Sealaska Heritage


celebration 2024

The application period is now open for SHI's Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition, Juried Youth Art Exhibit, Juried Film Festivaldance groups, 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. 


This beginning/intermediate formline class will be using iPad Pros to draw digitally in Procreate. You will learn how to identify and create basic formline shapes digitally, and how they relate to each other. COST: $50 All tools and supplies will be provided by SHI. (Flyer)

Skin Sewing

Applicants based in Kasaan, Angoon & Skagway will receive priority acceptance. COST: $100 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. Participants will learn how to make a double-sided pillow, keyhole scarf, or an infinity scarf. (Flyer)

new book
slavery in alaska

SHI has published a landmark book on the era of Indigenous slavery in Alaska that endured more than two decades after passage of the 13th Amendment to the federal constitution, which abolished the practice two years before Alaska became part of the United States in 1867. The book tells the story of Sah Quah, a Haida man who embarked on a courageous quest for freedom from his Tlingit owner.

Beginning Formline

This Beginning Formline Design class is offered by Sealaska Heritage Institute and the University of Alaska Southeast. Study of the basic elements and structure of traditional Northwest Coast formline design. COST: $75 registration fee (only $90 UAS credit fee for 3 credits, transferable to IAIA). (Flyer)


Students will learn how to complete 1 pair of elk hide moccasins in a size of their choosing. SHI will provide all supplies and tools needed to complete your project. No experience is necessary to be successful in this class. COST: $75 (Flyer)

Chilkat robe acquisition
robe tells of legal struggle

SHI has acquired a Chilkat robe with a Ravenstail insert that documents the struggle to adhere to Tlingit law and protect Indigenous intellectual property rights. The child’s robe features Chilkat designs and a fragment from a former retail item that depicts a Ravenstail design.

Language reading standards
Public meeting in february

A public agency has tapped Sealaska Heritage to produce the state’s first-ever Alaska Native language reading standards, and the institute is inviting language educators and speakers, community members and allies to a virtual meeting in February.To be successful, SHI will need to tap the wisdom of Alaskans across the state.

Book wins honor!
Baby Raven Reads

SHI's book “Celebration” has won a 2024 American Indian Youth Literature Picture Book Honor from the American Indian Library Association (AILA). AILA, an affiliate of the American Library Association, gives biennial awards to identify and honor “the best writings and illustrations for youth, by and about Native American and Indigenous peoples of North America.”

historic chilkat robe

Six people in the Lower 48 have purchased an historic naaxein (Chilkat robe) at auction and donated it to Sealaska Heritage, where it can be studied by artists to perpetuate this ancient and endangered art form. The old robe has great historical significance because its design appeared on the first robe of its kind traded from the Tsimshian to the Chilkat Tlingits in Klukwan.


Sealaska Heritage, in collaboration with Hydaburg Cooperative Association will sponsor an in-person, hand skin-sewing workshop in Sitka with teacher Louise Kadinger from January 25-28. Space is limited.
COST: $100. (Flyer)


Sealaska Heritage, in collaboration with Sitka Tribe of Alaska will sponsor an in-person, hand skin-sewing workshop in Sitka with teacher Robert Miller from January 18-21. Space is limited.
COST: $100. Shee Atika scholarships are available. FREE if you are a STA citizen. (Flyer)

Engraving Intensive

An beginner/intermediate introduction to Northwest Coast metal and jewelry work, with a focus on design transfer, engraving, and basic shaping metals for jewelry. SHI will provide a flat travel stipend of $500 for students traveling from out of town. To find out whether or not you would be eligible for assistance, contact Natasha Phillips at or 907-586-9167. (Flyer)

new language apps
Haida, Tsimshian

SHI has launched its first apps that teach the Haida (X̱aad Kíl) and Tsimshian (Shm’algyack) languages, both of which are considered to be endangered. Two of the free apps teach vocabulary and phrases in Haida and Tsimshian, while another teaches Native words for birds and ocean animals in an interactive environment. Both are available for iOS and Android mobile devices.

Sealaska scholarships
Application period open

The enrollment period for Sealaska scholarship applications is open for the 2024-2025 school year. The deadline to apply is March 1, 2024. However, Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is offering a $50 incentive to those who complete their scholarship application on or before Feb. 1...(more)

Celebration 2024
Juried Film Festival

SHI for the first time will sponsor a Juried Film Festival in an effort to support Indigenous storytelling through digital media. Entries must be 5-10 minutes in length and created within the past 2 years. The films may cover any topic and can be live action, stop motion or animated...(more).

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