Sealaska Heritage

EDUCATION PROGRAMS

EDUCATION PROGRAMS 

Thru the Cultural Lens

It is critical that Native cultures be incorporated into public schools and that teachers have a general understanding of the cultures. Studies have shown that Native students do better academically when they are exposed to their culture in class. To that end, Sealaska Heritage sponsors cultural orientations for teachers in public schools and at the University of Alaska through a memorandum of agreement. Participants learn Native history, Native world views, and about Northwest Coast art. SHI recently expanded this program other Southeast Alaska communities.

Through the program, SHI organizes Our Cultural Landscape: Culturally Responsive Education Conference, which is part of a larger effort to promote culturally responsive pedagogy in schools. SHI is currently accepting proposals from presenters for the 2023 conference, which is scheduled June 13-15. (Apply)

SHI will offer the conference in-person and online. This year’s theme is Latseen Káx̱ Yéi Atdaané— Gathering for Strength.  Educators in early childhood through university and community educators are encouraged to submit proposals for presentations.


Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy Program

(Enroll)

The Tlingit Culture, Language and Literacy Program (TCLL) is place-based, culture based “school within a school” where the Tlingit language and culture are integral to daily instruction, where they are celebrated and respected. TCLL in the Juneau School District (JSD) is one of three optional programs open to all students, along with Montessori Borealis School and the Juneau Community Charter School. TCLL started with Sealaska Heritage in 2000, and it proved so successful, the school district assumed funding for the program. A study in 2013 found that the incorporation of traditional tribal values of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian directly contributes to Alaska Native student success and fosters an environment to grow leadership skills, self-confidence, and creativity. SHI’s goals are to build a thorough language immersive program within TCLL, increase teacher fluency in Tlingit language, and develop TCLL into an autonomous Optional Program in the JSD. TCLL is supported through Sealaska Heritage with federal funding from the Alaska Native Education Program.

This groundbreaking program at Harborview Elementary in Juneau is expanding to grades 6 and 7 next school year, and a 9th grade class will be added for the 2024/25 school year.

  • Where do you see TCLL in the future? Join us for an in-person or virtual dialogue to share your thoughts
    Sept. 18, and Oct. 2, 2023, Sealaska Heritage Institute
    (Flyer

Baby Raven Reads

(Enroll) (Baby Raven Web) Sealaska Heritage sponsors Baby Raven Reads, an award-winning program that promotes early-literacy, language development and school readiness for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5. SHI is currently offering the program in  Anchorage, Angoon, Craig, Haines, Hoonah, Hydaburg, Juneau, Kake, Ketchikan, Klukwan, Metlakatla, Saxman, Sitka, Wrangell, and Yakutat. Special thanks to our partners: Alaska Native Heritage Center, Association of Alaska School Boards, Metlakatla Indian Community, Ketchikan Indian Community, Chilkat Indian Village, Organized Village of Kake, and AEYC-SEA.   


Raven Writes

SHI with its partners SERRC and the Juneau School District designed Raven Writes to meet the needs of Alaska Native students in developing and improving their proficiency in writing. The project's research-supported strategies include the development of kits based on Alaska Native storytelling and practices, summer camps for the advancement of Alaska Native students' learning, summer writing institutes for teachers, and the publication of anthologies and celebrations of children's writing. 

Raven Writes Summer Camp 

  • Raven Writes: Primary School Session: July 5-14 (for students entering grades K-2)
  • Raven Writes Intermediate Session: July 17-28 (for students entering grades 3-5) 

Opening the Box: STEAM  (science, technology, engineering, art and math)

The institute works with public school teachers through its STEAM program, which teaches math skills to middle-school students through Northwest Coast art. Teams of teachers, artists, and SHI staff are producing, field testing, and disseminating a series of supplemental math resources that incorporate Tlingit culture and language geared for beginning algebra and geometry courses. SHI is building the model for use in Southeast Alaska by adapting nationally recognized, successful math programs developed by other organizations outside the region. The institute also collaborates and provides support to teachers through its high school STEAM program, establishing a regional traditional knowledge community of practice that includes STEAM educators and cultural specialists to design and offer culturally relevant STEAM curriculum for Alaska Native students transitioning into high school. SHI supplements traditional knowledge curriculum with opportunities outside of school to build student identity as STEAM professionals that is aligned with cultural values. These include a STEAM network of professionals to provide mentorship, coaching, role modeling, and internship/job shadowing opportunities for Alaska Native students. Middle school contact: paul.leininger@sealaska.com, high school contact: elle.gray-smith@sealaska.com

STEAM Academy for Middle School

  • (Flyer)
  • July 20-30, 2023
  • Application period opens March 6
  • Open to students entering grades 6-8, SHI will fund travel and accommodations for students living outside of Juneau

STEAM Academy for High School

  • (Flyer)
  • June 2-11, 2023
  • Application period opens March 6
  • Open to students entering grades 9-12, SHI will fund travel and accommodations for students living outside of Juneau

STEAM Summer Internship

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • June 13-July 19, 2024
  • Application deadline: March 29, 2024
  • Open to rising juniors, rising seniors, and graduating seniors/GED attainers of the class of 2024 in Southeast Alaska who are descendants of Native Alaskans and Native Americans

STEAM Student Mentorships

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • Spring 2024
  • Opportunities for field work, job shadows, and networking with professionals in our communities

STEAM Mentors

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • Spring 2024
  • Share your experience with Alaska Native and Native American students on the benefits and realities of post-secondary training and entering a STEAM field.

STEAM Hosts

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • June 13-July 19, 2024
  • Application deadline: March 29, 2024
  • Host organizations are called upon to provide five weeks of work experience for graduating high school seniors. The goal is to provide these college or career bound students with hands on work experience that incorporates STEAM education and concepts. 

STEAM Plant Workshops

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • Saturdays, 9 am- 2 pm, June 3-July 8, 2023
  • For students entering grades 6-8 and their families
  • This is a Juneau-based STEAM makerspace learning series taught by Vivian Yéilk’ Mork.   

STEAM Canoe Forest (Dual Credit)

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • Spring 2024
  • For high school students
  • This course gives opportunity to learn more about the unique heritage of your specific forest community in Southeast Alaska. (UAS)

STEAM Marine Science (Dual Credit)

  • (Apply) (Flyer)
  • Summer 2024
  • For high school students
  • This course focuses on the marine ecosystem in Southeast Alaska. (UAS)

Traditional Games

(Register) (Website)

The Native Youth Olympics Traditional Games is a statewide sport that includes 10 different events or games to test skills of strength, agility, balance, endurance and focus. These games are based on hunting and survival skills of the indigenous people of Alaska and across the arctic going back hundreds of years. Each year, teams of high school and middle school athletes from across the state travel to Anchorage to take part in the Sr. Native Youth Olympics. More than 500 athletes from over 100 communities, split into male and female division, compete for 1st-5th place medals in the 10 events. Athletes strive to perform at their personal best while helping and supporting their fellow competitors, no matter what team. This is the spirit of the games, to work together toward common goals and learn from the skills and values that allowed Alaska Native people to survive and thrive in some of the harshest conditions. 

In order to take part in the Sr. Native Youth Olympics, athletes must be currently enrolled and in good standing in a middle school, high school or GED program and between the ages of 12-19. They do NOT need to be Alaska Native. 

For more information contact kyle.worl@gmail.com or 907.227.4998.  This program is open to all Juneau students. (Instructional Videos)

Upcoming events:

  • Coach training: Online via Zoom or in person in Juneau, Sept. 16, 2023. (Register) (Flyer 

Indigenizing Education for Alaska (IEA)

(Apply)

Sealaska Heritage, in partnership with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), operates Indigenizing Education For Alaska (IEA), a program that builds on the success of the PITAAS (Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools) program to grow the number of Alaska Native teachers and administrators and improve educational opportunities for Alaska Native students. Our theory of change is that if we support Alaska Native teacher and school leadership recruitment, preparation, and retention, then we will create a more representative Alaskan teaching force that will shape an educational system that will better serve Alaska Native students.   


Voices on the Land

The goal of Voices on the Land is to improve literacy skills and increase the use of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian language through performing arts and digital storytelling. Through the program's in-school residencies, students create theatrical productions, scripts, digital stories, and illustrated storybooks based on traditional knowledge and share their productions with peers, family, and the community. 

Voices on the Land Summer Storytelling Intensive (Session 1, In-Person):

  • June 19-30, 2023 (2 weeks, in-person)
  • Open for: Juneau students entering grades 5-8, Floyd Dryden Middle School, all day
  • Apply, application deadline: May 24
  • Supplies: In-person participants will have access to all necessary supplies. Program devices (iPads) will be available for participants to use for the duration of the project. 
  • Contact: Linda Frame • 907-586-9182 • linda.frame@sealaska.com ​  

Voices on the Land Summer Storytelling Intensive (Session 2, Virtual):

  • July 17-28, 2023 (2 weeks, virtual)
  • Open for: Students entering grades 5-8
  • Apply, application deadline: June 1
  • Supplies:  Participants will receive a camp package delivered to your home that will include all materials, program devices (iPads), and supplies needed to participate. Access to the internet is necessary for participation. The use of a separate device for Zoom will be helpful but not required. 
  • Contact: Linda Frame • 907-586-9182 • linda.frame@sealaska.com 

Scholarships

Sealaska and Judson Brown Scholarships

(Application) (Required Documents) (Schedule) Sealaska Heritage Institute provides scholarships to Alaska Natives who are Sealaska Shareholders and Descendants for college, university, and vocational and technical schools. The annual awards are funded mostly by Sealaska.  Applications must be filled out and submitted online. Send questions to scholarship@sealaska.com.  
Sealaska Scholarship

  • Students must be Alaska Native shareholders or shareholder descendants attending an accredited school.
  • Opens: December 15, Closes: March 1
  • Award amount: Varies
  • Contact: scholarship@sealaska.com

Judson Brown Leadership Award

  • Students must be Sealaska scholarship recipients attending at full-time status.
  • Application is by invitation only.
  • Award amount: $5,000
  • Contact: scholarship@sealaska.com

Ruth Demmert Leadership Award

  • Students must be Sealaska scholarship recipients majoring in Alaska Native Languages.
  • Application is by invitation only.
  • Award amount: $5,000
  • Contact: scholarship@sealaska.com

 

Northwest Coast Art & Museums Studies Scholarships

NWC Art & Museum Studies Scholarships are available to undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing arts and science degrees with a focus in studio arts, performing arts, cinematic arts and technology, or creative writing, and who incorporate Northwest Coast Arts studies in their degree; or a degree with a concentration in museum studies

Fall 2023 Semester:

  • Students must be attending full-time at an eligible school: Northwest Coast Art degree studies: UAS or IAIA; Museum studies: any USA college
  • Opens: May 15, Closes: July 14
  • Award amount: $1,000 – $5,000
  • Contact: jay.zeller@sealaska.com

Spring 2024 Semester:

  • Students must be attending full-time at an eligible school: Northwest Coast Art degree studies: UAS or IAIA; Museum studies: any USA college
  • Opens: November 8, Closes: December 15
  • Award amount: $1,000 – $5,000
  • Contact: jay.zeller@sealaska.com

 

Our Ancestors' Echoes Language Scholarship

SHI is funding UAS students interested in taking courses in X̱aad Kíl, Sm'algyáx, and Lingít through Our Ancestors Echoes. Through the program SHI will also fund language teachers at UAS to provide free, non-credited language classes. The funding will be available each semester throughout the duration of the three-year project, beginning with the spring 2023 semester and concluding with the spring 2025 semester. Preference will go to applicants who are majoring in a field related to language and to those who are working towards a heritage language teaching or speaking certificate.

  • Students must be Alaska Native shareholders or shareholder descendants enrolled in an Alaska Native language course.
  • Open: One to two months before each semester begins through Spring 2025 semester.
  • Award amount: Tuition for one heritage language course.
  • Contact: leah.urbanski@sealaska.com

 

Indigenizing Education for Alaska Scholarship

(Apply) Through a partnership between UAS and SHI, Indigenizing Education for Alaska provides scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance to educator preparation programs, and dedicated staff to provide intensive student-centered support. IEA also supports the UAS School of Education to indigenize their educator preparation program by providing opportunities for professional learning.

  • Students must be Alaska Native enrolled full or part-time at UAS as a junior/senior undergraduate or graduate student pursuing an education certificate/degree.
  • Open: One month before each semester begins through Spring 2025 semester.
  • Award amount: Varies
  • Contact: IEA@sealaska.com

In response to the soaring cost of getting a college education, AffordableColleges.com has compiled a useful guide to financial aid for minority students to help students. 

   


Survey

Sealaska Heritage is conducting three short surveys to better serve the interests and needs of the Alaska Native community. Everything you share with us will remain anonymous.

  • If you are a stakeholder (a Sealaska shareholder, Alaska Native, a community member, a teacher or someone with an interest in SHI’s programs), fill out this survey.
     
  • If you are an Alaska Native high school student and/or a former participant of SHI’s Latseen Leadership Academy, fill out this survey.
     
  • If you are a past or current recipient of a Sealaska scholarship and/or a past Sealaska intern, fill out this survey.

Thanks in advance for participating!


Volunteer

(Application) SHI could not succeed without the help of its volunteers! If you are interested in supporting SHI as a volunteer, please fill out our application.

SHI is building the model for use in Southeast Alaska by adapting nationally recognized, successful math programs developed by other organizations outside the region. ​

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