Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_SHI to sponsor third cultural education conference

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Conference to include nationally-known keynote speakers

February 25, 2020


Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor its third education conference for teachers and administrators in Southeast Alaska in an effort to promote culturally responsive pedagogy in schools.

The goal of the conference, which is offered through SHI’s groundbreaking Thru the Cultural Lens program, is to provide educators with a deep understanding of culturally-responsive education and equip them to transform their classrooms, pedagogy, and curriculum to fully support all students’ success—especially those who have been historically underserved, disenfranchised and marginalized by colonized systems, said conference organizer and longtime educator Jackie D’Cafango-Kookesh.

“Through the cultural lens we see and create responsive environments and spaces for all students. Culturally-responsive educators take down barriers, make connections and open up the space for all learners to engage and connect in a cultural landscape,” said D’Cafango-Kookesh, who is organizing the event with educators Angela Lunda and Lisa Richardson.

The three-day event, Our Cultural Landscape: Culturally Responsive Education Conference, will feature nationally-known keynote speakers and offer four strands: Culture based education teaching and learning for K-12 educators; early childhood education, with an emphasis on childhood trauma and its effect on student learning; school climate and cultural connectedness, with an emphasis on social justice, equity and historical colonialism; and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM), with an emphasis on math and art as it relates to culturally responsive teaching and learning.

The conference is open to educators from across Southeast Alaska and to students enrolled in the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS) program and UAS’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program.

The conference is scheduled Aug. 3-8 in Juneau. A pre-conference scheduled Aug. 3-5 will provide additional opportunities for educators to explore and participate in extended topics. SHI will post a registration form and call for presenters for breakout sessions soon.

The conference is part of SHI’s education program Thru the Cultural Lens, which was founded in 2012 to give cultural orientations for educators in the Juneau, and starting next year, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, Metlakatla and Hydaburg.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Amy Fletcher, SHI Media and Publications Director, 907.586.9116,