Sealaska Heritage



The next celebration will be held  June 6-9, 2018, in Juneau, Alaska. The theme is "Respect: Weigh Your Words."

(Preliminary Schedule) (Tickets) (Press Releases) (Flyer)

Theme: "Respect: Weigh Your Words."

  • Lingit (Tlingit)
    • Yáa at wooné
    • ​Shx’adaat tudaati 
    • Respect: Weigh Your Words with Care (Translation from Sealaska Celebration 2000 article “Tlingit Protocols: Forming a Tlingit World View” by Dr. Soboleff)
  • Xaad Kíl* (Haida)
    • Yahgwdáng: Kíilang aa hl káahliyaa
    • Respect: careful with your words

      * Approved by Delores Churchill

  • Sm’algyax (Tsimshian)
    • Łootm
    • Hagwil hahawn
    • ​Respect: Speak carefully

Lead Dance Group

Two clan groups have been selected as the lead dance group for Celebration 2018.  The Raven Lukaax.ádi—led by Clan Leader Nathan Jackson—and the Eagle Shangukeidí—led by Clan Leader David Katzeek—are interrelated clans from the Haines and Klukwan area and will lead the next Celebration. 

 Grand Entrance Song

(Text) (Audio: Spoken) (Audio: Sung) The Thunderbird Trade Song, which is owned by the Shangukeidí Clan, will be used as the Grand Entrance Song for Celebration 2018. This song was introduced by Anna Klanott Katzeek, K’óots’i, Shangukeidí Eagle/Thunderbird, as one of the Thunderbird Trade Songs. 

Grand Exit Song

(Audio: Spoken) (Audio: Sung

The Raven Lukaax̱.ádi chose a G̱unanaa Trade Song to use as the Grand Exit Song for Celebration 2018. 

The Exit Song is known as a trading song.  It was obtained by the Tlingit from the Inland Indian tribes whom the Tlingit called “Gunaana.” Songs are considered property, and in exchange for coastal goods, the Tlingit obtained furs and this song.

Wee yei yaa.aa
Wee yei yaa.aa
u.oo oo yaa.aa
u.oo oo yaa.aa  

Dance Groups

On behalf of Sealaska Heritage Institute we would like to express our sincere appreciation for your interest and participation in this exciting event. SHI recognizes your support in helping to encourage and mentor young Natives as you model excellence and dedication in preserving our proud Native heritage. Please read through the entire application and assemble all required attachments before you start filling out the form. If you need assistance, please contact Carmaleeda Estrada at The deadline to apply has passed.

Celebration 2018 Art

The art for Celebration 2018 was made by Tlingit artist Alison Marks. We asked her to design a piece informed by the theme, "Respect: Weigh Your Words." Click here to see the entire piece. Here is her statement about the piece:

"The design is a speech bubble, depicting how words take on a life of their own when released into the world.

The first Celebration in 1982 was powerful. There was more Lingít spoken than English. The event brought back a resurgence of the culture and dance. Now, with our Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages critically endangered, it's time to use the vibrancy and strength of our culture and dance to bring back our languages.

Gunalchéesh Sealaska Heritage Institute, for the profound impact Celebration has had on my life and those of future generations."  

Native Fashion Show

Sealaska Heritage will sponsor a Native high-fashion show during Celebration 2018. The institute currently is inviting models to apply.  The deadline for designers to  apply has passed.  

Juried Art Show and Competition 

(Jurors) Celebration will include a Juried Art Show and Competition. SHI will award prizes in six divisions: Carving and sculpture (wood and metal carvings and sculptures); sewing (skin and fur, beadwork and other); weaving (Chilkat, Ravenstail and basketry); two-dimensional (paintings, drawings and prints); and endangered art (spruce-root weaving and mountain goat horn spoon carving). SHI will announce winners and unveil the pieces accepted for exhibit on June 6, and the show will run from May 15 through Sept. 30, 2018 at the Walter Soboleff Building. The deadline to apply has passed. 

Juried Youth Art Exhibit

Celebration will include SHI’s second biennial youth exhibit of Northwest Coast art in an effort to increase the number of young artists making high quality pieces and to share their work with the public. Cash awards will be made to schools of the winners for art supplies to be used by schools or organizations for future instruction in Northwest Coast art. All youth chosen to exhibit will receive a specially-made Juried Art Show t-shirt and winners also will receive a certificate. The competition is open to all youth in grades 6-12. Winners will be announced on June 6 in conjunction with the Juried Art Show award ceremony, and the exhibit will run June 1–30, 2018, at the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The deadline to apply has passed.

Native Art Market

Celebration will feature a Native Artist Market June 7-9, 2018, where people may buy authentic Native art and Native art supplies from artists in two venues:  the Juneau Arts & Culture Center and Sealaska Plaza. The deadline to apply has passed. The market will operate during the following days and hours:

Thursday, 10 am-7 pm
Friday, 10 am-7 pm
Saturday, 10 am-7 pm  

Toddler Regalia Review

(Apply) Sealaska Heritage is hosting a Toddler Regalia Review during Celebration of 2018. This event is open to Sealaska shareholders and Shareholder descendants who are ages two (2) to four (4) years at the time of Celebration, scheduled June 6 - 9, 2018. The deadline to apply has passed. 

Food Contests

(Apply) Sealaska Heritage Institute will hold contests for best seaweed, soapberries, seal oil and seal oil crackling during Celebration 2018. Prizes for first, second and third place in each category are $500, $250 and $100 respectively. The rules to participate are similar to participating in other events sponsored by Sealaska Heritage Institute. The deadline to register is May 31. Seaweed, seal oil and seal oil crackling entries may be submitted starting Wednesday, June 6, at the information booth at Centennial Hall. Soapberry contestants will make their soapberries live at Centennial Hall.

  • Food must be gathered and prepared by the participant.
  • Each participant must submit at least a 1-quart size bag of seaweed, at least 3 cups of soapberries at the time of judging, and 4 ounces of seal oil with or with out crackling (fat).
  • Each entry must be marked with the participant’s name and a local phone number where they can be reached. Please write your name and phone number directly on the entry containers. Please do not attach notes to the bags, as they are likely to be lost.
  • Before judging, the names will be matched with numbers to keep the names secret from the judges.
  • Any surplus food entries will be donated on behalf of the participant to elders living in urban communities. 


(Apply) SHI is recruiting volunteers for Celebration 2018, scheduled June 6-8. We could not offer Celebration with the help of volunteers. Volunteers who donate a minimum of 4 hours get a free, one-day pass and t-shirt while supplies last.


SHI will sell tickets early at the Sealaska Heritage Store beginning on June 1. Tickets will be available for purchase at the dance venues during the event. Prices are as follows:

4-day pass: 

  • General: $35
  • Elders (65+): $15
  • Youth (ages 7-12): $15

1-day pass: 

  • General: $18
  • Elders (65+): $10 
  • Youth (ages 7-12): $10

Children 6 and under are admitted free of charge. The store is located at 105 S. Seward St. in downtown Juneau.

Airfare Discount

Alaska Airlines once again is graciously offering a 10% discount to people flying to Juneau for Celebration 2018:

Meeting Name: Celebration 2018
Meeting Fare Code: ECMZ247

Departure City(s): Any Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air US city
Meeting City: Juneau, Alaska. Not Included:  Prudhoe Bay, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica 

Beginning Travel Date: June 3, 2018
Last Travel Date: June 12, 2018

Meeting Fare Rules:
  · Your group is entitled to a 10% discount off Alaska Airlines published
    fares (except companion and other promotional fares).
  · You may book and ticket on the blackout dates but no discount will apply.
  · Any change or cancellation after ticketing is subject to a service charge. 
    All fare rules and additional blackout dates of the fare apply.
  · All tickets must be issued online or the Alaska Airlines Group desk.
  · A $15.00 ticketing fee will apply to any tickets issued by the Group Desk. 

Press Releases

SHI to unveil pieces accepted into Juried Youth Art Exhibit next week  (5-24-18)
Competition part of Celebration 2018

SHI to unveil pieces chosen for Juried Art Show  (5-10-18)

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who helped to make Celebration 2016 happen. This year’s gathering was our biggest to date, and included new events such as a Native Fashion Show and Juried Youth Art Exhibit. On behalf of Sealaska Heritage Institute, I thank all of the people, organizations and businesses who helped make it come together.

Thank you to major donor Sealaska and all of our generous sponsors; to those who made memorial donations in 2016; to each member of the dance groups who performed at Celebration 2016; to our volunteers and moderators; artists who participated in our Juried Art Show and the young artists (and their teachers) who took part in our Juried Youth Art Exhibit; art show jurors, exhibit specialists, and sponsors; Northwest Coast Art Market artists; lecturers and language session leaders; toddler regalia participants and their parents; food contest participants and judges; fashion show designers, models, hair stylists, makeup artists, and organizational committee members; Celebration performers; weavers who took part in our Weavers Symposium; canoers, including Wayne Price and the people who came through organizer One People Canoe Society, who took part in the Coming Ashore ceremony at Sandy Beach (an event that adds excitement to SHI’s Celebration festivities); members of the media who documented Celebration; organizations that hosted events for Celebration participants; local businesses who helped spread the word about Celebration; and to the Juneau community as a whole for welcoming Celebration once again.

We are grateful to you all. Gunalchéesh!

Stories on Celebration

The news media does an incredible job covering Celebration. Click here to see a round up of news stories about Celebration 2016.