Sealaska Heritage


Ancient trade routes

SHI will sponsor a free lecture on Aug. 17 on old travel routes between northern Southeast Alaska and Canada. Through the lecture, Tim Ackerman of the L’uknax.ádi clan will give an overview of trails in Chilkat/Chilkoot country that lead into the Yukon and served as important trade routes for the Tlingit people...(more).

Teacher of Distinction

A Ketchikan teacher was honored with the 2022 “Teacher of Distinction” award by SHI on Aug. 12 during SHI’s Culturally Responsive Education Conference. Teresa Dl’a Gwa T’awaa Varnell, a teacher and cultural coordinator for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District, is also the lead facilitator and teacher of SHI’s Through the Cultural Lens program.

new book
Indian Point Battle

SHI has published a book documenting the historic and decades-long battle to protect Juneau’s Indian Point, considered to be a sacred site to Native people. The book, National Recognition of the Traditional Cultural Significance of X'unáx̱i (Indian Point), traces the saga that began in 1959 with a proposal to develop the site and culminated in 2016. (Get the Book)

seattle workshop

SHI will sponsor an in-person workshop in Seattle in the SEATAC/Southcenter area on how to make moccasins from Aug. 27-30 with Tlingit artist Carmaleeda Estrada. A $75 fee includes all supplies to make one pair of moccasins. Space is limited. (Flyer)



Are you an artist looking to start or expand your business? Join us for Business Basics for Artists, a virtual workshop designed specifically for Alaska Native artists and Sealaska shareholders. (Flyer)

Art class
Woolen weaving

The University of Alaska Southeast in partnership with Sealaska Heritage is offering an online Northwest Coast woolen weaving course taught by Kay Parker this fall. Register at Click link for scholarship application. (Flyer)

Judson brown scholarship
doctoral student wins

SHI has chosen a Ph.D. student with a focus on Alaska Native sovereignty as the recipient of its 2021 Judson L. Brown Leadership Award. The honor was given to Tlingit scholar Breylan Náajeyistláa Martin, who holds a master’s degree from Brown University.

education conference
event kicks off next week

SHI will kick off its fifth annual culturally responsive education conference next week and welcome more than 650 in-person and online participants from Alaska, the Lower 48 and as far away as Australia. The conference will feature two keynote speakers, 60 breakout sessions and 9 immersive learning workshops. 

Year in review
2021 highlights

SHI’s programming from last year is featured in a new video and booklet. What a year! Thank you to Sealaska and the rest of our sponsors and donors. We couldn’t do it without you. (Video) (Booklet)

Job OpportunitIES

Sealaska Heritage Institute is going through a significant expansion, so we have a lot of new openings. If you have ever thought about working at SHI, now is the time to apply!

juneau class
bird-form rattles

Registration is now open for a Northwest Coast carving class at the Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus focused on bird form rattles (sheishóox̱'). Led by Ray Watkins and co-sponsored by UAS, the class is limited to 10 students. Previous carving and formline experience is required. (Flyer)

Celebration 2024
Dates set

The Sealaska Heritage Board of Trustees has set the dates for the next in-person Celebration as June 5-8, 2024, in Juneau, Alaska. People are encouraged to book lodging now, as rooms fill up quickly after the date is announced.

meet clara benson!
Box of Knowledge

SHI has published the first-ever biography of the prolific Klukwan artist Clara Newman Benson (Deinḵul.át), who lived from 1856 to 1935 and was a significant Chilkat weaver of her day. The book, A Life Painted in Yarn: A Biography of Tlingit Chilkat Weaver Clara Newman Benson, establishes her as a major weaver in Alaska. (Get the Book)

Four story totem pole

SHI, in partnership with the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, will co-sponsor a lecture by Native art scholar Dr. Emily Moore next week on a shaman totem pole in Juneau. Through the lecture, Moore will examine recent research that suggests Kaigani Haida carver John Wallace intended the pole to be read as one story, rather than four separate stories. (Flyer)


SHI has digitized and posted online video of Celebration 1990. Celebration is a dance-and-culture festival first held in 1982 that has grown into the world’s largest gathering of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people. (Watch)


SHI's Board of Trustees has named Dakhká Khwáan Dancers (People of the Inland) as the lead dance group for Celebration 2024. The Tlingit group, based in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, will lead all dancers for the first time since the group initially performed at Celebration in 2008.

Celebration 2022
Food contest winners

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has announced the winners of its popular traditional food contests, held as part of Celebration 2022. The winners are as follows...(more)

Celebration 2022
Art awards announced

Thirteen artists have taken top prizes and one honorable mention at SHI's eleventh biennial Juried Art Show and Competition, and three young artists also placed in SHI’s fourth biennial Juried Youth Juried Art Exhibit.

grand opening
Arts Campus

SHI will hold a grand opening for the Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus in June during its biennial dance-and-culture festival, Celebration. The opening will include the unveiling of the new Sealaska Cultural Values Totem Pole, a rare and massive piece carved on all sides and the first one of its kind in Alaska. The public is invited!

Celebration 2022
Art exhibits

SHI will open its eleventh, biennial Juried Art Show and Competition next week during Celebration 2022 and give awards in five divisions. The institute also will give awards to participants of its Juried Youth Art Exhibit during the ceremony.

education conference
call for presenters

SHI is accepting proposals from presenters for its fifth Culturally Responsive Education Conference, which is part of a larger effort to promote culturally responsive pedagogy in schools. SHI is soliciting proposals from educators to present in person at 90-minute breakout sessions.

steam academy (hs)

SHI will sponsor an in-person, fun summer academy for high school students with instruction on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, an approach known as STEAM. Open to Southeast Alaska students entering grades 9-12. SHI will cover travel, lodging and meals.  (Flyer)

counselors in training
voices on the land

Are you interested in digital storytelling, animation, performance, and Native arts and culture? Apply for a counselor-in-training position with our Voices on the Land Summer Intensive. Apply: Contact (Flyer)


new book published!
Baby Raven Reads

SHI has released a children’s book about the institute’s biennial dance-and-culture festival, Celebration, as seen from a young girl’s point of view. The book, Celebration, is part of the SHI’s Baby Raven Reads, a program for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5 that promotes language development and school readiness. (Get the Book)