Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_SHI offering cultural training for teachers, support staff, admins

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Program aims to promote cross-cultural understanding, cultural education

Jan. 5, 2021

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Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is recruiting Juneau School District elementary school teachers, support staff and administrators to participate in its 2021 cultural orientation program, which aims to incorporate Native world views into schools and promote cross-cultural understanding.

The program, Thru the Cultural Lens, provides 50 hours of cultural orientations. Through the program, participants earn a stipend upon completion of all requirements and have the option of earning three continuing education credits through the University of Alaska Southeast.

Ample research has shown the effectiveness of using culture- and place- based teaching resources and methods to improve academic achievement for Indigenous students, said SHI President Rosita Worl, noting a 2013 study on Juneau’s own Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy program also found a significant increase in the graduation rate of students initially enrolled in the program.

“Studies over the past three decades have shown that Native language and culturally-responsive programs are associated with improved academic performance, decreased dropout rates and improved school attendance,” Worl said.

SHI is planning to offer the program to school districts in Ketchikan, Hydaburg, Metlakatla, Wrangell and Petersburg this spring as well and will announce details soon.

The deadline to apply for the spring cohort in Juneau is Feb. 3.

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,