Classroom

Cultivating Cultural Pride and Academic Excellence in Alaska’s Youth.

To empower Alaska Native youth through culturally enriched education for academic success, cultural fluency, and leadership development.

Classroom

Cultivating Cultural Pride and Academic Excellence in Alaska’s Youth.

To empower Alaska Native youth through culturally enriched education for academic success, cultural fluency, and leadership development.

Culturally Enriched Youth Programming at Sealaska Heritage Institute

Culturally Enriched Youth Programming at Sealaska Heritage Institute

Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Education Department provides culturally enriched youth programming to improve literacy and academic achievement and provide opportunities for leadership skill development. The culturally enriched youth programs offer positive mentorship for K-12 youth, ownership of learning, and outreach to high school students to increase awareness of post-secondary pathways, including college and trade school enrollment.

Thru the Cultural Lens

Thru the Cultural Lens is a cultural orientation project designed to improve the educational outcomes of Alaska Native students in Southeast Alaska by providing high-quality, culturally responsive, and place-based training and resources to educators in the region. TCL develops and delivers virtual and in-person seminars to educators in Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Hydaburg, Petersburg, Wrangell, and Metlakatla. Participants consistently show growth in their abilities to create and implement place-based, culturally responsive curricula and education practices. The program culminates each year in an education conference.

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.

Ruth Demmert Award

SHI administers the Ruth Demmert Language Award program, which grants an annual $5,000 scholarship to a student who is studying Southeast Alaska Native languages.

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.

Tlingit Culture, Language, and Literacy

The Tlingit Culture, Language, and Literacy (TCLL) program is a place-based, culture-based “school within a school” where the Tlingit language and culture are celebrated, respected, and integrated into daily instruction. SHI works in partnership with Juneau School District to host classrooms in Harborview Elementary where Tlingit Elders work alongside the teaching teams and Tlingit language speakers. TCLL will expand its services for K-8th grade while implementing a dual language model whose goal is to cultivate Tlingit language fluency for children, staff, and families participating in the program. Learn more about this program on the TCLL website.

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.

Atnané Northwest Coast Arts Academy

SHI sponsors Atnané Northwest Coast Arts Academy, a culturally integrated college and career readiness program for Alaska Native/American Indian high school students. Northwest Coast arts classes, team building activities, entrepreneurship training, and culturally affirming artistic lesson plans help students enter a career pathway in Northwest Coast arts. Open to all Sealaska shareholders regardless of residency. SHI will pay travel and lodging costs. In addition, SHI has partnered with the Juneau, Sitka, and Klawock school districts to offer Northwest Coast arts courses to high school students in six high schools. Students have the option to earn college credit as well as high school credits, and the program supports the courses with accessible, authentic cultural resources.

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.

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