Sealaska Heritage

EDUCATION PROGRAMS

EDUCATION PROGRAMS 

Thru the Cultural Lens: Teacher Orientations for Juneau School District

It is critical that Native cultures be incorporated into public schools and that teachers have a general understanding of the cultures. Studies have shown that Native students do better academically when they are exposed to their culture in class. To that end, Sealaska Heritage sponsors cultural orientations for teachers in public schools and at the University of Alaska through a memorandum of agreement. Participants learn Native history, Native world views, and even about Northwest Coast art. SHI recently expanded this program other Southeast Alaska communities.

Through the program, SHI organizes Our Cultural Landscape: Culturally Responsive Education Conference, held virtually for the first time in 2020 with more than 400 registrants. The conference is scheduled Aug. 11-13 and will be offered in person in Juneau with featured elements available virtually. The theme of this year’s event is Haa Ḵusteeyí Yatsáakw (“Our Way of Life Persists”). Find out more here: https://conference.sealaskaheritage.org/


Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy Program

The Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy Program (TCLL) is place-based, culture based “school within a school” where the Tlingit language and culture are integral to daily instruction, where they are celebrated and respected. TCLL in the Juneau School District (JSD) is one of three optional programs open to all students, along with Montessori Borealis School and the Juneau Community Charter School. TCLL started with Sealaska Heritage in 2000, and it proved so successful, the school district assumed funding for the program. A study in 2013 found that the incorporation of traditional tribal values of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian directly contributes to Alaska Native student success and fosters an environment to grow leadership skills, self-confidence, and creativity. SHI’s goals are to build a thorough language immersive program within TCLL, increase teacher fluency in Tlingit language, and develop TCLL into an autonomous Optional Program in the JSD. TCLL is supported through Sealaska Heritage with federal funding from the Alaska Native Education Program. For more information contact Disney Williams at disney.williams@juneauschools.org


Baby Raven Reads

(Baby Raven Web) Sealaska Heritage sponsors Baby Raven Reads, an award-winning program that promotes early-literacy, language development and school readiness for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5. The pilot program in Juneau ended in 2017, and SHI received funding to offer the program for another three years and to expand it to nine other communities in Southeast Alaska...(more

Baby Raven Reads Gumboot Camp will not be held in 2021.    


Opening the Box: STEAM  (science, technology, engineering, art and math)

The institute works with public school teachers through its STEAM program, which teaches math skills to middle-school students through Northwest Coast art. Teams of teachers, artists, and SHI staff are producing, field testing, and disseminating a series of supplemental math resources that incorporate Tlingit culture and language geared for beginning algebra and geometry courses. SHI is building the model for use in Southeast Alaska by adapting nationally recognized, successful math programs developed by other organizations outside the region. The institute also collaborates and provides support to teachers through its high school STEAM program, establishing a regional traditional knowledge community of practice that includes STEAM educators and cultural specialists to design and offer culturally relevant STEAM curriculum for Alaska Native students transitioning into high school. SHI supplements traditional knowledge curriculum with opportunities outside of school to build student identity as STEAM professionals that is aligned with cultural values. These include a STEAM network of professionals to provide mentorship, coaching, role modeling, and internship/job shadowing opportunities for Alaska Native students. Middle school contact: paul.leininger@sealaska.com, high school contact: elle.gray-smith@sealaska.com

STEAM Internship

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • June 15-July 21, 2023
  • Application deadline: March 30, 2023
  • Open to rising juniors, rising seniors, and graduating seniors/GED attainers of the class of 2023 in Southeast Alaska who are descendants of Native Alaskans and Native Americans

STEAM Student Mentorships

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • 2023
  • Opportunities for field work, job shadows, and networking with professionals in our communities

STEAM Mentors

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • December-May, 2023
  • Share your experience with Alaska Native and Native American students on the benefits and realities of post-secondary training and entering a STEAM field.

STEAM Hosts

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • June 15-July 21, 2023
  • Application deadline: March 30, 2023
  • Host organizations are called upon to provide five weeks of work experience for graduating high school seniors. The goal is to provide these college or career bound students with hands on work experience that incorporates STEAM education and concepts.   

Latseen Hoop Camp

Sealaska Heritage Institute sponsors an annual Latseen Hoop Camp. Sealaska Heritage developed the model for this program, which teach athletic skills and the Tlingit four core cultural values. This innovative program provides a fun and safe environment for youth to be physically active, develop basketball fundamentals, and learn the Tlingit language! This camp is made possible through contributions from Sealaska and the City and Borough of Juneau. 

Hoop Camp 2021: This day camp will be held in person in 2021. Contact: leah.urbanski@sealaska.com

  • June 7-11 for students entering grades 9-12
  • June 21-25 for students entering grades 4-8
  • Register: app.campdoc.com/register/sealaska

Latseen Running Camp

Sealaska Heritage Institute sponsors a annual Latseen Running Camp. Sealaska Heritage developed the model for this program, which teach athletic skills and the Tlingit four core cultural values. 

 This is a free program that seeks to improve strength of body, mind, and spirit while fostering the connection between our lives and land through running. The camp is for incoming 6th thru 8th grade Alaska Native student athletes.

Running Camp 2021: This day camp will be held in person in 2021. Contact: nancy.barnes@sealaska.com

  • June 1-4 and 7-10  for students entering grades 6-8
  • Register: app.campdoc.com/register/sealaska 

Traditional Games

(Register) (Website)

The Native Youth Olympics Traditional Games is a statewide sport that includes 10 different events or games to test skills of strength, agility, balance, endurance and focus. These games are based on hunting and survival skills of the indigenous people of Alaska and across the arctic going back hundreds of years. Each year, teams of high school and middle school athletes from across the state travel to Anchorage to take part in the Sr. Native Youth Olympics. More than 500 athletes from over 100 communities, split into male and female division, compete for 1st-5th place medals in the 10 events. Athletes strive to perform at their personal best while helping and supporting their fellow competitors, no matter what team. This is the spirit of the games, to work together toward common goals and learn from the skills and values that allowed Alaska Native people to survive and thrive in some of the harshest conditions. 

In order to take part in the Sr. Native Youth Olympics, athletes must be currently enrolled and in good standing in a middle school, high school or GED program and between the ages of 12-19. They do NOT need to be Alaska Native. 

For more information contact kyle.worl@gmail.com or 907.227.4998.  This program is open to all Juneau students. (Instructional Videos)

Upcoming events:

  • Traditional Games 2022 in Juneau: April 2-3 at Thunder Mountain High School main gym. This event will be live-streamed.  

Preparing Indigenous Teachers & Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS)

(Brochure) Sealaska Heritage, in partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), operates Preparing Indigenous Teachers & Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS), a program founded by the university in 2000 to grow the number of Alaska Native teachers and administrators and improve educational opportunities for Alaska Native K-12 students. We need more Alaska Native teachers and administrators in Alaska schools--preschool through high school. Students who are accepted to the program receive a scholarship that generally covers tuition, fees and books. Students must be enrolled in an education degree program at UAS, have a minimum 2.5 GPA upon entry and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in order to continue receiving this scholarship. To be eligible, students must have college junior status and be admitted to one of the following degree programs at UAS: BA Elementary Education, BA Special Education or BA or BS in an academic area leading toward a teacher certification.

In 2018, SHI received funding for the program and developed the following priorities under the partnership: 

  • Support Alaska Native students and educators for initial or advanced certification or degrees in education or Indigenous language and culture
  • Support professional development activities for educators, including PITAAS scholars and university faculty, on issues affecting Alaska Native students
  • Revitalize Alaska Native languages and cultures
  • Offer career preparation activities that enable Alaska Native pre-service teachers in the PITAAS program an opportunity to gain valuable work experience as well as guided education experiences with Alaska Native educators in SHI's annual Latseen Leadership Academy

Through the program, the partners are now offering tuition waivers to Alaska Native freshmen and sophomore students who are interested in PITAAS for certain language and culture classes. (See Eligible Classes) (Hear from PITAAS Graduates) (More on PITAAS


Scholarships

Sealaska and Judson Brown Scholarships

(Application) (Required Documents) (Schedule) Sealaska Heritage Institute provides scholarships to Alaska Natives who are Sealaska Shareholders and Descendants for college, university, and vocational and technical schools. The annual awards are funded mostly by Sealaska. The application period is from January 1-March 1 each year. Applications must be filled out and submitted online. Send questions to scholarship@sealaska.com.  

In response to the soaring cost of getting a college education, AffordableColleges.com has compiled a useful guide to financial aid for minority students to help students. 

Alaska Native Arts and Museum Scholarships   


Survey

Sealaska Heritage is conducting three short surveys to better serve the interests and needs of the Alaska Native community. Everything you share with us will remain anonymous.

  • If you are a stakeholder (a Sealaska shareholder, Alaska Native, a community member, a teacher or someone with an interest in SHI’s programs), fill out this survey.
     
  • If you are an Alaska Native high school student and/or a former participant of SHI’s Latseen Leadership Academy, fill out this survey.
     
  • If you are a past or current recipient of a Sealaska scholarship and/or a past Sealaska intern, fill out this survey.

Thanks in advance for participating!


Volunteer

(Application) 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.

SHI is building the model for use in Southeast Alaska by adapting nationally recognized, successful math programs developed by other organizations outside the region. ​

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