Sealaska Heritage


New Arts Campus
SHI kicks off campaign

(Website) (Brochure) (Donate) (Construction Begins!) SHI has officially launched its fundraising campaign to build a Native arts campus at Heritage Square, kicking off what will become a preeminent cultural space in downtown Juneau. The Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus is phase two of SHI’s vision to make Juneau the Northwest Coast arts capital of the world and to designate NWC art a national treasure. 


Juneau as arts capital
northwest coast art

By Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine — When it comes to art capitals, Rome, New York, Paris and Berlin are a few of the global hot spots that come to mind. However, if the city of Juneau, Alaska, has any say in the matter, it could very well earn a coveted spot on the list. 


SHI will sponsor a free online lecture series focusing on Alaska Native subsistence. All lectures will be livestreamed at 12 pm Alaska time on SHI’s YouTube channel and be available for viewing after the livestream.


A Fairbanks foundation has donated an exquisite Chilkat robe to Sealaska Heritage Institute in an effort to return it to its homeland. The piece, which is small and apparently made for a child, was woven in the traditional way using cedar bark. The robe’s exact origins and the name of the weaver are unknown.

Celebration 1982
Video Released

Sealaska Heritage has digitized and put online video of its premiere Celebration, a dance-and-culture festival first held in 1982 that has grown into the world’s largest gathering of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people. The entire event, which was documented on a now-obsolete video platform, is now viewable for the first time in decades on SHI’s YouTube channel. (Watch)

Celebration 2021

SHI's board of trustees has opted to cancel Celebration 2021, which was tentatively scheduled for June this year after the coronavirus sidelined the in-person event in 2000. The decision came today after the board assessed the latest scientific evidence on the state of the pandemic. 

baby raven reads
New Books

SHI has published four new books through its award-winning Baby Raven Reads program, including an original Raven story written by children and three books that teach the Lingít and Sm’algya̱x languages. The release includes Raven and the Hidden Halibut, an origin story based on traditional oral narratives. In the story,Halibut invites Raven to a game of hide and seek, and Raven is surprised how well Halibut, a bright white fish, can hide.

Spruce-root weaving
Old technique rediscovered

Two artists participating in Sealaska Heritage's spruce-root mentorship program have discovered what is thought to be an old weaving technique that was lost to time. Haida master weaver Delores Churchill and her apprentice, Tlingit and Haida artist Debbie Aanutein Head, made the find while studying an old spruce-root hat housed at the Alaska State Museum.

App Period Open

SHI is accepting applications for Sealaska scholarships for the 2021-2022 scholar year. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2021. However, SHI is offering a $50 incentive to those who complete their scholarship application on or before Feb. 1 and who are accepted as scholarship recipients...(more)


SHI has sent 1,300 learning kits to middle school students in six communities enrolled in its Opening the Box: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education program.  The boxes, known as “Maker Kits,” were delivered to middle schools in Angoon, Sitka, Hoonah, Wrangell, Klawock and Juneau. 

Community sessions

SHI is accepting applications for its community language sessions, which will begin in February 2021. These Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian sessions will be offered virtually and open to learners at all language levels. Offered through a partnership between Sealaska Heritage and the University of Alaska Southeast.

virtual 3-d exhibit
war and peace

SHI has unveiled its first-ever virtual 3-D exhibit in an effort to open the space to people worldwide during the pandemic. The site offers visitors a free tour of SHI’s exhibit War and Peace, which closed in April due to the pandemic and was reinvented as a virtual platform for the first Friday of December...(more)

New Video Tutorials
Chilkat, Ravenstail Prep

SHI has released a video series that teaches how to prepare materials to make Chilkat and Ravenstail robes in an effort to support artists and spark a cottage industry, especially in rural areas. The six-part series, which features the noted weaver Lily Hope, gives step-by-step tutorials on how to boil bark, prepare wool, thigh-spin warp and dye weft with copper, hemlock bark and moss.

New U.S. stamp

The U.S. Postal Service has tapped a Tlingit artist based in Juneau to create a Northwest Coast art stamp for distribution in 2021. The design of the stamp, titled “Raven Story” by Rico Lanáat’ Worl, was unveiled this week by the Postal Service as part of its Forever Stamps series. SHI is working with the agency to hold a release ceremony next year.


david katzeek kingeisti

A virtual memorial ceremony has been scheduled for Shangukeidí (Thunderbird) Clan Leader David Katzeek, who Walked Into the Forest on Oct. 28 at the age of 77. The event marks the first time a traditional memorial ceremony will be held virtually in order to keep the clan leaders, family members and well-wishers safe during the pandemic. (Watch Ceremony) (Memorial Website)

new pledge

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has pledged $400,000 toward construction of the Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus, currently being built in Juneau by SHI. The donation, which will be given only when the institute raises the remaining balance needed to finish construction, would put SHI a step closer to its fundraising goal of $13 million. The institute still needs to raise about $2 million.

northwest coast art

SHI will sponsor a free online lecture series on Northwest Coast art featuring artists David R. Boxley, Lily Hope, Nicholas Galanin, Melissa Shaginoff and Joel Isaak, Preston Singletary, Crystal and Rico Worl and Alison Bremner, scholar Christopher Green and former president and CEO of the Peabody Dan Monroe.

Native American heritage

SHI will sponsor the following lectures and special event in honor of Native American Heritage Month and Walter Soboleff Day.  All lectures will be live streamed on SHI’s YouTube channel at noon. The series, which focuses on citizens and shareholders in Alaska Native corporations and tribes, is also offered as part of a one-credit course through the University of Alaska Southeast.

Native Youth Olympics
Coach Training

SHI is offering a free, online class for people who want to give back to their community by becoming a coach for Native Youth Olympics. No experience needed! For more info, contact NYO Coach Kyle Worl at or 907.227.4998. (Flyer)

delayed by pandemic

Sealaska Heritage  and Hoonah Indian Association are collaborating on a study exploring the potential biological impact of historical trauma in Alaska Native Peoples and how participation in cultural events may mediate this potential impact. Researchers planned to return to Juneau and Hoonah this year to discuss preliminary results and next steps. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers will be postponing their visit for a year.

Frog Button Blanket

A Washington State man has donated an old Frog button blanket to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) that is thought to date to the late nineteenth century. The blanket was owned by the late Ethel Kiley, who was born in Klukwan and may have been a Tlingit Raven of the Gaanaxteidí clan, which uses a Frog crest.

baby raven reads
Award for Excellence

SHI's Baby Raven Reads program is one of five recipients in the state chosen for the 2020 Contributions to Literacy in Alaska award given by the Alaska Center for the Book. The center, which is affiliated with the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, gave Baby Raven Reads its Sue Sherif Literacy Award for excellence in early childhood literacy.

baby raven reads expands
5 new communities served

Sealaska Heritage has received a federal grant to expand its award-winning Baby Raven Reads program to five additional communities in Southeast Alaska. The grant, awarded by the Alaska Native Education Program, will allow SHI to offer the early-literacy program to Alaska Native families with children ages 5 or younger in Kake, Klukwan, Haines, Metlakatla and Ketchikan.

Job OpportunitIES

SHI is seeking a culture and history director, a finance associate, an education project manager, a STEAM project coordinator, Baby Raven Reads community liaisons, and an art administrative assistant to provide support on art projects.