Sealaska Heritage


celebration 2024

The application period is now open for SHI's Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition, Juried Youth Art Exhibit, and Native Artist Market, which will be held during Celebration 2024, scheduled June 5-8. Applications for other associated events and dance groups coming soon. The application period for SHI's Celebration art contest is also now online.

Intermediate Formline

Students will learn to draw, recognize and interpret historical, universal forms of Classical Formline (used by the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Nisga’a, Gitxsan, Haisla, and Heiltsuk Nations) from the 18th and 19th centuries. Through hands-on experiential learning, students will gain an understanding of the process of composing designs within this complex design system. (Flyer)

Beginning Carving

At this beginner carving class students will learn how to carve a tináa-shaped shield out of red cedar. The tináa is traditionally made out of copper and represents wealth, status, and prestige. Through this project, students will learn how to use an adze, and carving knives, both curved and straight. Once it is carved, the tináa will be sanded down and painted with possible formline design. The class will include the history of copper shields and indigenous language. (Flyer)


This sewing class is offered by Sealaska Heritage Institute and the University of Alaska Southeast and funded by NWC arts through its Arts Campus as part of implementation for Our Box of Treasures: Deepening the connections, an ANEP grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. (Flyer)

Celebration 2024
Art contest

SHI is holding a contest to solicit a design for Celebration, a biennial dance and culture festival that celebrates Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures. SHI is seeking a Northwest Coast art design that depicts the theme: Together We Live in Balance, which incorporates two significant concepts. The work will be featured in all Celebration materials. (Apply)

Tlingit language
gesture system project

SHI is launching a groundbreaking new program to document gestures used in concert with Tlingit oral narratives and to investigate whether similar structures existed for Haida and Tsimshian languages. The practice, known as the Tlingit Gesture System (TGS), could be a jumping off point to developing sign languages for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. 

Art, museum studies

SHI is recruiting undergraduate and graduate students for paid museum and art internships in partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in New Mexico. Candidates will get hands-on experience in museum sciences and art practices through these paid positions.

Spring 2024

Our Ancestors' Echoes: X̱aad Kíl, Sm'algyax, and Lingít is a 3-year language project through Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) that began in 2022. In this project, SHI will fund University of Alaska Southeast students interested in receiving credit for a X̱aad Kíl, Sm'algyax, and Lingít language course. To apply for Spring 2024 language course scholarship funding, please review the eligibility requirements below and fill out this application no later than Monday, January 1st, 2024. (Flyer)

Glowforge Laser Cutter

Learn how to design and create using a Glowforge laser cutter. The first two classes will focus on instruction and completing introductory projects using wood, acrylic, and felt. Saturday will be open studio time to practice the skills you've learned and make on your own! All materials provided.
Application deadline: Dec 1, 2023, 4:00 PM. (Flyer


Sealaska Heritage in partnership with Chilkat Indian Village will sponsor an in-person, hand skin-sewing workshop in Klukwan with teacher Jeremiah James from Dec 7-10. Space is limited. $100 fee covers a sea otter hide at a $350 value, as well as patterns, supplies, and instruction. For information on scholarships, contact or 907.586.9277. (Flyer)

Chasing & Repousee

This beginning Chasing and Repousse class shall introduce students to basic Chasing and Repousse techniques utilizing hammers and varied tools. Rudolph M. Isturis will be the instructor. Students will create a pendant. (Flyer)

Any Given Child
2023 Art excursions

SHI will open its Walter Soboleff Building to all second-grade students in the Juneau School District as part of a national program to promote experiences and learning in the arts to all children. This year’s arts excursion to the Walter Soboleff Building is scheduled for Nov. 27-29 and Dec. 1. 


All tools and supplies will be provided by SHI. For this workshop SHI provides a sea otter hide at a $450 value for each participant as well as patterns and basic supplies. Beaver hide will be given to those who don't meet blood quantum requirements. Participants will learn how to make a pillbox hat, keyhole scarf, or a malagg’aayaq (trapper style hat). COST $100, (Flyer)

2024 Summer
Programs Information

2024 Summer Programs information is now available. These programs are for Alaska Native students of all grade levels! Find more information about program specifics and when applications open -  (Flyer)


In this class, students will learn how to construct the types of formline designs that cover the surfaces of boxes, chests, large partition screens, house fronts, and myriad smaller objects across Southeast Alaska. This will be taught by Robert Mills and preference will be given to members of the Kake community, Sealaska Shareholders and descendants, and Alaska Natives. COST: $50, supplies provided. (Flyer)

native leaders

SHI sponsored a free lecture in November on Alaska Native leadership from the late 1800s to modern times in honor of Walter Soboleff Day. In his talk, Hall of Famers in History: Decades of Leadership, longtime Tlingit leader Edward K. Thomas laid out how tribal relations to the United States have changed over the decades...(more)


SHI will provide Alaska Native Arts and Museum scholarship support for the Spring 2024 semester to undergraduate and graduate students. Click APPLY for more information. (Flyer


Beginning Carving: Paddle Making
SHI will offer a beginning class on how to carve paddles from Nov. 11-13 with teacher Jim Zeller and his assistant Yarrow Vaara. This is a beginner’s level class. No previous carving or formline experience is required to apply. Cost: $25 All tools and supplies will be provided by SHI. (Flyer)

spring, summer classes

Sealaska Heritage is offering free dual credit, asynchronous classes for high school students this spring and summer semester through the University of Alaska Southeast. Students will receive 3 college credits and will be eligible for ½ high school science credit. (Flyer)



Fort Wrangell Under Construction 1868

Sealaska Heritage recently sponsored a lecture on the 1869 Bombardment of the Tlingit Villages of Ḵaachx̱haan.áak’w (Wrangell), Ḵéex̱' Ḵwáan (Kake), and Xutsnoowú Ḵwáan (Angoon). Presented by Zachary Jones, Ph.D., the lecture will be given at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 7, at the Walter Soboleff Building and live streamed on SHI’s YouTube channel. The presentation is free and open to the public... (more)

Canadian residential system

SHI  will sponsor a free on Friday, Oct. 13, on Canada’s controversial residential school system, which was comprised of government-sponsored religious schools established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. In her talk, Dr. Georgina Martin will discuss the Truth and Reconciliation Commission established by Canada’s federal government.

bio sampling

Seal Science: Into the Ocean: The importance of bio sampling for the preservation of Indigenous seal hunting practices: Wooch Yáx and Haa Aaní — values of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures which prioritize balance and the protection of land — are the same ones applied to culturally responsible seal hunting...(more)


Join our in-person or virtual dialogue to share your thoughts and ideas for the future of the Tlingit Culture, Language, and Literacy (TCLL) Program at one of our upcoming community dialogues. Information gathered at each event will be used to create a 5-year strategic plan for the TCLL program. held in partnership with TCLL and the Association of Alaska School Boards. (Flyer)

Blog: Seal Science
Evolution of hunting

Seal Science: An Evolution of Traditional Subsistence Hunting: From the Faroe Islands to Southeast Alaska: To understand a science, especially one as old as Indigenous hunting and fishing, you must first understand the culture in which it exists. Non-Indigenous folks and policy makers often make calls to outlaw Indigenous traditional subsistence hunting practices...(more).