Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_SHI expands language lecture series on Southeast Native languages, strengthening our community

<<back to news page


Free event to be offered in-person, virtually

April 31, 2023

(Watch Previous Lectures)

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has expanded its free lecture series on Southeast Alaska Native languages to include additional talks in September.

In the lectures, guest speakers focus on the challenges faced by language students learning Lingít (Tlingit), aad Kíl (Haida) and Sm'algyax (Tsimshian).

The series, Strengthening our Community, is part of an effort to offer tools to students to work through issues they might encounter while studying languages.

“We have learned through our ongoing language scholars program for Lingít, aad Kíl and Sm'algyax students that the journey has its challenges. We want to support our students and ease their way, as the work they are doing is so important to revitalizing our ancient languages,” said Dr. Rosita Worl, president of SHI.

All lectures will be held in-person at noon (Alaska time) at the Walter Soboleff Building in Juneau. SHI will also live stream the series on its YouTube and save the talks on its channel immediately after. Viewers are encouraged to pose questions in-person and online.

The series will include the following speakers:

Tuesday, Sept. 5

  • X̱ʼunei Lance Twitchell, associate professor of Alaska Native Languages, University of Alaska Southeast

Tuesday, Sept. 12

  • Daaljini Mary Cruise, lead teacher and Tlingit language instructor for Tlingit & Haida’s Haa Yoo X’atángi Kúdi Lingít language immersion nest

Thursday, Sept. 21

  • Alfie Price, co-founder of the Juneau Sm’algya̱x learners’ group

Tuesday, Sept. 26

  • George Holly and Lorri Heagy, Tlingit language teacher and music teacher respectively, Sítʼ Eetí Shaanáx̱ Glacier Valley Elementary School

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: Kathy Dye, SHI Media and Publications Deputy Director, 907.321.4636,