Sealaska Heritage



Vision: Juneau as Northwest Coast Art Capital of the World

(Brochure) (Blog) Northwest Coast art occupies an important position in America’s artistic traditions and cultural history. Most importantly, it plays a significant role in maintaining the cultural diversity of the nation and the cultural survival of the region’s indigenous populations. Like jazz music, which was designated a national treasure by Congress in 1987, NWC art should be designated a national treasure of the United States.
SHI’s quest to establish the Northwest Coast Arts Capital began with the construction of the Walter Soboleff Building that is in itself a work of art, and is adorned with monumental art pieces by three master indigenous artists of international acclaim. The creation of the NWC Arts Capital ensures the survival of NWC arts, providing untold sustainable social and economic benefits to the region and state. SHI’s NWC Arts Capital plan includes the following programs and initiatives:

  • Training new NWC artists
  • Teaching NWC art in schools
  • Ensuring excellence of NWC art formline
  • Educating the public about NWC art
  • Expanding the NWC art market
  • Integrating NWC art in public places
  • Designating NWC art as a national treasure
  • Protecting clan crest ownership    


SHI sponsors art workshops for students of Northwest Coast art practices, such as skin sewing, weaving, carving and formline designs. Some of our workshops can be viewed online on our YouTube channel (here) and on our Vimeo page (here).​

(Register) Sealaska Heritage is offering Saturday carving practice sessions with Tlingit artist Donald Gregory from 1-6 pm at the Gajaa Hít building in Juneau’s Indian Village. Participants must be 18 years or older. Maximum of 12 participants at a time. First come, first served. Some carving tools and wood will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own tools and projects if they have any. (Blog) (News Story)  

Voices on the Land

The goal of Voices on the Land is to improve literacy skills and increase the use of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian language through performing arts and digital storytelling. Through the program, students create theatrical productions, scripts, digital stories, and illustrated storybooks based on traditional knowledge and share their productions with peers, family, and the community. The program also includes a summer day camp for students in 4-8th grades and a Basic Arts Institute training for teachers in partner districts. First launched in Juneau in 2014, the program was expanded in 2019 to serve schools in Juneau, Yakutat and Ketchikan. Contact:

Voices on the Land Summer Storytelling Intensive:

  • July 6-23, 2021: This day camp for students entering grades 4-8 will be held in person in Juneau with remote options for participation. 
  • Register:  

Sharing Our Box of Treasures

Through Sharing Our Box of Treasures, Sealaska Heritage, the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) and partner communities—Klawock, Hoonah and Juneau—will teach Northwest Coast (NWC) art, the world-renowned legacy of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. The program is part of SHI’s effort to make Juneau the NWC arts capital of the world, to galvanize the region’s economy and to designate NWC art as a national treasure.  

Through the program, partners will develop a two-year associate’s degree program in NWC art at UAS and award scholarships to applicants; expand the Juneau Fine Arts Career Pathway program to include a focus on NWC art and field-test courses in four high schools in partner communities; increase current retention rates and academic performance in math of Alaska Native high school students by integrating NWC art into math courses; document development and implementation of NWC art and culture programs at UAS and SHI; and produce a sustainability plan for the next phase of expansion.

The program, in part, builds on SHI’s effort to teach math concepts to Alaska Native students through ancient NWC art practices. The institute has partnered with national leaders in the field in recent years and successfully taught difficult math concepts through art practices such as weaving and carving. Sharing Our Box of Treasures also supports a recent agreement between SHI, UAS and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to establish a four-year NWC art program. Funded through a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Alaska Native Education Program.  

(Related: SHI, UAS, school districts, sign agreements to advance Northwest Coast art, math training

Virtual First Friday

(Register) Sealaska Heritage and the Sealaska Heritage Store participate in Juneau’s First Friday, a monthly celebration of the arts. Beginning last April, SHI moved to a virtual format, hosting Facebook Live interviews hosted by SHI's Jay Zeller at 5 pm on First Friday. Many of the artists interviewed have also taken part in our Virtual Artist in Residence program. For details, contact Jay Zeller at

Virtual Artist in Residence

(Application) SHI operates an artist-in-residence program at the Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau. Beginning last April, the program moved to virtual format. For details, contact Jay Zeller at

Demonstrating Artists (currently on hold)

Sealaska Heritage is seeking demonstrating artists to work on their art and educate visitors about their art at the Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau, Alaska. A significant portion of the work will take place during hours of high visitation and will include interaction with the public, such as daily 30-minute presentations to visitors, participation in community outreach activities, and events such as Juneau's monthly First Friday. Artists may bring artwork to sell during their residency.   

Juried Art Show and Competition

Sealaska Heritage Institute's Juried Art Show is a biennial show and competition for Native art held in conjunction with Celebration, a major dance-and-culture festival. The goals of the Juried Art Show are:
  • To encourage and enhance the creation and production of Southeast Alaska Native objects of artistic value which have fallen into disuse and are becoming rare
  • To stimulate and enhance the quality of artistic work among our Native artisans
  • To encourage the development of new forms of art of purely Southeast Alaska Native form and design  

Juried Youth Art Exhibit

SHI's biennial Celebration includes a Juried Youth Art Exhibit of Northwest Coast art in an effort to increase the number of young artists making high quality pieces and to share their work with the public. Cash awards are made to schools of the winners for art supplies to be used by schools or organizations for future instruction in Northwest Coast art. All youth chosen to exhibit receive a specially-made Juried Art Show t-shirt and winners also receive a certificate. The competition is open to all youth in grades 6-12. The exhibit is held in June every even year. 


Northwest Coast Art Markets

Sealaska Heritage Institute sponsors a major Northwest Coast Art Market during Celebration, a major dance-and-culture festival. SHI also sponsors art markets in conjunction with various programs.  And, SHI recruits artists to participate in First Friday every month and Gallery Walk in December (register for First Friday and Gallery Walk). SHI also operates the Sealaska Heritage Store and frequently seeks quality Native art to sell. If you are interested in selling arts-and-craft products at wholesale prices or consigning art to SHI, please email a photo, description and wholesale or consignment price to    

Jinéit Art Academy Youth Program

SHI began piloting the Jinéit Art Academy Youth Program in 2016, building partnerships in four Southeast Alaska communities with the common goal of exposing Alaska youth to high-quality Northwest Coast art programming and increasing the number of Alaska youth exposed to and familiar with Northwest Coast art forms. Read our blog to see photos of recent program activities in CraigJuneauSitka, and Angoon.  

Haa Latseen Community Project

(Register) Sealaska Heritage is offering Saturday carving practice sessions with Tlingit artist Donald Gregory from 1-6 pm at the Gajaa Hít building in Juneau’s Indian Village. Participants must be 18 years or older. Maximum of 12 participants at a time. First come, first served. Some carving tools and wood will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring their own tools and projects if they have any. (Blog) (News Story


SHI sponsors mentor-apprentice workshops to perpetuate and revitalize Northwest Coast endangered art traditions, such as spruce-root weaving and dugout canoe carving. The program was fostered at SHI's first Native Artists Gathering, which brought together nearly 30 artists in 2015 who identified the most imperiled Northwest Coast Native art traditions. Check back soon for upcoming apprenticeships. 


Sealaska Heritage offers scholarships through the Sealaska scholarship program and a partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast and the Institute for American Indian Arts. Click here to see all scholarships.  

Artist/Teacher Recruitment

(Apply) Sealaska Heritage Institute and the Juneau School District have entered into a partnership to offer Northwest Coast Art opportunities to middle and high school students. We are looking for interested artists to add to a teaching artist roster, which will be used by teachers looking for specialists to join visit their classrooms. These opportunities are flexible and could be one visit class, a series of visits during one semester or whatever fits best for the teacher and artist.    For more information contact Jen LaRoe at or 907.586.9173 or Tiffany LaRue at

Northwest Coast Native Artist Database

(Register) Sealaska Heritage encourages Native artists to register to be advised of opportunities such as artist markets; teaching/learning classes including Master/Apprentice teams; 1% for art/Public art notices; grants and funding opportunities and more. 


(Volunteer) SHI could not succeed without the help of its volunteers! If you are interested in supporting SHI as a volunteer, please fill out our application.