Friday, August 30, 2013

Clarence Jackson tells a story about respect and Tlingit values

SHI has placed online a recording of Tlingit Elder and leader Clarence Jackson of the Tsaagweidí clan relating a story about respect and Native values embodied in the historical relationship between the Chilkat people and the Tsimshians of Naas River. 
On February 26, 2003, Clarence Jackson told his nephew Todd Antioquia a story about respect and Native values. The story, told first in Tlingit and then in English, is about how precious abalone earrings were exchanged between the people of the Jilḵáat, Chilkat area, and the Tsimshian people from Naas, the Nass River area. The story tells of how Tlingit and Tsimshian people treat each other with courtesy and respect; how we remember departed loved ones through objects they once owned; and how we recognize and commemorate our achievements and major events. This recording can be viewed online.
Clarence Jackson (Asx̱’aak, G̱astín, Daanaawú, Tá G̱ooch) was a deeply admired Tlingit Elder of the Tsaagweidí clan from Kake, Alaska. He was also an important political and business leader, serving as a Sealaska Corporation board member from its inception in 1972 to his death in 2013; and serving as the President of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indians of Alaska from 1972 – 1976. Clarence Jackson is remembered for his deep Tlingit knowledge, for integrating Tlingit cultural values into modern affairs, for his special ability to express Tlingit values and cultural concepts through stories and discourse, and as a beloved Elder.
This recording is from the Tlingit Oral Histories, Oratory and Events Recordings Collection from Sealaska Heritage Institute's archives. This recording was placed online as part of an Institute of Museum & Library Services grant.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Alaska Native ethnographic collection to be displayed, explained

“Copper Totem” by Preston Singletary will be featured at the viewing. Photo by Russell Johnson. For high resolution image contact Kathy Dye,; 907.586.9189Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a public viewing during the Santa Fe Indian Market in its continuing effort to familiarize collectors with Northwest Coast art—some of the most distinctive and unique art in the world.

The event will include a display of the institute’s ethnographic collection and staff will be on hand to explain the pieces’ significance to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures—especially why some objects are considered sacred.

“We have great ethnographic collections and we’re just going to be selecting a few pieces,” said SHI President Rosita Worl. “Some of them have sacred dimensions to them and we want to explain to the people that ‘Yes, we do have art but it has this cultural meaning as well.’ ”

The event is scheduled 2-4 pm, Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Gallery Room of the Eldorado Hotel located at 309 W. San Francisco St. near the market. The event is free. Shortly after the public viewing, SHI will hold a private reception, which will be co-hosted by the renowned Tlingit glass artist Preston Singletary.

This is the third year SHI has brought Alaska Native art and culture to the market, though the institute will not sponsor a dance group and artist tables this year due to a lack of funds. SHI is sponsoring an event on a smaller scale to maintain a connection with the market’s collectors, Worl said.

“We felt it was really important to go to Santa Fe to maintain continuity and to have a presence in the center of Native American art that attracts people who love and prize Native art,” said Worl, noting the viewing will include old and contemporary pieces.

The institute is trying to create an annual art market on a similar scale in Juneau, Alaska, where SHI is located, and staff will continue to learn how the Santa Fe market operates on this trip. SHI also is sponsoring its first art auction in February, and staff has been preparing by observing the Santa Fe art auction held during the market. SHI’s Tináa Art Auction will be held in Juneau and include pieces by some of the biggest names in Northwest Coast art. In addition, SHI sells Northwest Coast art through its store, Jinéit, and proceeds fund the institute’s educational programs for Native people and the general public.

The Santa Fe Indian Market over the past 90 years has been instrumental in creating worldwide demand for Southwest Indian art. The two-day market, scheduled Aug. 17-18, is operated by the nonprofit Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), which invited SHI to participate. The market draws nearly 100,000 patrons.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

Parnell's board reappointments include Juneau's Zachary Jones and Ben Brown


On July 1, Gov. Sean Parnell announced appointments to five state boards. Two local men, Zachary Jones and Ben Brown, were on his list of reappointments.
Jones was reappointed to the State Historical Records Advisory Board. He is the archivist and collections manager for the Sealaska Heritage Institute and an adjunct instructor of history at the University of Alaska Southeast. Before coming to Alaska, he worked in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department at the Swem Library, College of William & Mary in Virginia. He holds a master’s degree in comparative history from the College of William & Mary, received a certificate
of advanced studies in archives and records administration from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Native American history from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Jones has been reappointed to a seat representing Native American record-keeping.
Also reappointed was Fairbanks resident Dennis Moser, head of Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Elmer Rasmuson Library. He has been reappointed as a representative of UAF.
The State Historical Records Advisory Board reviews project requests, grant applications and conducts reviews and planning for statewide needs relating to records management and historical documents.
Juneau resident Brown was reappointed to the Alaska State Council on the Arts. Brown, a company member at Perseverance Theatre, is an attorney and member of the Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission. He previously worked with Baxter, Bruce & Sullivan, and currently serves on the board of directors for the National Assembly of State Art Agencies and on the board of Alaska Public Media. He has been reappointed to a public seat.
Also reppointed were Aryne Randall of Wasilla, and Kesler Woodward of Fairbanks.
Randall is a district manager for Wells Fargo Bank, and Woodward is an academic affiliate at the University of Alaska Museum and a professor emeritus of art and northern studies at UAF. Woodward, who formerly worked at the Alaska State Museum, was awarded the first-ever Alaska Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.
The mission of the Alaska State Council on the Arts is to enrich the cultural life of the state by encouraging and supporting excellence in the arts, provide opportunities for every Alaskan to experience the arts, promote the practice and enjoyment of the arts in Alaska, and guide the development of the arts throughout the state.
In addition to the State Historical Records Advisory Board and Alaska State Council on the Arts, Gov. Parnell announced appointments to the Alaska Police Standards Council, Local Boundary Commission and Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute Advisory Board.
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