Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) sponsors biennial Celebrations and other events for the cultural enrichment and enjoyment of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian and to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. Photographers, filmmakers and other recorders attend SHI events hoping to document regalia, dances, and Native people. Many dancers wear Native regalia with clan crests, perform dances and present clan objects that are proprietary and historic. Under Native traditional law, clans own crests, stories, songs, and much of the regalia and crests are protected by copyright. SHI adopts this policy to protect the clan ownership of their intellectual property and limit commercialization of Celebration and SHI sponsored activities, while permitting appropriate photography and other recordings:
Photography and recording is permitted only in public performance areas, and photographers shall not interfere with any participant's enjoyment of Celebration. Flash photography, use of props, disturbing or seeking to pose performers, rearranging backdrops, and changing of lighting are expressly prohibited. Courtesy requires obtaining permission from an individual (not group) subject before taking his or her picture or recording them.
News Media Photography
Any individual, organization or company wishing to engage in still photography, audio recording, videotaping or filming for broadcast or public news dissemination by any means on or in property used for SHI Celebrations must obtain permission by registering in advance with an appropriate SHI official. By registering, news agencies agree not to reproduce their work in any forum other than print or broadcast news, and further agree not to sell their work for any non-news use. Recordings are to be used only for news coverage of Celebration. Only excerpts of twenty seconds or less of songs may be used for news coverage. Broadcast or use of songs in their entirety is prohibited without written permission from clans that own the songs.
Personal-use photography is allowed. Non-tribal members who want to photograph or record Celebration for personal use must register. Tribal members do not have to register. SHI will assist the owners in enforcing their copyright in the event any personal-use photograph or recording is sold.
Documentarians and Bloggers
Any individual, organization or company wishing to engage in still photography, audio recording, videotaping or filming for documentaries or blogs by any means on or in property used for SHI Celebrations must obtain permission by submitting a request to SHI’s media department at least three months prior to Celebration. SHI will evaluate requests by documentarians and bloggers to document Celebration on a case-by-case basis. Any use of Celebration photos or recordings in projects must be in line with SHI’s mission to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures and its goals to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. Documentarians and bloggers shall be required to prominently credit SHI for allowing use of the materials.
If SHI grants such a request, the requestor must complete a license agreement furnished by SHI and abide by all terms therein. By signing the agreement, documentarians and bloggers agree not to reproduce their work in any forum other than the project identified in the agreement and further agree not to sell their work for any other use. Only excerpts of twenty seconds or less of songs may be used for projects. Use of songs in longer excerpts or their entirety is prohibited without written permission from clans that own the songs.
Commercial photography, recording, video-taping or filming of any kind is expressly prohibited. SHI reserves the right to eject any person it believes is taking photographs or recordings for commercial purposes at Celebration or violating protocols noted above. SHI will help enforce copyright in the event any news media photograph, audio recording or footage is sold.
Those visitors or media personnel wishing to take photographs of any kind need to register at the photography table at Centennial Hall where you will be issued a pass allowing you to take photographs. Documentarians and bloggers must obtain written permission from SHI. Those persons taking pictures or recordings without a pass will be asked to leave. Tribal members taking photographs for personal use are not required to register.