7.
The three-day cultural event will take place in Juneau, as it has since it was first kicked off in 1982, Institute President Rosita Worl said. The board of trustees officially set the dates in a meeting last week...(more) (10-06)

Young Natives go to culture 'boot camp'
Sharing Heritage
By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK
JUNEAU EMPIRE
About 40 young Alaska Native recruits are finishing up an intense, two-week leadership camp in Juneau this week. The students - all descendants of Sealaska Corp. shareholders - stretched their knowledge with rigorous lectures about Native heritage...(more) (08-06)

SHI Announces Juried Art Competition Winners
A former Juneau weaver now living in Colorado has won a major Southeast Alaska Native art contest. Clarissa Hudson’s “Copper Man,” a set of regalia including a Ravenstail robe, earned Best of Show in the third Sealaska Juried Art Competition. Other winners include David Boxley of Washington State and Lani Hotch of Klukwan. CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld attended the competition’s awards ceremony, spoke with the artists and filed this report. (Listen) (6-06)


Williams Wins Seaweed Contest
Who makes the best dried black seaweed in Southeast Alaska? Ivan Williams of Angoon, according to a panel of traditional food experts. Williams won the third biennial black seaweed contest sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Institute as part of Celebration ’06, which wrapped up over the weekend. Karen Bernhardt of Hydaburg placed second, Peggy Williams of Angoon won third place and Katherine Smith of Kake was given an honorable mention. CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld attended the judging and prepared this report on what the experts say makes the best dried black seaweed. (Listen) (6-06)

Celebration 2006 Kicks Off
By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska Radio
(Listen) (6-06)

Celebration 2006 to Start
By Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska Radio
(Listen) (6-06)

Time for Celebration
Making a grand entrance...(more) (06-02-06)

Welcoming the Celebration
A few minutes after 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, four canoes swung around the hulking hull of the Veendam and came into view of Marine Park, passing the boat ramp before circling wide to their left...(more) (06-01-06)

New movies bolster Native language
Seven films allow students to hear, see and interact in Tlingit
By ERIC MORRISON
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has created seven interactive Tlingit-language movies with Flash Media software to help engage students at a critical time for the Native culture, officials said. "It's kind of taking this old knowledge and using the modern technology to pass it on," said Daphne Wright, a Tlingit-language teacher for the Hoonah School District...(more) (4-16-06)

Efforts to aid Native students succeeding
Forum notes need to still raise retention rates, reduce dropouts and increase test scores
By ERIC MORRISON
JUNEAU EMPIRE
It may be a long road to travel to reach its destination, but the University of Alaska Southeast Native Education Working Group is heading in the right direction, said Joe Nelson. "When you look at the statistics, the retention rates, the dropout rates and performance on tests, there is a long way to go still," said Nelson, the director of Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS) program at UAS. "But, the good thing here is that there is discussion among key entities that are committed to improving to making progress....(more) (4-9-06)

New exhibit in Washington includes Tlingit and Haida objects
By Joel Southern, APRN
WASHINGTON, DC (2006-02-03) Tlingit and Haida objects are part of ``Listening to Our Ancestors,'' an exhibit of art by North Pacific Coast tribes that opened Friday at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. © Copyright 2006 APRN (Listen) (2-7-06)

Kake fisherman curates for Museum of the American Indian
'Listening to Our Ancestors' exhibit will include more than 400 items from Alaska
By KORRY KEEKER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Longtime Kake fisherman Clarence Jackson, 71, has served on the board of Sealaska Heritage Institute for almost 20 years and is a respected elder and oral historian. But he was humbled when the National Museum of the American Indian invited him to curate the Tlingit section of "Listening to Our Ancestors: The Art of Native Life along the North Pacific Coast," an 11-community exhibit that opens at noon Friday in Washington, D.C...
(more) (1-30-06)

TRAPPED: Juneau residents build a replica of a centuries-old fish trap found in 1989
By KORRY KEEKER

JUNEAU EMPIRE
Basket-type fish traps played a crucial role in the foundation of Northwest Coast culture. They allowed people to gather pounds and pounds of fish for the winter, and therefore, establish semipermanent villages. This was hundreds of years ago, and most of the traditional knowledge it took to construct such a trap is long since gone. Nevertheless, Steve Henrikson, the curator of collections at the Alaska State Museum, and Jan Criswell, an experienced weaver of spruce-root and cedar-bark baskets, are creating a replica this month at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum of a basket-style trap found in Montana Creek in 1989. That trap, 500 to 700 years old, was painstakingly restored and now sits in its own display case at the City Museum...(more) (1-19-06)

Dancing in honor
Miranda Worl, 8, a member of the Auke Bay and Mendenhall River Tlingit Dancers performs on Saturday during a ceremony to present two painted Tlingit panels that will be hung at the Auke Bay Shelter next summer...(more) (12-11-05) (Photo of art project sponsored by SHI)

Native art shines at Ninth Annual Arts and Crafts Fair
By ERIC MORRISON
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Chilkat blanket weaver Anna Brown Ehlers understands the true meaning of patience. One of several artists at the Ninth Annual Arts and Crafts Fair at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, Brown Ehlers spent Saturday putting the finishing touches on a commissioned blanket that has taken her a year and a half to complete...(more) (12-4-05)

Sealaska, UAS join to shore up Haida language
Many agree existing number of fluent speakers is very low
By ERIC MORRISON

JUNEAU EMPIRE
The survival of a language needs your help. A free Haida language course, sponsored by Sealaska Heritage Institute and the University of Alaska Southeast, will begin Monday at 6 p.m. in the fourth-floor conference room at the Sealaska building downtown. The 52.5-hour course will be split up over a three-week period - Oct. 17-21, Nov. 7-11 and Dec. 12-16 - with three-and-a-half-hour classes each night. "The whole goal of the classes is to really get the people who are interested in the language and to give them a grounding in the language - to give them enough ability ... that they can begin to use it on a daily basis," said Jordan Lachler, a linguist for Sealaska Heritage Institute who will be teaching the course...(more) (10-16-05)

Prized tunic on its way home to Chilkat Valley
By TOM MORPHET
CHILKAT VALLEY NEWS
A Chilkat Brown Bear tunic is scheduled to arrive in Klukwan Friday, brought by clan leader and former village council president Joe Hotch. When it arrives here, the woven, full-length garment will be only the ninth tunic in Tlingit possession, said Harold Jacobs, cultural resource specialist for Tlingit-Haida Central Council in Juneau. "It’s a beautiful tunic," said Jacobs. Ceremonial tunics are considerably rarer than Chilkat blankets, as not as many were made, he said...(more) (October 2005)

Bringing history home
Historic Klukwan tunic repatriated to clan
By ERIC MORRISON
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The spirit of Kudeinahaa has come home to Alaska. The Kaagwaantaan Clan and Sealaska Heritage Institute celebrated the repatriation of a Chilkat Brown Bear tunic and its return to Alaska Thursday morning at the Sealaska Building in Juneau. In accordance with the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act of 1990, the ceremonial property, or at.
óow, was returned by the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkeley, Calif. "It's a really joyous occasion for us whenever we can bring any of our at.óow home, and usually it is followed with great celebration," SHI President Rosita Worl said...(more) (10-07-05)

Klawock raises seven totem poles
By LEILA KHEIRY

KETCHIKAN DAILY NEWS
KLAWOCK - Even with about 60 people working together, 2,000 or more pounds of carved wood is really heavy, especially when it has to be carried uphill, carefully lowered, spun, pulled upright, readjusted and then held steady as it's bolted into place. Even so, citizens of Klawock and visitors from all over Alaska, the Lower 48 and even a few from overseas were on hand for the raising of seven totem poles over a three-day period...(more) (08-23-05)

Photo: Start of a totem pole
Brian Wallace

Juneau Empire
Juneau carver Jim Markes uses an adze to carve a rough form of a seven-foot-long totem Tuesday at Sealaska Plaza...(more) (08-17-05)

Carving of totem focus of Web cam
JUNEAU - Sealaska Heritage Institute is hosting a live camera on its Web site showing master carvers Ray Peck and Jim Marks carving a totem pole at Sealaska Plaza. The Web site is www.sealaskaheritage.org. The Web venture marks the first time the institute has broadcast a Native art project live on the Internet, said Dr. Rosita Worl, president of the institute...(more) (08-12-05)

Strength of mind, body, spirit
Sealaska presents Latseen Leadership Training to bring students to culture
By I-CHUN CHE
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Jamie McDonald considers herself an Alaska Native. But she didn't speak Tlingit and knew little about the culture until she participated in the Latseen Leadership Training at the University of Alaska Southeast. Between Aug. 3 and Aug. 13, McDonald will learn topics from Tlingit language to Tlingit law to Tlingit history. "For me, the most important part of the program is to know other kids are in the same situation, just getting started to learn the language and heritage," McDonald, 20, said. Sealaska Heritage Institute, the cultural arm of Sealaska Corp., is offering the program for the first time. "Latseen" means "strength of mind, body and spirit" in Tlingit. Sealaska Corp. is the regional for-profit Native corporation for Southeast Alaska...(more) (08-10-05)

Learning Tlingit language is challenge and joy for children
Camp weaves education with whale and animal activities
By ANDREW PETTY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
On a clear Friday afternoon, third-grader Michaela Martin told her camp teacher "it's sunny outside" in Tlingit. Children, who are learning how to speak the Native tongue, really shine at the Juneau School District's summer culture camp, said parent Mariana Goodwin. "We've got books at home," Goodwin said. "But kids seem to listen more to strangers." The camp is funded by a federal grant to Sealaska Heritage Institute and passed on to the school district...(more) (07-24-05)

Sealaska Heritage to collect migration stories, songs of Tlingits
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
When Clarence Jackson Sr. is alone at the wheel of his seiner, he sometimes turns on a recording of his grandfather's voice and listens once again to stories about Tlingits returning to Southeast Alaska after an absence. Jackson's great-grandfather, who was 100 in 1948, also talked about migrations down the Taku, Stikine and Nass rivers. One story speaks of elders rafting on a river under a glacier to get to the coast. "As they went, they sang a mourning song for themselves as they disappeared under the ice," Jackson said...(more) (07-08-05)

Shim-al-gyack (Tsimshian) Talking Circle
(Radio story by Coast Alaska reporter Ed Schoenfeld)
Nancy Barnes stands in her living room holding a Shim-al-gyack language book. A pot of stew bubbles in the kitchen behind her as she leads the Tsimshian language talking circle she helped organize. The group uses a technique called total physical reponse...(more) (06-28-05)

Study to focus on migration of eight Southeast clans
Songs, dances, oral histories to be collected from elders with $40,000 from federal grant
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The migration of eight Southeast Alaska clans will be documented through a federally funded project planned by Sealaska Heritage Institute. A $40,000 grant from the National Park Service will pay for collecting clan songs, dances and oral histories from elders and other clan members...(more) (06-28-05)

Dictionary preserves language of the Haida
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Scholar John Enrico has compiled the first comprehensive Haida dictionary, the fruit of years of living among the last generation of people who spoke the language regularly at home. About 40 people speak Haida today, not all fluently, Enrico said. The Haida Dictionary was recently published by Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau and the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks...(more) (06-26-05)

Program is 'nest' for Native languages
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Learning Tlingit has changed the lives of the 10 or so young adults in Juneau who have dedicated themselves to the language, one student says. "We had fairly life-changing experiences when we took it to heart to keep the language going, because of the Tlingit concept of respect," Vivian Mork said. Mork said Tlingit wasn't spoken fluently in Wrangell when she grew up there. She began to study Tlingit after moving to Juneau in 2002 to enroll in a summer language program, Kusteeyí, sponsored by Sealaska Heritage Institute. She also enrolled at the University of Alaska Southeast, which has a Tlingit program...(more) (06-16-05)

 "Meet Lydia" now available at local bookstores
The author of new book about a native girl from Southeast Alaska and her subject were guests on KINY's Capital Chat this morning. (Wednesday) Miranda Belarde-Lewis wrote the book about her cousin Lydia Mills...(more) (04-06-05)

Elders help USFS make over book on Tlingit food
Publication features recipes, preparation, detailed descriptions of how to dry fish
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
When the U.S. Forest Service approached Southeast Alaska elders about how to revise a booklet on Tlingit food, the elders asked that "subsistence" not appear in the title. "Subsistence" connotes handouts, but putting up food isn't an easy job, elder Ray Wilson said Tuesday. The word seemed to be a regulatory term and didn't convey Native respect for nature and food, elders told the agency...(more) (03-23-05)

Juneau wins bid to keep Celebration
City's pledge of $10,000 swayed board to choose capital city for biennial event
By I-CHUN CHE
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Celebration is coming back to Juneau in 2006. After reviewing offers from Ketchikan and Juneau, Sealaska Heritage Institute, the event's organizer, has decided to keep it in Juneau. This was the first time the institute solicited bids outside of Juneau, and Ketchikan made a play for it. The capital has hosted the biennial Native cultural event since its inception in 1982. Rosita Worl, president of the institute, said the board of trustees chose Juneau for the city's financial contribution...(more) (03-11-05)

Sealaska Heritage considers archival center
(Radio story by Coast Alaska reporter Ed Schoenfeld)
A Juneau-based cultural organization wants to create a home for historic and traditional items belonging to tribal groups. CoastAlaska’s Ed Schoenfeld reports on the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s plans for an archive and cultural center...(more) (02-07-05)

Heritage Institute seeks to connect education to Native experience
The Associated Press
JUNEAU (AP) - When Amelia Rivera attended high school, she didn't hear much about her Native heritage from her teachers. "It's something that I never studied. To be honest, it was something that I was taught to be ashamed of," she said. "It was just a little while ago that I started learning about my culture."...(more) (02-04-05)

Institute says book teaches language, values
Sealaska linguist: children's book not like 'Dick and Jane'
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
When a Tlingit boy is rude to his mother and contemptuous of a piece of salmon, it's an opportunity to teach respect. A new illustrated book published by Sealaska Heritage Institute tells a shortened version of an old story as a way to teach the Tlingit language and Tlingit values to young children...(more) (12-24-04)

Sealaska Heritage Develops Culturally-Relevant High School Curriculum
(Radio story by CoastAlaska reporter Ed Schoenfeld)

Tlingit language expert Nora Marks Dauenhauer shares a table with about a dozen teenagers in Juneau’s alternative high school. While discussing the history of
Glacier Bay, the storyteller, poet and author talks about sub, migration, alienation and respect for elders...(more)

Artists learn to engrave
Master carver teaches locals about traditional NW form line
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
In short, confident strokes of pencil on paper, master carver Steven Brown drew a killer whale design for Steve Griffin. "Just make that kind of a broad bevel," Brown said Saturday of one line that would become an engraved notch on a silver bracelet. "The dorsal fin is up and bend it back, like that. This OK?" Griffin was one of several students who took a six-day course last week in silver engraving at the Riverbend Housing community center. Brown also taught a three-day class in Northwest Coast form line for Sealaska shareholders the previous week at the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority offices. A $3,000 grant from the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, and help with travel expenses from Sealaska Heritage Institute, made the classes possible...(more) (12-05-04)

Celebration up for grabs
Sealaska Heritage Institute will consider other communities
By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Celebration - one of Juneau's largest and most lucrative events - may be leaving town. Juneau's Sealaska Heritage Institute, which sponsors Native cultural programs throughout Southeast Alaska, has hosted the cultural festival in Juneau since 1986. But this winter the institute will solicit competitive bid proposals for Celebration 2006 from other Alaska communities such as Ketchikan, Sitka and Anchorage. A decision will be announced in February, said Rosita Worl, the institute's president..(more) (12-02-04)

Indian Point may be listed on National Historic Register
Area would be first traditional cultural site in Alaska on list

By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The state will ask the federal government to list Indian Point on the National Register of Historic Places, officials said. The roughly 78-acre site, just north of Juneau's state ferry terminal, is considered sacred by Tlingits, said Rosita Worl, president of Sealaska Heritage Institute, which prepared the application for listing...(more) (11-19-04)

Sealaska Heritage develops Woman Who Married a Bear
(Radio story by Coast Alaska reporter Ed Schoenfeld)
David Katzeek
heard about the Woman Who Married a Bear when he was a child. The traditional Tlingit tale was familiar to families headed out to the woods and fields looking for food...(more)

Juneau scholar, poet wins award from First Peoples fund
Nora Marks Dauenhauer is one of five recipients nationwide of 2005 Community Spirit Award
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
One day, subway riders in New York City, looking up from their tabloids and reading the ads that run above the cars' windows, saw this poem: "Granddaughters dancing,/ blossoms / swaying in the wind." The Streetfare Journal, which places poems in streetcars and subways, wasn't the only anthologizer of Nora Marks Dauenhauer, but it may be the oddest. Dauenhauer, a scholar and poet in Juneau, has won a 2005 Community Spirit Award from the First Peoples Fund, a Native American organization that supports the arts. She is one of five recipients of the award, which includes a $5,000 stipend...(more) (11-14-04)

Web site offers Tlingit language pronunciation
By TONY CARROLL
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Hearing accurately spoken Tlingit is now just a matter of going to the Internet. On Thursday, Sealaska Heritage Institute launched a new audio language resource on its Web site to help people learn Tlingit sounds. "There are a lot of sounds in Tlingit that aren't present in English," said Rosita Worl, president of the institute...(more) (11-08-04)

Sealaska Heritage lauded for language program
Sealaska Heritage Institute is one of two organizations to receive the Governor’s Humanities Distinguished Cultural Service Award this year for its Native language program. The award recognizes organizations for making significant contributions to the cultural heritage in Alaska through their efforts in revitalization of Alaska Native languages, according to the Alaska Humanities Forum, which sponsors the program with the Alaska State Council on the Arts...(more) (10-27-04)

Sealaska Heritage Institute Holds Tlingit Immersion Retreat in Hoonah
HOONAH SCHOOLS NEWSLETTER
During the month of August, Sealaska Heritage Institute sponsored a ten-day Tlingit Immersion Retreat in Hoonah. Out-of-town retreat participants stayed at the Icy Strait Lodge, where daily classes in Intermediate and Conversational Tlingit were held...(more) (October 2004)

Alaskans stand out in crowd for museum's opening
By SEAN COCKERHAM
Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON -- The Yup'ik funk harmonies of Pamyua flowed between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument on Tuesday. Tens of thousands, including Robert Redford and Teresa Heinz Kerry, bopped to the unique Alaska beat that began the opening celebration of the National Museum of the American Indian...(more) (09-22-04)

Playwright adapts Native story for kids
Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous performances conclude today, Saturday
This March, Perseverance Theatre and Sealaska Heritage Institute invited local playwright Merry Ellefson to adapt the Native story "The Woman Who Married The Bear" for its Summer Theatre Arts Rendezvous children's program. Ellefson had never adapted a play before, nor was she very familiar with the mores and history of Tlingit culture...(more) (08-06-04)

Sealaska Heritage looks to HS curriculum
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has received an $850,000 federal grant to develop a Native-oriented high school curriculum in math, science and history. The institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1981 to administer cultural and educational programs for Sealaska Corp., the Southeast regional Native corporation...(more) (08-02-04)

Sealaska Heritage gets grant to identify Native clan hats
A Juneau-based cultural group wants to identify Southeast Native clan hats in museums across the country. The goal is to repatriate the hats to the descendents of the people who created them. CoastAlaska's Ed Schoenfeld reports...(Radio Story)

Sealaska Heritage gets federal grant to help reclaim clan hats
$71,000 will go to document, establish ownership of cultural treasures
By TARA SIDOR
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau can reclaim culturally significant Tlingit clan hats from museums in the Lower 48 with the help of a new federal grant. The National Park Service awarded the institute a $71,000 grant to document and establish ownership of Southeast Alaska clan hats held by museums outside of the state...(more) (07-07-04)

Immersion retreat helps students learn Tlingit language
By Vanessa Orr
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
A century ago, it would not have seemed strange to hear Native Alaskans speaking in Tlingit as they went about their daily chores. Now an endangered language, it is rarely spoken by anyone other than elders, or those who have chosen to study and learn this unique mode of communication...(more) (06-22-04)

Group wants plan for Native students
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Local educators and Native organizations are working on a plan to improve Native achievement in the Juneau schools. The group met for the first time Tuesday at ANB Hall. The effort is sponsored by the Sealaska Heritage Institute, the Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 70 and the Tlingit-Haida Central Council...(more) (06-07-04)

Director of Native museum visits Southeast
By KORRY KEEKER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Rick West had been invited to Celebration before. But his day job, as director of the National Museum of the American Indian, had always kept him preoccupied. This year, he made Celebration a priority. West participated in Thursday's opening ceremonies, offering remarks and a brief speech about the museum's upcoming grand opening...(more) (06-06-04)

Documentary film to preserve oral traditions
Former Juneau residents produce Dance Regalia Documentary Project

By KORRY KEEKER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Under a white tent Saturday afternoon in front of Centennial Hall, Ken Hoff, a raven of the Tongass Tribe, shared the story of his Uncle Sonny...(more) (06-06-04)

It's time to celebrate tradition
Event expected to draw more than 5,000 people across the country

THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Forty-seven dance groups, five more than in 2002, will star in Celebration 2004, Thursday-Sunday at Centennial Hall, the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, Sealaska Plaza, the Mount Roberts Tramway and Marine Park.

The Sealaska Heritage Institute expects the biennial Native dance-and-culture festival, conceived in 1980, to draw more than 5,000 people from Alaska, the Lower 48 and Canada...(more)

Canoe races could be competitive
By KORRY KEEKER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Respect will be the name of the game when five canoe teams compete at Sunday's 2 p.m. Gathering of the Canoes at Sandy Beach. The traditional races, with canoes of 10 paddlers and a rudderman, are held in conjunction with the biennial Celebration...(more) (06-04-04)

Rangimarie brings 'peace and harmony'
By KORRY KEEKER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
The 14 members of Maori singing and dancing group Rangimarie walked about 100 feet from their arrival gate Wednesday at Juneau Airport, before they had their first experience with Alaska Natives...(more)  (06-04-04)

Contest celebrates food from the sea
By CATHY BROWN, Associated Press Writer
JUNEAU (June 4, 5:24 pm ADT) - Rose Gerber tastes black seaweed the way some people taste wine. "Relaxing," she says after savoring an entry in Sealaska Heritage Institute's black seaweed contest. "That one's good for boiled fish," she declares of entry No. 2. And No. 4 is "like eating chips."...(more)  (06-05-04)

Sitka Kaagwaantaan to lead this morning's grand parade
By KORRY KEEKER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Ed Mercer and the Sitka Kaagwaantaan are honored to be the lead dance group for today's 8 a.m. Grand Entrance and Saturday's 8 a.m. parade in Celebration 2004. The group, formed by Mercer and Naomi Kanosh 10 years ago, is expecting 90 to 95 members to show up this year. The Kaagwaantaan is one of a record 47 dance groups performing at Celebration...(more)

Seaweed contest to feature new rules
Elders will be able to vote for their favorite varieties; results to be tallied Friday

By KORRY KEEKER
JUNEAU EMPIRE
On the rocks of Cone Island and Hole-in-Wall, due west of Craig, Klawock's Henrietta Kato finds what she's looking for. Those are good spots for black seaweed - often called laak'ask, wild celery or yanaide. It's a shimmery green in the water, a rich black when dry. It grows in clumpy blades, two inches wide and sometimes 20 inches long. During minus tides, often in early May, it's time to pick...(more) (06-02-04)

Preserving the Tlingit 'fringe about the body'
Jennie Thlunaut was entrusted with Chilkat weaving technology, and she was prolific
By ANN CHANDONNET
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Jennie Thlunaut may be not a household name, but if she had lived in Japan she would probably have been declared a national treasure...(more) 04-21-04
(This article was derived from materials produced by Sealaska Heritage Institute, including the video “Jennie Thlunaut, Chilkat weaver” and "Haa Tuwunaagu Yis, for Healing Our Spirit," Vol. 2.)

"SHI Prepares for Celebration 2004"
(Radio story by Coast Alaska reporter Ed Schoenfeld)

SHI Posts Job Announcement in Tlingit
by Dixie Hutchinson, KNBA-FM
The Sealaska Heritage Institute would like to see the Tlingit language used every day. The regional non-profit is backing that initiative by posting a job announcement for a language specialist in Tlingit. Sociolinguist for the Institute Roy Mitchell says there are a number of Tlingit speakers but finding people who are literate in both Tlingit and English is challenging. Mitchell says part of the message is that there are employment opportunities for people who have those abilities...(more) (Audio)

(KRBD-FM story on SHI's new office)

(KTUU-TV story about SHI's new Native art web,  www.alaskanativeartists.com)
  l  Windows Media or RealOne

Meet the Tlingit
By Pat Chargot
YAK'S CORNER
(SHI President Rosita Worl helped a reporter write about the Tlingit for Yak's Corner, a newsmagazine for kids)...(more)  11-09-03

Web site works to promote Native artists
By TARA SIDOR
JUNEAU EMPIRE © 2003
Tommy Jimmie Sr. put away his wood-carving tools more than 15 years ago, but he is coming out of retirement thanks to a new Web site that markets Native art. "I just want to get back to carving," said Jimmie, 75. "I figure I'm just as good an artist as those other guys out there." Sealaska Heritage Institute recently launched the Web site, www.alaskanativeartists.com, to help Natives such as Jimmie, who is Tlingit, capitalize on the tourism market...(more)  10-21-03

Kanen accepts job in Washington, D.C.
Dale Kanen, U.S. Forest Service district ranger for Craig, has been selected to oversee the agency’s national Office of Tribal Relations in Washington, D.C...(more) 10-01-03

Corporations: Alaska Natives exert control
Part one (Indian Country Today)
A camel is a horse designed by committee. That’s how a modern-day proverb puts it. To listen to Rosita Worl, the Alaska Native corporation is a similar animal, drafted by Congressional committees to reinvent Native life in our largest state...(more) 10-01-03

$14.5 million in federal funds to boost Native school programs across the state
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE © 2003
The office of Sen. Ted Stevens announced this week that $14.5 million in federal funds will go to Native education programs in Alaska. In Juneau, the money will help expand a Tlingit-oriented elementary school program, continue a popular science summer camp that has a Native focus and provide home educational and social services to preschoolers...(more) 10-01-03

Grant helps Sealaska Heritage go digital with photo archive
By TIMOTHY INKLEBARGER
JUNEAU EMPIRE © 2003
Sealaska Heritage Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian culture, is set to digitize and post thousands of historical photos on the Internet. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that invests in libraries and museums, awarded Sealaska Heritage a $147,639 grant to post photos owned by Sealaska Heritage and the regional Native organization Sealaska Corp...(more)  09-29-03

Hear our words
Language retreat at Glacier Bay Lodge affords an opportunity to speak Tlingit 24 hours a day
By SCOTT FOSTER
For the
Juneau Empire © 2003
Study German or French in school and you can look forward to a European trip as a reward and an opportunity to further develop language skills in the real world. "Unfortunately, there's not a Tlingit-speaking world for us to go to," said Roy Mitchell, a sociolinguist at the Sealaska Heritage Institute. "We're trying to do the next best thing, which is make one ourselves." That next best thing was a 10-day Tlingit language immersion retreat...(more) 09-28-03)

Tlingit culture camp prepares kids for school
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE © 2003
The young children, led by teacher Kitty Eddy's voice and her fingers, chanted in unison as they counted in English from one to 100, pausing to stretch out the nines - "thirty-niiiiine" - before gathering speed on the next set of numbers. Then they counted, with the same vigor, the numbers in Tlingit...(more)   08-17-03

Learning by doing
Native language institute works to stave off decline of traditional tongues
By ERIC FRY

JUNEAU EMPIRE © 2003
Students in Donna May Roberts' class in Shim-al-gyack, the language of the Tsimshian Indians, point to the ground in unison, walk in place, rub their stomachs, make kissy sounds and generally do whatever she says. It looks like an aerobics class, but that's the way Roberts teaches language, and it's becoming an important element in the Native language courses at Sealaska Heritage Institute's Kusteeyi program...(more)  08-14-03

(KTOO-FM story about P.I.T.A.S.)
Reporter intro: "Thirty-five Alaska Native students – fourteen of them freshmen - will be at the University of Alaska this fall working towards education degrees under full federal scholarships.  It’s the fourth year of a program that aims to get more native teachers into rural schools.  As Anne Sutton reports, incoming students gathered on campus last week for prep classes and orientation." (Click here to listen to a story about P.I.T.A.S. by KTOO-FM reporter Anne Sutton)  08-12-03

Tlingit classrooms - a good report card
Emphasis is on English, Tlingit language instruction, Native culture
JUNEAU EMPIRE © 2003
Students in Tlingit-oriented classrooms at Harborview Elementary generally perform as well as other students in the school district, and do better than Native students on average, a recent study shows...(more)  08-11-03

Native leader wins Women of Courage Award

JUNEAU EMPIRE

Rosita Worl of Juneau, comedian Rosie O'Donnell and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno were among nine women awarded the 2003 Women of Courage Award on June 14 in Washington, D.C. ...(more)  06-20-03

Heritage Institute awards more than $1 million in scholarships
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute will award $1.013 million in scholarships to 678 Sealaska shareholders and descendants. The awards, funded by Sealaska Corp. and by grants, will go to Southeast Alaska Natives pursuing educational opportunities during the 2003-04 school year...(more)   05-02-03

A forum for Native voices
Oratory society presents a new generation of speakers
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Ernestine Hayes, who was raised by her grandmother in Juneau while her mother was hospitalized, said she never doubted her mother missed her. When she gave an oration recently, she linked her story with that of people who have been separated from the land, "and the land still misses them." An Alaska Native oratory society founded last year is providing an audience for a new generation of speakers, say local educators and students...(more)  04-28-03

User-friendly Tsimshian-language curriculum is basis for courses
Perhaps only a few dozen in Alaska can speak fluent Shim-al-gyack
By ERIC FRY
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Debi White, a Tsimshian Indian in Ketchikan, said her mother remembered elders speaking their Native language when they didn't want the children to understand what they were saying. "So when I was growing up, a few words were spoken but not the language," said White, who runs a cultural program in the schools for the Ketchikan Indian Community...(more)   04-21-03

Queen honors Sealaska employee
By CHRISTINE SCHMID
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Bessie Cooley used to get punished for speaking Tlingit. Now, she's receiving an award from the queen of England for using her Native language...(more)  01-24-03

Cave reveals 10,500 year old remains
By KRISTIN PRICE
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
Anthropologist Jim Dixon believes that the first humans in North America populated the continent via the Northwest Coast. Dixon, author of Bones, Boats and Bison, and the principle investigator on an excavation project on Prince of Wales Island, spoke December 18 at the Sealaska Building in Juneau...(more)  12-25-02

Repatriation conference helps clans learn about bringing their past home
By RILEY WOODFORD
JUNEAU EMPIRE
Thousands of objects made by Tlingit and Haida people - artwork, tools and sacred religious items - were taken from Southeast Alaska during the past 200 years. Some of these artifacts will remain in private collections and public museums. Others may be returning to Alaska, thanks to a federal law that allows Native Americans to reclaim cultural objects and even human remains... (more) 12-09-02

Sealaska to kick off new lecture series in Juneau
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Distinguished Tlingit linguist Jeff Leer will be the inaugural speaker featured at the new Sealaska Heritage Lecture Series, scheduled Tuesday, Nov. 12. The lecture series is a new project by Sealaska Heritage Institute meant to tap expertise of Alaska Native language and culture scholars for the benefit of the public, said SHI President Rosita Worl...(more) 11-08-02

More funds for Tlingit language immersion
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
An ongoing Tlingit language immersion effort run by a Juneau-based nonprofit group has won another large federal grant. The Sealaska Heritage Institute program is receiving $864,000 from the U.S. Department of Education's Alaska Native Education Program. The institute was awarded a $446,000 grant from the federal Administration for Native Americans in September...(more)  10-10-02

Sealaska Heritage Institute wins $600,000 for language programs
FOR THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Administration for Native Americans has awarded a grant to Sealaska Heritage Institute for Native language immersion programs in Southeast Alaska. The funding bodes a major step forward for SHI's Tlingit language program, said SHI President Rosita Worl...(more)  9-18-02

Empire editorial: Remembering Stella Martin
The measure of a community is more its people than scenery or commerce. For all its beauty, a forested mountain does not bestow dignity on the residents below; trade may create jobs and generate wealth, but it does not of itself address the problems of human relationships. People extend dignity and respect to one another. People resolve conflicts among those with differing interests, values and cultures. Or they don't. Because we all depend on good people to help make us better people, Stella Martin will be missed...(more)  9-1-02

SE loses Native leader
Stella Martin remembered for community activism
By KRISTAN HUTCHISON
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Stella Martin is being remembered today by the community she dedicated her life to helping. Martin, who died Monday at age 79, had been active in Native and civic organizations for most of her life, including the Alaska Native Sisterhood and Alaska Native Brotherhood, Tlingit and Haida Community Council, and the Salvation Army...(more) (See also Obituary)   8-30-02

Creating a habitat for Tlingit
Total immersion language camp puts students in touch with another time
By KRISTAN HUTCHISON
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Last week Tlingit language students made the equivalent of a trip abroad, or back in time, to a place where only Tlingit was spoken. While students of French would fly to Paris, the seven Tlingit-language students and five fluent speakers spent a week at a camp near Berners Bay. There they created what they couldn't find elsewhere, a community where they would hear and speak only Tlingit...(more)   8-25-02

Juneau Tlingit institute expands to Ketchikan, Sitka
By KRISTAN HUTCHISON
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE © 2002
It's the first year for Sealaska's Tlingit immersion retreat, but the fourth for the annual summer Tlingit institute. The Sealaska Kusteeyi Institute teaches Tlingit-language students and their teachers. Shirley Kendall came down from Anchorage for the two-week program in Juneau. As a Tlingit-language teacher, she found the teaching-methods class useful...(more)   8-25-02

Sealaska receives artifact gift
Donation is largest from private collector
By GENEVIEVE GAGNE-HAWES
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Sealaska Heritage Institute has received a gift of more than 50 Native artifacts from an Oregon businessman, its largest donation by a private collector to date. Bob Bowlsby, chief executive officer for Oregon's Spacesaver Specialists, said he received the objects 35 years ago from an 80-year-old woman who traveled throughout Alaska as a teacher in the early 1900s...(more) (Click here for photos!)   7-28-02

Institute works to preserve Native languages
By LEILA KHEIRY
Daily News Staff Writer
Ketchikan recently was host to an annual program that aims to preserve Native Alaska languages by increasing the number of fluent speakers. On Friday, the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s annual Native Language Institute wrapped up two weeks of intensive classes during which students learned the basics of Haida, Tlingit and Shim-al-gyack — the Tsimshian language... (more)   7-22-02

Free Tlingit language class offered every week
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Hans Chester, a language student and assistant instructor of Tlingit at the University of Alaska Southeast, is offering a Tlingit language class from 2:30 to 4 p.m. every Saturday in the Naa Kaani Room at the Goldbelt Hotel... (more)   7-5-02

Inspired by tradition
The state museum's juried art show includes traditional Native art and new interpretations of ancient forms
By RILEY WOODFORD
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Native artist Clarissa Hudson took influences from Hawaii and Jamaica, the Seminole and her own Tlingit heritage to create "Copper Woman," a regalia dance outfit that won Best of Show at the Sealaska Juried Art Show...(more)  5-30-02

Traditional rattle seized, returned to Southeast
Raven rattle was confiscated in undercover operation by the National Park Service
By BEN MURRAY
SITKA SENTINEL
SITKA - After 200 years and an extraordinary journey, a piece of Alaska Native heritage came home last weekend. A traditional Raven rattle, or Yeil Sheishoox, dating back to the early 1800s, returned to Southeast several years after being seized in an undercover operation by the National Park Service. The ceremonial rattle was repatriated under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 and was unveiled Saturday in Juneau as part of Celebration 2002, a biennial gathering of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribes...(more)   6-11-02

Celebration: Making the connections
Event's cultural resources, performances revive individual ties to tribal communities
By RILEY WOODFORD
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Toni Welch experienced an epiphany at her first Celebration in 1998. "Coming and seeing the dancers, the pride and traditions and togetherness, I was just overwhelmed," she said. "You can be brought up totally aside from the tradition and you come to this and it reaches down so deep inside you - and it's there." Welch is a Tlingit from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. She returned to Celebration this year with her parents. She said she grew up with some elements of her Tlingit traditions, but not a lot. Her mother and grandmother had been distanced from their heritage. Celebration is part of a process in recent years that has reconnected them...(more) 6-9-02

Celebration seaweed contest highlights traditional food
By RILEY WOODFORD
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Black seaweed - laak'ask - has been a valuable resource for the Native people of Southeast Alaska for thousands of years. Alaska families have developed their own methods for drying and flavoring the nutritious wild food. Friday afternoon, it will prove to be a particularly valuable resource for three people who provide three judges with the tastiest sample of laak'ask...(more)  6-6-02

New book documents Celebration
Juneau-raised photographer captures Celebration moments since 1982
By RILEY WOODFORD
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
As a child in Juneau in the 1960s, Samuella Samaniego pored over art books in the Juneau Public Library. Now a fine-art and commercial photographer, she's about to see a book of her own work on the shelves of Alaska's libraries. "Celebration," a 50-page volume of black and white photographs, documents the dancing and ceremony of Sealaska Heritage Institute's biennial culture gathering...(more) 5-30-02

Tlingit classroom increases enthusiasm
Harborview students perform 'The Great Táay'
By GENEVIEVE GAGNE-HAWES
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Students dressed as flowers, birds and berries filled Harborview Elementary School's Tlingit Language and Culture Classroom on Tuesday night. The classroom's year-end play, "The Great Táay (Garden) Party," told the story of a girl named Amy who journeyed through the forest and across the beach searching for food. The children mixed Tlingit and English easily, counting, singing and dancing with enthusiasm...(more) 5-29-02

Haines: Chilkoot association hosts Harvard visitors
CHILKAT VALLEY NEWS
The Chilkoot Indian Association showed off its assets last week to a group from Harvard University School of Government. The tribe was recently nominated for one of Harvard's 16 tribal nation-building awards for community development...(more) 5-26-02

Tlingit immersion students making the grade at Harborview
By MARY LOU BERRY
CAPITAL CITY WEEKLY
When Harborview Elementary first grader Bradley Wright started kindergarten in 2000, he was virtually unaware of his heritage. “My boy didn’t know he was an Indian!” says his father, Richard Wright, of Juneau. "Well, he knew, but he wasn’t knowledgeable." Bradley’s perception was soon to change, however, because the class Richard had enrolled him in was Kitty Eddy’s Tlingit immersion class, in which students learn both academics, and the culture and language of the Tlingit people...(more)  4-17-02

Cards encourage Gold Medal fans to cheer in Tlingit style
By ANDREW KRUEGER
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
Basketball fans attending Gold Medal Tournament games this week can urge their favorite teams to Gashàat wé kooch'éit'aa - get the rebound - and play tough Yan yeené - defense - with the help of a pocket-sized listing of Tlingit yells. Sealaska Heritage Institute has printed 2,000 copies of the list, which includes 17 basketball-related Tlingit cheers and their English translations, to distribute to spectators...(more) 3-28-02

Native spoons draw anthropologist to Southeast
Harvard scientist seeks out elders to learn history, rituals linked to elaborately carved utensils
By RILEY WOODFORD
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
A bear cradles an otter in one carving. In another, a mysterious beast rests head-to-head with a human, their tongues connected. The elaborate Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haida carvings decorate the handles of 40 antique ceremonial spoons. The spoons were carved from goat and sheep horn, probably between 100 and 200 years ago. They have been in the collection of Harvard University's Peabody Museum for decades, but virtually nothing was known about them...(more(Photos)   3-22-02

Class to provide Native language overview
By ANDREW KRUEGER
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
A new summer course at the University of Alaska Southeast will offer a wide-ranging overview of Alaska's indigenous languages. The three-credit class, Anthropology 393: Alaska Native Languages, is being offered as a cooperative effort between the university and the Sealaska Heritage Institute...(more) 3-21-02

Native place Names
Offering clues to Juneau's past
By ANN CHANDONNET
THE JUNEAU EMPIRE
The city of Juneau is fortunate to have retained some of its Tlingit place names, and, in certain cases, to have revived others. Newcomers soon master the pronunciation of "Dzantik'i Heeni" or "Kowee" and come to relish each syllable as proof they're not just passing through, but settling in... (more)   3-3-02

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