Monday, October 24, 2011


Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a noon lecture series to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November.

The brown-bag lunch series will focus on the impact of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) which was passed by Congress forty years ago, said SHI President Rosita Worl, adding Tlingit and Haida and Sealaska Corporation also will sponsor a November luncheon in recognition of ANCSA.

Alaska settled its Native land claims in a historic way by founding Native corporations. That was a complete departure from the way Native tribes in the Lower 48 settled land claims by forming reservations, Worl said.

“ANCSA is a very different creature than reservations, “Worl said. “I know Alaskans hear a lot about Native corporations but they might not always understand the history of ANCSA, or how corporations work.”

The lectures will be held from 12-1 pm in the 4th floor boardroom at Sealaska Plaza in Juneau. The series was sponsored by McDowell Group and Kathy Ruddy of Juneau. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunches.

12-1 pm, Sealaska Plaza, 4th Floor Boardroom (bring your own lunch)

Friday, Nov. 4

ANCSA: Good or Bad?

Byron Mallott

Fellow, First Alaskan Institute

Monday, Nov. 14

The Interrelationships Between Tribes and Corporations

Edward Thomas

President, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska

Tuesday, Nov. 15

Alaska Native Corporations and Cultural Models of Sustainability

Thomas F. Thornton

Senior Research Fellow, Environmental Change and Management, Oxford University

Monday, Nov. 21

The Legal Status of Alaska Native Corporations & Economic Self Determination

Chris McNeil

President & CEO Sealaska Corporation

Monday, Nov. 28

ANCSA: A Path to Assimilation or Cultural Survival

Rosita Worl

President, Sealaska Heritage Institute

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indians and Sealaska Corporation also will sponsor a noon luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 16, to recognize the initial Sealaska Board of Directors and Emil Notti, Chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives when Alaska Natives were pursuing the settlement of their aboriginal land claims.

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.

Photo: Guest lecturer Dan Monteith at SHI’s 2010 lecture series in Juneau,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has received a federal grant to research and migrate old Tlingit language recordings to a format that will make them more accessible to modern-day Native language students and scholars.

The $150,000, two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will allow SHI to migrate more than one hundred recordings of people speaking Tlingit from an old format to a digital format, said SHI Archivist Zachary Jones. Recordings with the potential to aid language students and educators will be placed online.

“We’re very excited about this grant because it not only helps us with our archival collections, but it also helps us with our language,” Jones said.

The oldest Tlingit recordings date to the early 1900s, and historic Tlingit recordings from that era will undergo a review. SHI will contract fluent Tlingit speakers to listen to the recordings and provide detailed information on topics such as traditional ecological knowledge and Tlingit history.

“It will help document the content of them in great detail right down to the clan or clan-house level if possible,” he said.

The grant also will fund an internship program between the institute and the University of Alaska Southeast, allowing undergraduate students studying Tlingit language to become involved in this language orientated project. And, it will establish a sharing partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Native Language Archive, meaning the organizations will donate copies of some materials in their archives to each other.

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. SHI maintains a large collection of archival materials that document the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures.

CONTACT: Zachary Jones, SHI Archivist, 907.586.9261

Thursday, October 13, 2011

100 Years of Alaska Native Brotherhood

Next year will mark the 100 year anniversary of the founding of the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB). For the first half of the 20th century, ANB and its partner organization, the Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS – founded 1926), were at times the only organizations representing Native and civil rights in Alaska. ANB and ANS were also some of the first organizations fighting for land claims in Alaska. ANB claims to be the oldest still practicing Native organization in the United States.

Photo Credit: Group photograph of ANB/ANS members at the 1954 Grand Camp Convention, Juneau. Photograph attributed to William L. Paul, Jr. PO064: Item 3, Sealaska Heritage Institute.

The accomplishment list of ANB and ANS is long, but some of the main accomplishments credited to the organizations are: voting rights for Alaska Natives prior to the Citizenship Act of 1924, civil rights reform such as the Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945, land claims extinguishment efforts leading to ANCSA, and societal reform such as improvement of health care, education, and other social safety nets for Alaska Natives.

According to the international library catalog, Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) contains the largest collection of ANB records in the world. These papers are open to the public for research and educational purposes. While SHI contains few historical ANS records, SHI hopes in the future ANS donors will contribute their historic papers to SHI to better preserve ANS and ANB’s histories.

From the historic records of ANB, SHI recently compiled a list of ANB Grand Presidents and the locations of ANB Grand Camp Conventions (a list of ANS Grand Presidents is forthcoming). This list is provided below, since SHI occasionally receives inquiries for this information. SHI seeks to promote the study of ANB and ANS’s history.

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.

List of ANB Grand Presidents and Locations
of Grand Camp Conventions, 1912-2010.
Compiled by Zachary R. Jones
Sealaska Heritage Institute Archivist

YEAR              Convention Location                           ANB Grand President

1912                Juneau                                                 Election slated for 1913
1913                Juneau                                                 Peter Simpson
1914                Sitka                                                    Peter Simpson
1915                Metlakatla                                            Peter Simpson
1916                Wrangell                                              Peter Simpson
1917                Juneau                                                 Ralph Young
1918                no convention                                       Ralph Young
1919                Juneau                                                 Ralph Young
1920                Wrangell                                              Louis F. Paul
1921                Douglas                                               Louis F. Paul
1922                Klawock                                              Andrew Hope
1923                Kake                                                   Peter Simpson
1924                Hoonah                                                Peter Simpson
1925                Hydaburg                                             Frank Price
1926                Klukwan                                              Samuel C. Davis
1927                Angoon                                                Louis F. Paul
1928                Sitka                                                    William L. Paul
1929                Haines                                                 William L. Paul
1930                Ketchikan                                             Louis Shotridge
1931                Yakutat                                                Frank G. Johnson
1932                no convention                                       Frank G. Johnson
1933                Juneau                                                 Frank Booth
1934                Saxman                                                Cyril Zuboff
1935                Wrangell                                              Cyril Zuboff
1936                Metlakatla                                            Frank G. Johnson
1937                Kake                                                   Cyril Zuboff
1938                Sitka                                                    Cyril Zuboff
1939                Sitka                                                    Louis F. Paul
1940                Klawock                                              Roy Peratrovich
1941                Hydaburg                                             Roy Peratrovich
1942                no convention                                       Roy Peratrovich
1943                Hoonah                                                Roy Peratrovich
1944                Kake                                                    Roy Peratrovich
1945                Angoon                                                Alfred Widmark
1946                Wrangell                                              Cyril Zuboff
1947                Hydaburg                                             Cyril Zuboff
1948                Sitka                                                    Cyrus Peck Sr.
1949                Klawock                                              Frank Peratrovich
1950                Craig                                                    Harry Douglas
1951                Ketchikan                                            Joseph C. Williams
1952                Hoonah                                                Joseph C. Williams
1953                Sitka                                                    Patrick J. Paul
1954                Juneau                                                 Patrick J. Paul
1955                Petersburg                                            Patrick J. Paul
1956                Hoonah                                                Mark Jacobs Sr.
1957                Kake                                                   Thomas L. Jackson
1958                Sitka                                                    Thomas L. Jackson
1959                Yakutat                                                Alfred Widmark
1960                Angoon                                                Alfred Widmark
1961                Klukwan                                              Alfred Widmark
1962                Sitka                                                    John Hope
1963                Wrangell                                              John Hope
1964                Hoonah                                                Alfred Widmark
1965                Kake                                                    Frank See
1966                Hydaburg                                             Walter A. Soboleff
1967                Ketchikan                                            Walter A. Soboleff                 
1968                Juneau                                                 Walter A. Soboleff
1969                Kake                                                   Walter A. Soboleff
1970                Petersburg                                            Richard J. Stitt
1971                Sitka                                                    Steven V. Hotch
1972                Ketchikan                                            Steven V. Hotch
1973                Wrangell                                              Frank Nelson
1974                Yakutat                                               Frank Nelson
1975                Haines                                                 Frank Nelson
1976                Hoonah                                                Walter A. Soboleff
1977                Hydaburg                                             Frank O. Williams, Jr.
1978                Sitka                                                    Frank O. Williams, Jr.
1979                Juneau                                                 Walter A. Soboleff
1980                Angoon                                                Herbert Hope
1981                Ketchikan                                             Robert Martin, Sr.
1982                Kake                                                    Robert Martin, Sr.
1983                Juneau                                                  Ronald D. Williams
1984                Sitka                                                     Ronald D. Williams
1985                Klawock                                               Ronald D. Williams
1986                Haines                                                  Ronald D. Williams
1987                Sitka                                                     Richard Stitt
1988                Juneau                                                  Richard Stitt
1989                Hoonah                                                 Richard Stitt
1990                Kake                                                    Richard Stitt
1991                Ketchikan                                            Albert Kookesh
1992                Klawock                                              Albert Kookesh
1993                Angoon                                                Dan Johnson, Jr.
1994                Juneau                                                 Ronald D. Williams
1995                Hydaburg                                             Alfred McKinley, Sr.
1996                Yakutat                                               Alfred McKinley, Sr.
1997                Sitka                                                    Richard Stitt
1998                Wrangell                                              Richard Stitt
1999                Saxman                                                Samuel Jackson
2000                Juneau                                                 Samuel Jackson
2001                Kake                                                    Richard H. Jackson
2002                Hoonah                                                Richard H. Jackson
2003                Ketchikan                                            Samuel Jackson
2004                Sitka                                                    Samuel Jackson/Ronald D. Williams
2005                Juneau                                                 Dewey Skan
2006                Hoonah                                                Brad Fluetsch
2007                Sitka                                                    Dewey Skan
2008                Ketchikan                                            Willard Jackson
2009                Juneau                                                 Brad Fluetsch
2010                Saxman                                               Willard Jackson
2011                Klawock                                              Richard Jackson
2012                Sitka                                                    Dennis Demmert

Monday, October 10, 2011

SHI Seeks Submissions for New Native Studies Publication

SHI is soliciting essay-length articles for our new Box of Knowledge Occasional Papers series. We welcome submissions dealing with all aspects of Alaska Native life, including history, anthropology, archaeology, art history, political science, linguistics, sociology, and literature. For more information click here.

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.

Photo Credit:
PO023: Item 1: Douglas Progressive Native Group Photograph, 1916. 7.5 x 9.5 inches. Photo by Edward Andrews. Reverse reads "Old Douglas Hospital." Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Photographs Document 1992 Tlingit Subsistence Protest

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) recently received a small but important photograph collection documenting a peaceful subsistence protest undertaken by the Tlingit community of Hoonah in 1992. The twenty-one photographs received by SHI, donated by protest participant and photographer Misty Jack of Hoonah, document the May protest carried out at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve by the Hoonah Tlingit concerning the infringed rights of the Tlingit to engage in subsistence gathering and fishing within Park boundaries. The Park currently limits, regulates, and forbids certain subsistence activities in the Park by the Tlingit of Hoonah.

The area known today as Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve has been inhabited by the Tlingit people for thousands of years according to archeological evidence and oral history. The Tlingit of nearby Hoonah have historically managed the water and land’s resources and wildlife with balance and harmony for thousands of years. However, in 1925 areas of the current Park were made a National Monument, and in 1980 it was made a National Park and Preserve. Since these enactments, the Tlingit of Hoonah have lost further control and access to the lands and waters in Glacier Bay, and federal laws restricted and/or forbade traditional subsistence practices.

For decades the Tlingit of Hoonah, and the tribal governments and organizations representing Hoonah and the Tlingit in general, have petitioned the federal government for subsistence rights and claim to the land. After decades of work and petitions, and with little response from the federal government, the Hoonah Indian Association (HIA)—a federally recognized tribal government representing the Tlingit of Hoonah—facilitated a community discussion on subsistence in Glacier Bay.

Over the winter of 1991-92 meetings were held in Hoonah, with leaders of each traditional clan house serving on a committee to discuss the issue. After long and careful discussion, the clan house leaders of Hoonah felt it was best to engage in a peaceful demonstration within Glacier Bay.

In May 1992 the Tlingit clans and people of Hoonah boarded a number of boats that sailed into Glacier Bay. The boats put ashore and held a number of ceremonies connected to the Hoonah Tlingit’s history and ownership of the land. Those of the Raven moiety conducted part of the ceremony, and those of the Eagle moiety conducted other portions, in accordance with traditional culture and to ensure balance. Important and historic regalia and totem poles were brought into Glacier Bay for this event, and used in ceremony. Tlingit elders from Hoonah gave speeches on the history of their people and subsistence in Glacier Bay. At the conclusion of this ceremony, the people of Hoonah peacefully engaged in subsistence practices according to historic and cultural practice.

While this topic requires additional research, those who participated in the event stated that federal officials felt it was best to not interfere with the Hoonah Tlingit during their peaceful protest in May 1992.

While the issue of subsistence remains unresolved for the Tlingit of Hoonah today, and their right to engage in subsistence activities in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is still regulated and in some situations forbidden, this peaceful demonstration captures the values of a people and community as they work to challenge the federal government’s ownership and management of Tlingit land.

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.


Phone interview with Ken Grant, employee of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, September 2011.

Phone interview with donor, Misty Jack, participant and resident of Hoonah, September 2011.

David Hulen, “Look but don’t take: Tlingit battle Park Service for Glacier Bay subsistence,” Anchorage Daily News (July 22, 1990).

David Hulen, “We are made criminals for our food,” Tlingit say Park scorns culture in citing hunter,” Anchorage Daily News (Oct. 22, 1992).

Photograph Credits:

1) Top image captures a view of the Tlingit ceremony at Glacier Bay, 1992, photograph by Misty Jack.

2) Above image captures small boat displaying the Hoonah Tlingit screen which tells of Hoonah's connection to Glacier Bay, 1992, photograph by Misty Jack.