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Study scheduled for May and June in Juneau

April 19, 2016

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will host two visiting scholars this spring who will be conducting a study of how Alaska Natives think about their cultural identity. The scholars, Dr. Caitlin Stern and Dr. Jessie Barker, are currently seeking as many participants as possible for the study, scheduled to take place in May and June. Participants will be asked to take part in surveys and group activities and will receive about $15 for an hour of their time. All answers will be kept strictly anonymous.

The scholars will give a public lecture on the preliminary results of their research prior to leaving Juneau in June.

Dr. Stern is originally from Haines and is now a researcher at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. Dr. Barker is a researcher at Aarhus University in Denmark. Both scholars are biologists interested in social behavior¬ ¬— for example, how people interact with others in groups, and how people perceive themselves in relation to others in different social contexts.

Participants in the scholars’ study at SHI must be 18 or older, but there are no other restrictions, and exact timing of participation is flexible. Stern and Barker plan to share the results of their research with the community, and emphasize that those who participate will be helping to build a greater understanding of the Alaska Native community.

SHI sponsors a Visiting Scholar Program for graduate students enrolled into an accredited educational institution or professors engaged in research that advances knowledge of Tlingit, Haida or Tsimshian culture, language, arts, or history.
For more information or to sign up to participate, please email Stern and Barker at or call/text 617-417-2469.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

CONTACT: Dr. Caitlin Stern and Dr. Jessie Barker, or call/text 617-417-2469.