Wednesday, November 4, 2009

SHI to Sponsor Lecture Series for Native American History Month

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a noon lecture series in November to celebrate Native American Month. The brown-bag lunch series will focus on topics such as Native history and languages, Native art and the statehood movement. “Native people have such a rich history in Alaska, but much of it is not taught in schools,” said SHI President Rosita Worl. “We hope to highlight our history in November in honor of Native American Month.”

Tlingit leader Byron Mallott will give a lecture on Monday, Nov. 2, on the development of Alaska Native corporations created under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the efforts by Alaska Natives to transform the corporations into “Native” institutions in the face of Congress’ competing intent to assimilate Alaska Natives economically through profit-making corporations. Mallott is the former CEO and President of Sealaska Corporation and serves as a Fellow with the First Alaskans Institute. He is the clan leader of the Kwaashk’i Kwáan Clan of Yakutat.

Jeane Breinig will give a lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 4, on Southeast Native perspectives on statehood. Breinig is an associate professor of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Her teaching and research areas include American Indian and Alaska Native literature, American literature, and American ethnic literature. Her publications include articles and books documenting Alaska Native oral histories. She is Haida, originally from Kasaan, TáasLáanas, Raven Brown Bear.

Jordan Lachler will give a lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 10, on Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian linguistic origins and relationships. Lachler is a linguist at Sealaska Heritage Institute who specializes in Haida. He is the editor of an upcoming Haida dictionary and phrasebook to be published by Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Daniel Lee Henry will give a lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 17, on nineteenth century encounters between Natives and non-Natives in Chilkat country. Henry is an award-winning author, teacher and journalist based in the Haines area. He has recorded numerous oral histories of Chilkat/Chilkoot Tlingit Elders and is currently working on the book Dancing at Deer Rock: Toward Community Among Warriors, a rhetorical history of land use confrontation in the communities of the Northern Lynn Canal.

Wally Olson will give a lecture on Thursday, Nov. 19, on contact between Alaska Natives and European explorers in the late nineteenth century. Olson will show from specific events that most of the time the explorers (not always the fur traders later) and Native people got along well because it was a win-win situation. The explorers wanted information, and the Natives wanted trade goods, so they were "pragmatic partners." Olson is an author, a professor of Anthropology (Emeritus) with the University of Alaska Southeast and a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association.

Richard and Nora Marks Dauenhauer will give a lecture on Tuesday, Nov. 24, on relations between Russians and Tlingit from the 1790s through 1818, an era when Russians expanded into Southeast Alaska to take control of the Northwest Coast fur trade. The Dauenhauers have written numerous award-winning books on Native culture and history, including Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká: Russians in Tlingit America, The Battles of Sitka 1802 and 1804, winner of the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation.

The lectures will be held from 12-1 pm in the 4th floor boardroom at Sealaska Plaza in Juneau. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunch.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a regional nonprofit representing the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures.


James Crippen said...

Are there plans to record these lectures for posterity? It would be nice to have them recorded and archived, even if the quality is not that of a television studio.

SHI Archivist said...


We are working to ensure they are kept for posterity, and also made available via the internet for those who can't attend in person. For those that can't attend, the lectures we will be uploaded to the web and we will post a link to them on our webpage, so anyone can watch the lectures. Byron Mallot's lecture has already been posted on our website, which can be accessed via the web address below. Others will soon follow and I'll be making a blog post about yesterday's lecture in the next few days. Thanks again for your interest and let us know if we can ever assist you with your research.

Zach Jones
Head of SHI Special Collections