New Arts Campus
SHI kicks off campaign
(Website) (Brochure) (Donate) (Construction Begins!) SHI has officially launched its fundraising campaign to build a Native arts campus at Heritage Square, kicking off what will become a preeminent cultural space in downtown Juneau. The Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus is phase two of SHI’s vision to make Juneau the Northwest Coast arts capital of the world and to designate NWC art a national treasure.
Juneau as arts capital
northwest coast art
By Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine — When it comes to art capitals, Rome, New York, Paris and Berlin are a few of the global hot spots that come to mind. However, if the city of Juneau, Alaska, has any say in the matter, it could very well earn a coveted spot on the list.
Baby Raven Reads
Uptick in student scores
A research firm has produced a study that links an upward trend in scores for local Alaska Native students entering kindergarten to Baby Raven Reads, an early literacy program operated by Sealaska Heritage since the 2015-2016 school year.
spruce-root harvest, prep
Sealaska Heritage’s spruce-root gathering and weaving class held its first session on Saturday, June 19. Ten apprentice students in Juneau convened at the start of Boy Scout Camp Trail to learn the art of spruce-root gathering from Tlingit artist Naakil.aan (Hans Chester), who learned from Delores Churchill, a renowned Haida artist.
SHI has produced and put online a video series that teaches how to make traditional northern Northwest Coast halibut hooks, known as náxw in Tlingit. The series, led by Tlingit artist Héendei Donald Gregory, includes 21 videos ranging from 2-17 minutes in length that show detailed steps on the process.
SHI has enlisted renowned, nationally-known educators to give keynote addresses at its fourth Culturally Responsive Education Conference for teachers and administrators. For the second time, the three-day event will be held virtually because of the COVID-19 virus.
old spruce-root basket
A Seattle man has donated an exquisite spruce-root basket to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) that dates back more than 100 years. Donor Richard Zahniser purchased the piece in Southeast Alaska or Anchorage in the 1970s and decided to donate it to SHI this year to make it accessible to the public and weaving students.
SHI has digitized and posted online video of its third Celebration, 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.
research: art pressures
SHI is sponsoring a visiting scholar who is studying how Southeast Alaska Native artists sustain their ancient art practices in light of current economic, legal and environmental pressures. Scholar Ben Bridgeswill conduct preliminary research this summer in Juneau and interview artists, institutional leaders and art consumers.
The U.S. Postal Service this month, assisted by SHI, will hold a release ceremony for the “Raven Story” stamp, which was designed by Tlingit artist by Rico Lanáat’ Worl of Juneau and unveiled in November. Antonio Alcalá, who served as art director on the project, reached out to Worl about creating the stamp after seeing his work for sale in Washington DC.
SHI is seeking an elementary early childhood specialist, an education project assistant, a retail director, a retail/guest services associate, a cultural interpreter, a Baby Raven Reads community liaison, a development officer, a senior education administrative assistant, and an education project manager.
judson brown fund
has chosen a Ph.D. candidate with a focus on ethnomathematics as the recipient of its 2021 Judson L. Brown Leadership Award. The scholarship was given to Tlingit Eldri Waid Westmoreland, who holds a master’s degree in mathematics education and is pursuing her doctorate in American Indian and Alaska Native studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
SHI for the first time will hold a contest to solicit a design for Celebration, a biennial dance-and-culture festival that celebrates Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures. SHI is seeking a Northwest Coast art design that depicts the theme: Celebration 2022: Celebrating 10,000 Years of Cultural Survival...(more). Deadline extended to July 22, 2021.
voices on the land
SHI will sponsor a summer storytelling intensive for students entering grades 4-8. The program, Voices on the Land, will be offered in-person in Juneau with a remote option available for students in outlying communities. Voices on the Land is an innovative program that teaches performing arts, digital storytelling, script-writing, story-telling techniques to improve literacy skills.
Baby Raven Reads
Haida Language Book
Sealaska Heritage has released its first-ever children’s book entirely in the Haida language, X̱aad Kíl. The book, Nang Jáadaa Sg̱áana ‘Láanaa aa Isdáayaan, or The Woman Carried Away by Killer Whales in English, is part of SHI’s award-winning Baby Raven Reads program.
SHI and Sealaska are livestreaming the memorial service for the late Tlingit leader Kaasháan, Albert Kookesh, from Angoon. The ceremony is scheduled at 6 pm (AKDT), Friday, June 4. The livestream is available to the public through the MySealaska website (no account needed to watch) and via SHI's YouTube. (Program)
new online exhibit
war and peace
SHI, in partnership with Yakutat Tlingit Tribe, will sponsor an in-person, hand skin-sewing workshop in Yakutat with teacher Jennie Wheeler from June 10-13. Space is limited. $100 fee covers a sea otter hide at a $350 value, as well as patterns, supplies, and instruction. Application deadline: June 7.
SHI has digitized and put online video of its second Celebration, 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. The entire event, which was documented in 1984 on a now-obsolete video platform, is viewable for the first time in decades on SHI’s YouTube channel.
Native Youth Olympics
Traditional Games 2021
Athletes from Juneau and four other communities, Hoonah, Anchorage, Unalakleet, and Kotzebue, competed in the Northern Regional Traditional Games held May 8-9 in Juneau.
SHI will offer summer academies to middle school students in Southeast Alaska with instruction on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, an approach known as STEAM. The academies will be offered in Juneau, Wrangell, Sitka, Hoonah, Klawock and Angoon, marking the first time it has been offered in multiple communities.