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.
Hunting activities were determined by the seasonal availability of local resources. Tlingit people continue to have a great understanding of the environment. The techniques used to gather food have changed but subsistence hunting and fishing continue to be important today.
The book, Tale of an Alaska Whale, tells a story of the origin of the killer whale and is also known as Naatsilanei. Listening to the story, as read from a book or told by a culture bearer or storyteller, is the basis for the unit. Viewing a video of a storyteller adds another dimension to the experience and provides opportunities for comparison activities. Guided reading (for older students), retelling the story and writing a story extension are also part of the unit.
The book, How Raven Stole the Sun is one version of how light was brought to the world. Listening to this story is necessary before introducing other activities in the unit. Viewing a video version of the story provides opportunities for comparison activities. Guided reading (for older students), retelling the story, studying the setting and writing additional "Raven as Trickster" stories are also part of the unit.
The book, The Girl Who Lived with the Bears, retold by Barbara Diamond Goldin, forms the basis for this literature unit. Listening to the story, as read from the book and/or as told by a storyteller, provides the knowledge needed to complete other activities in the rest of the unit.
For hundreds of years, the ocean and the forest have provided life sustaining resources for the Haida people of Southeast Alaska. Using red and yellow cedar trees they made their homes, canoes, clothing, tools, dishes, baskets and monument poles.
Canoes represent unity and teamwork, strength training and health, as well as being a sophisticated art form and symbol of cultural identity. In this unit students learn what makes objects move and understand how they move. Central understandings include the concepts of friction, gravity, force, and the movement of sound waves.
In this unit, students study the life and work of the remarkable Elizabeth Peratrovich, civil rights champion of Alaska. They learn about the importance of the Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) and the Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANS), and how these organizations continue to promote civil rights for everyone. The rich historical context of events in the 1940s provides the backdrop for research and discussions contained in unit activities.
Canoes were the primary mode of transportation used by the people of Southeast Alaska for hundreds of years. Tlingit people use canoes and other watercraft to support their coastal lifestyle, to gather resources, and for basic transportation.
Forests supply everything from berries on bushes, to wood for houses and fires. They provided materials for tools that made it possible for people to harvest and further use this valuable resource. Alder and cottonwood trees are the focus of this unit.
We perpetuate, enhance and share Southeast Alaskan Native culture through our Institute, our store, and our True Southeast visitor experience.