The institute encourages students and teachers to use its online resources.
Sealaska Heritage Institute produces curriculum and other education tools through its Education Programs. More language tools can be found on the language resources page. SHI's formline design kit and other tools to learn Northwest Coast Art can be found on the art resources page.
- Primary grades (intended for the primary grades, it can be easily adapted for higher grade levels)
- Primary grades (intended for the primary grades, it can be easily adapted for higher grade levels)
Language Development based on Literature
Alaska Cultural Standards for Educators: PASSAGES for Academic Success
This video album features a series of videos made for educators as teaching tools to reinforce local traditions, customs, values and practices in schools and to show teachers and students connecting academic content with Alaska Native culture and language. Produced by Sealaska Heritage in partnership with SERRC, Alaska's Educational Resource Center.
Books Published by Sealaska Heritage
Tlingit Oral Literature Series
Haa Shuka, Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives, Vol. 1: Eleven classic stories by 13 elders. Includes Naatsilanei (the origin of the killer whale), The Strong Man, The Woman Who Married the Bear, Kaats' (The Man Who Married the Bear), and two stories about the coming of the white man. Features Tlingit texts with facing English translations. Edited by Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer (left). Vol. 1, Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature, University of Washington Press, 1987, 532 pp., illustrations, notes, biographies, bibliography. "With texts and a thorough introduction to their format, oral style, and cultural context, a lengthy explanation of Tlingit phonetics and grammar, extensive historical and linguistic notes, and brief biographies... Haa Shuká is simultaneously a work of literature, a contribution to scholarship, and an act of homage to the Tlingit elders who contributed to the project for the sake of their descendants." $38. Paperback. ( Buy)
Haa Tuwunáagu Yís, for Healing Our Spirit, Vol. 2: Have you ever wondered what's going on at a memorial, sometimes called "potlatch" or "party?" Haa Tuwunáagu Yís, for Healing our Spirit is a study of the process and performance of a memorial. Haa Tuwunáagu Yís is the first publication of Tlingit oratory recorded in performance. It features Tlingit texts with facing English translations and detailed annotations, photographs of the orators and the settings in which the speeches are delivered, biographies of the Elders, and a glossary. There are 32 speeches by 21 Tlingit Elders. Most were taped between 1968 and 1988, but two speeches were recorded on wax cylinders by the Harriman Expedition in Sitka in 1899, and are the oldest known sound recordings of Tlingit. Edited by Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer (left). Vol. 2, Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature, University of Washington Press, 1990, 526 pp., illustrations, bibliography. Winner of the 1991 American Book Award! $32. Paperback. (Buy)
Haa Kusteeyí, Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories, Vol. 3: An introduction to Tlingit social and political history. The book features the biographies and life histories of more than 50 men and women, most born between 1880 and 1910, and includes a special section on the founders of the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB). The lives depicted in this volume show how individual Native people both shaped and were shaped by their time and place in history. To the fullest extent possible, oral and written material from the subjects and their families has been incorporated, so the book includes written research contributions by more than 20 people, and additional information from many friends and relatives. The appendices feature Tlingit texts with facing English translations, and previously unpublished documents, including material from the National Archives and the minutes from the historically important 1929 Haines ANB Convention, when ANB decided to pursue a land claims settlement, adopted the ANB and ANS koogéinaa and established the Executive Committee in the ANB Constitution. Edited by Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer (left). Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature, vol. 3, (University of Washington Press, 1994), 924 pp., 204 photographs, bibliography. $35. Paperback. ( Buy)
Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká: Russians in Tlingit America, The Battles of Sitka 1802 and 1804: A major book on historic battles between the Russians and Tlingits in the early 19th century. This is the 4th volume in the award-winning series, Classics of Tlingit Oral Literature, edited by Nora Marks Dauenhauer, Richard Dauenhauer. The book explores an era from the 1790s through 1818 when Russians expanded into Southeast Alaska to take control of the Northwest Coast fur trade. The Tlingit people resisted the incursion into their ancestral homeland and events culminated in two historic battles between the Russians and Tlingits in 1802 and 1804. At the heart of the book are never-before published recordings by the National Park Service of Tlingit elders telling oral histories of the battles. The recordings were made in the 1950s by Kiks.ádi elder Sally Hopkins and Kaagwaantaan elder Alex Andrews, who was a child of the Kiks.ádi. The book was conceived in the 1980s when Kiks.ádi elders asked the Dauenhauers to transcribe, translate, and publish the tapes, and the Sealaska Heritage Board approved the project. The Dauenhauers were able to compare the recordings to eye-witness accounts by Russians translated into English by Lydia Black, a scholar who worked on the book until her death in 2007. Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute in association with the University of Washington Press. Winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. $60, Hardcover. $35, Paperback. ( Buy)
Language Books and Materials
Dictionary of Tlingit: Sealaska Heritage Institute's Dictionary of Tlingit is the product of years of documentation of the Tlingit language with assistance from fluent Elders. It's a must-have resource for language learners and for people who are interested in learning more about the Tlingit culture. The Dictionary of Tlingit is the first to include nouns and verbs and all the minor word categories such as adjectives, adverbs, and interjections in a single resource. The vast majority of the verb forms have never before been documented or published. It also includes example sentences for most of the entries, which illustrates the words in a context. Compiled by linguist Keri Edwards with assistance from Anita Lafferty, John Marks, June Pegues, Helen Sarabia, Bessie Cooley, David Katzeek, and Fred White. Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute, 2010. $25. Paperback. (Buy)
Beginning Tlingit with CDs: This set combines a systematic introduction to Tlingit grammar with phrases and conversations for everyday use. Moving from the easiest and advancing to more complex, the book teaches students how to make new sentences of their own. The Fourth Edition includes four CDs so students can hear how the language sounds, and follow along with the lessons. The CDs are set up so listeners can interact, sometimes repeating the words, sometimes guessing the answers. A detailed introduction explains the drills and suggests ways of using the book at home, in schools, and in Tlingit communities. The revised Fourth Edition of Beginning Tlingit was printed in July 2000 (ISBN 0-9679311-1-8). First published nearly 25 years ago, Beginning Tlingit remains the major text in the field. Contents include prefaces to all editions, Book One: Teacher and Student Guide, and Book Two, which consists of an introduction and nine lessons. Appendices include Tlingit verb charts, song texts, and a checklist in traditional Tlingit education. Includes three audio CDs, the book, and a color brochure that lists the CD tracks. Tracks correspond to lessons in the book. Cassettes are available separately at $10.00 (pair) for those who wish to purchase them in addition to the boxed-set. By Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer. $40. Paperback & CDs. (Buy)
Lingít X’éináx Sá! Say it in Tlingit--A Tlingit Phrase Book: You, too, can become a Tlingit speaker! Lingít X’éináx Sá! is your practical companion in making the language a living part of your life. Browse through this phrase book and identify situations in which you could use a Tlingit phrase with someone else in a meaningful context. People have been learning this beautiful language for thousands of years; and you can, as well, if you start using one or two new phrases each day and make it a practice to do so with other Tlingit language enthusiasts. Tlingit is an American Indian language of Southeast Alaska and adjacent portions of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. It is classified linguistically as part of the Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit language family because it shows clear similarities in grammatical structure to the Eyak and Athabaskan languages. These Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit languages are unique, carrying to exquisite heights an attention to the detail of the form of an object when determining how to use an accompanying verb. The Tlingit language itself is unique in four sounds that seem to be found in no other language on our planet. With a multitude of carefully selected sentences for your analysis, this book gives students of linguistics an invaluable corpus of data. Practice locating and identifying the morphemes within Tlingit words, and the underlying logic of the language will open to you. By Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer. $20. Paperback. ( Buy)
Lingít X’éináx Áx! Hear it in Tlingit--A Tlingit Mini Phrasebook and CD: This material was adapted from Lingít X’éináx Sá! Say it in Tlingit, which was published by SHI in 2002. However, the CD offers new phrases and topic areas and allows users to hear the words. The mini phrasebook fits into the CD case, which holds two discs with audio covering 17 subject areas, including topics such as introductions, colors and greetings. Each track includes several phrases, which are printed in the mini phrasebook and recorded on the CD in Tlingit and English. The booklet was edited by SHI Linguist Keri Edwards and Tlingit speaker John Marks, who also narrated the Tlingit phrases on the CD, and Richard Dauenhauer and Nora Marks Dauenhauer, authors of Lingít X’éináx Sá! Say it in Tlingit. Tlingit is an American Indian language of Southeast Alaska and adjacent portions of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. It is classified linguistically as part of the Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit language family because it shows clear similarities in grammatical structure to the Eyak and Athabaskan languages. These Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit languages are unique, carrying to exquisite heights an attention to the detail of the form of an object when determining how to use an accompanying verb. The Tlingit language itself is unique in four sounds that seem to be found in no other language on our planet. $20. Paperback & CD.
Sneaky Sounds--A Non Threatening Introduction to Tlingit Sounds and Spelling: This book takes a humorous approach to teaching tricky sounds; the book’s second subtitle is Fun with Phonology, Fonology with Phun. Tlingit is famous for having one of the most difficult and complex sound systems in the world. Tlingit presents about two dozen sounds not shared with English. Four of these sounds are unique to Tlingit – not shared with any other language on Earth (as far as linguists know). This complexity can prove discouraging for beginners and presents a major barrier to learning. The idea behind the book is to introduce students to the sounds of the language in as non-threatening a manner as possible. The book also will help fluent speakers learn to write Tlingit. The language historically was not written and the orthography used today was developed by linguists in the late 20th century. Consequently, many Elders fluent in Tlingit do not know the writing system. By listening to the CD and following along with the text, fluent speakers will be able to learn which symbols correspond to which sounds. The book was written by Richard and Nora Marks Dauenhauer. The CD, produced by Edwards and Albert McDonnell, was recorded by fluent speakers John Marks and June Pegues. The project was six years in the making and received support from SHI, the Juneau School District and the University of Alaska Southeast. The materials were vetted by numerous language students, auditors and community Elders. $20. Paperback. ( Buy)
Let's Learn Tlingit (Tlingit Alphabet Flash Cards and Audio CD): The Tlingit alphabet contains twenty-four more characters than the English alphabet and includes four sounds not found in any other language in the world. These original art cards are designed to provide a fun way for young people to become familiar with the Tlingit language alphabet. The cards can be used as flash cards or in regular card games such as Go Fish orRummy. This project was sponsored by Sealaska Heritage Institute as part of its mission to perpetuate Native languages. Funding for the preparation and distribution was provided by the Alaska Humanities Forum. Art by Crystal Worl. Audio by Marsha Hotch and Ralph Wolfe. Tlingit words edited by Linda Belarde and Katrina Hotch and reviewed by traditional scholar Dr. Walter Soboleff. Design by Kathy Dye. (Also available as an online interactive tool, which uses the same images featured in the cards)
Dictionary of Alaskan Haida: Sealaska Heritage Institute's Dictionary of Alaskan Haida is the product of years of documentation of the Haida language with assistance from fluent Elders. It's a must-have resource for language learners and for people who are interested in learning more about the Haida culture. The Dictionary of Alaskan Haida is the most comprehensive dictionary for the Alaskan dialect of Haida, with over 5500 entries. It contains several thousand example sentences gathered from the last remaining fluent speakers in Alaska. Compiled by linguist Dr. Jordan Lachler with assistance from Dr. Erma Lawrence, Claude Morrison, the late Woodrow Morrison and the late Anna Peele. Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute, 2010. Funded through a grant from the Administration for Native Americans. Cover art by Robert Davis Hoffmann. $25. Paperback. (Buy)
Alaskan Haida Phrasebook: The Alaskan Haida Phrasebook is the first book of its kind and the most comprehensive phrasebook to date for any Alaska Native language. It will be a great aid to new learners. The Alaskan Haida Phrasebook was compiled over a four-year period as part of SHI's ongoing Haida language project. The more than 4,000 sentences in this book cover some of the most common topics of Haida conversation, such as food, family, weather, health, traveling, fishing, working, music, and many others. It was written by Dr. Erma Lawrence, one of the few remaining fluent speakers of Alaskan Haida, and edited by linguist Dr. Jordan Lachler. Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute, 2010. Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and support from Sealaska Corporation. Cover graphic based on excerpt of Half a Soul serigraph by Robert Davidson. $15. Paperback. ( Buy)
Tlingit Spelling Book--Aan Aduspelled X'úx': This book is for learning to pronounce and spell Tlingit. It is designed for: (1) Tlingit speakers who want to learn to spell; (2) students taking a course in spoken Tlingit; and (3) adults learning Tlingit through self-study. This book can help teach children to spell Tlingit, but should not be used to teach them to speak Tlingit. The Tlingit Spelling Book complements Beginning Tlingit, and is recommended as an accompaniment. By Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer. 4th Edition, Sealaska Heritage Institute Press, 1999, 52 pp., Oversized, with one audio CD. $26. Paperback & CD.
10 Sitka Herring: Learn to count by tracing the fate of a herring school from 10 to one fish as they encounter Southeast Alaska predators! Herring and herring eggs are a traditional and important food in Southeast Alaska. Written by Pauline Duncan. Illustrated by David Lang. $10. Boardbook. This volume was produced through SHI's Baby Raven Reads program for Alaska Native families with children age 5 and under. The program promotes language development and school readiness. (Buy)
Baby Eagle: In Southeast Alaska, the Tlingit and Haida are divided into Raven and Eagle groups. Learn about the beings and creatures that belong to the Eagle clans! Eagle clan illustrations by Crystal Worl. Environmental illustrations by Nobu Koch. $10. Boardbook. This volume was produced through SHI's Baby Raven Reads program for Alaska Native families with children age 5 and under. The program promotes language development and school readiness. (Buy)
Baby Raven: In Southeast Alaska, the Tlingit and Haida are divided into Raven and Eagle groups. Learn about the beings and creatures that belong to the Raven clans! Eagle clan illustrations by Crystal Worl. Environmental illustrations by Nobu Koch. $10. Boardbook. This volume was produced through SHI's Baby Raven Reads program for Alaska Native families with children age 5 and under. The program promotes language development and school readiness. (Buy)
Killer Whale Eyes:This children's book tells the story of a young Haida girl born with blue eyes who has a deep bond with the sea and its creatures. As a young woman, she paddles out to sea in a canoe and is lost. Her family searches for her for four seasons. Then, one day, while singing I am a Child of the Ocean, their dagwáang’s (dear one’s) special song, they are suddenly surrounded by killer whales. As her chanáa (grandfather) looks into the eyes of one of the whales, he recognizes his granddaughter. What they discover is that ever-so-quiet wonder that tells them this world is truly magic. Wnd illustrated by Sondra Simone Segundo of the Raven Clan, Double Fin Killer Whale Crest, Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute in 2014. $15. Paperback with CD. (Buy)
Art Books and Other
Wood Carving: How to Cave a Tlingit Hat: Learn the ancient Tlingit tradition of wood carving with Tlingit artist Richard Beasley. This full color photo book will take you step-by-step through projects showing how to make a traditional hat, paint and paintbrushes. You'll also learn how to inlay abalone and opercula into wood. Learn from the accomplished carver Richard Beasley -- a lifelong artist with more than three decades of experience. The projects were documented over three years through a federal grant from the Administration for Native Americans. Most of the photos were taken by the well-known Juneau photographer Mark Kelley. Each project is preceded by an historical overview written by former SHI Ethnologist Kathy Miller. SHI President Rosita Worl wrote the foreword for the books, which were edited and designed by Kathy Dye. $20. Paperback. ( Buy)
Tlingit Wood Carving: How to Cave a Tlingit Mask: Learn the ancient Tlingit tradition of wood carving with Tlingit artist Richard Beasley. This full color photo book will take you step-by-step through projects showing how to make a traditional mask, paint and paintbrushes. You'll also learn how to inlay abalone and opercula into wood. Learn from the accomplished carver Richard Beasley -- a lifelong artist with more than three decades of experience. The projects were documented over three years through a federal grant from the Administration for Native Americans. Most of the photos were taken by the well-known Juneau photographer Mark Kelley. Each project is preceded by an historical overview written by former SHI Ethnologist Kathy Miller. SHI President Rosita Worl wrote the foreword for the books, which were edited and designed by Kathy Dye $25. Paperback. (Buy)
A Basic Guide to Northwest Coast Formline Art: Art is integral to the life ways of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian. It surrounds us and it holds us up. Our Northwest Coast art is ingrained in the social fabric and oral histories of our clans. It is characterized by formline—a term used to describe the unique artistic style of the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast. Formline is a composition of lines whose widths vary to create form. The overall collection of these compose an image or design. The formline designs may represent stories of Raven (the Trickster), historic events, clan crests, or other concepts. Formline is an art that dates back more than two thousand years. In this booklet we aim to provide a concise and easy-to-understand guide for interpreting Northwest Coast formline art. - compiled by Rico Lanaat' Worl, Shaadoo'tlaa, and Donald Heendei Gregory. Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute in 2014. $15. Paperback.
Haa Léelk’w Hás Aaní Saax’ú: Our Grandparents’ Names on the Land: A landmark book documenting more than 3,000 Native place names and their locations in Southeast Alaska. Nearly twenty years in the making, it is the most comprehensive study of its kind. It was compiled by Dr. Thomas Thornton in collaboration with hundreds of people, including area Tribes and Elders, under several grants administered by Harold Martin through the Southeast Native Subsistence Commission and Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. The vast majority of place names in the book are of Tlingit origin. But there are also Haida place names, and some Tsimshian Eyak, Chugach and Athabaskan names. The chapters are organized by kwáan, traditional community territories which roughly correspond to modern community areas. Each chapter includes a narrative and concludes with a map showing place name locations along with a table listing the Native names, translations and locations. Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute in association with the University of Washington Press in 2012. Winner of the Alaska Historical Society's 2012 "Contributions to Alaska History Award" and the Alaska Library Association's "Alaskana Award." $60, Hardcover. $30, Paperback. (Buy)
Celebration: Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian Dancing on the Land: Find yourself in Sealaska Heritage Institute's first photo book of Celebration. Includes images by Bill Hess from the first Celebration through 2006. Includes brief articles written by Rosita Worl and features essays by Dr. Maria Williams, a Tlingit who holds a PhD in music, and Robert Davidson, a well-known Haida artist who has carved some of the stunning masks featured at Celebration. It also includes a foreword by Byron Mallott, a Sealaska director and well-known Native leader who was elected Alaska Lt. Governor in 2014. Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute in association with the University of Washington Press, 2008. Recommended by CHOICE, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries (a division of the American Library Association). $20. Hardcover. ( Buy)
Celebration 2000--Restoring Balance Through Culture: Features 23 major contributions by traditional and academic scholars on Southeast Alaska topics, such as Alaska history, language, culture, arts, and literature, and includes essays by 13 Native authors. Celebration 2000 can be used as a textbook, a reference, or just for pleasurable reading. Edited by Susan W. Fair and Rosita Worl, includes a comprehensive bibliography, 206 pp. Paperback. Published by Sealaska Heritage Institute. $15. Paperback. (Buy)