School Programs

School Programs

Baby Raven Reads

SHI’s Baby Raven Reads series offers culturally-based books for children up to age 5 and includes stunning place-based illustrations. SHI's Baby Raven Reads literacy program was named a Library of Congress Literacy Awards Best Practice Honoree, one of 15 programs in the world to receive the honor in 2017.

Raven Writes

Raven Writes offers in-school and summer camp programming that allows Alaska Native students K-5 to explore their cultural heritage surrounding traditional food and resources while improving their writing skills. Students write personal stories and learn from experience as they develop more robust literacy and language skills. Families are invited to celebrate alongside students during special presentation events. A companion summer camp rich with Tlingit dancing, singing, and drumming; as well as art, games, community building, and lots of outside play offers continuity during the summer months.

Voices on the Land

Voices on the Land provides literacy-based, artist residencies in 4th and 5th grade classrooms, with Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian languages and cultural values forming the basis of instruction. The program integrates visual, performing, and digital arts with traditional knowledge. Through the experience, students use storytelling to create stop motion animation videos; learn the elements of Northwest Coast formline design, while keeping an artist’s journal and making a traditional drum; and use the skills of the actor’s toolbox and reader’s theater to explore and perform Raven Stories handed down through the ages. Voices on the Land also provides an in-person summer and winter arts intensive program for students in grades 4-8, as well as a virtual summer intensive program for students in grades 4-8 who live outside of Juneau.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)

Opening the Box: STEAM provides culturally-centered youth programming to students in grades 6-12 that is grounded in Indigenous knowledge and STEAM career connections. Students and teachers work alongside cultural specialists and professional researchers to build a deeper connection to the places they call home. Current and recently graduated high school students can engage in AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) research projects, field internships, and professional mentorships to help them achieve their academic and career goals. Makerspace activities combine cutting-edge tools with Alaska Native values in classrooms, summer academies, and out-of-school clubs and events.

Native Youth Olympics (Traditional Games)

Native Youth Olympics (NYO) (also known as Traditional Games) is based on the hunting and survival skills of the Indigenous peoples of Alaska and across the Arctic going back thousands of years. Each athlete strives to perform at their personal best while helping and supporting their fellow competitors, no matter which team they are a part of. This is the spirit of the games: to work together toward common goals and learn from the skills and values that allowed Alaska Native peoples to survive and thrive in the harshest conditions.

Haa Latseení

Haa Latseení is a culturally integrated college and career readiness program for Alaska Native/American Indian high school students. Strength-based social engagement activities, mentorship, and culturally affirming personal learning plans help students identify and achieve their postsecondary goals.

Box of Treasures (High School and College)

It is committed to building educational and career pathways beginning in high school and extending throughout the collegiate and professional levels, and is implemented in partnership with University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau School District, Klawock City School District, Sitka School District and Sitka Tribe of Alaska. A large portion of the programming is offered through the Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus, a hub for in-person and virtual course offerings taught by master artists and co-sponsored with University of Alaska in efforts to expand the Northwest Coast Arts degree program while increasing delivery methods. The project is part of SHI’s efforts to galvanize the region’s economy and ultimately designate Northwest Coast Art as a national treasure. TIDES works collaboratively with SHI to facilitate a peer learning cohort that consists of High School Math teachers, High School NWC art instructors, and cultural specialists to participate in a series of virtual seminars/workshops in NWC arts and ethno-mathematics strategies; discuss curriculum, and foster avenues for peer support.

Indigenizing Education for Alaska

Indigenizing Education for Alaska (IEA) improves the educational landscape for Alaska Native students by cultivating teachers and school leaders who reflect their culture, values, and life experiences. The program also fosters future generations of Alaskan educators by recruiting upper-level high school to early college students into the field of education. The program financially supports education-degree or certificate-seeking college students while ensuring their college education experience is culturally relevant.

Northwest Coast Arts Degree Program

SHI has partnered with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) to develop and offer an Associate of Arts (AA) degree with an emphasis on Northwest Coast arts. The undergraduate program includes a wide spectrum of classes—from tool making to design, basketry and weaving among others. The program, which will be offered this fall at the university’s Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka campuses, is part of a larger effort to establish a four-year degree track through UAS and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thanks to an MOA between SHI, UAS, and IAIA, students who earn an AA degree with a NWC Arts emphasis have the option to transfer credits and pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from IAIA. Students can also work toward a bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences or education at UAS or the broader University of Alaska system. In addition to art classes, the program requires students to complete courses in Alaska Native studies, Indigenous performing arts and a language class on beginning Tlingit, Haida or Tsimshian, as well as Northwest Coast design, art history and culture, art theory and practice, and career development for artists.

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