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.
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.
SHI offers summer internships to undergraduate and graduate students at SHI in Juneau and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Interns gain hands-on experience with cataloging museum collections, object storage management, and exhibition planning, research, and installation.
SHI offers summer internships to art students who are pursuing an arts and science degree, preferably with a focus on Northwest Coast or Alaska Native arts through studio arts, performing arts and technology, or creative writing.
SHI offers scholarships to undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing:
- Arts and science degrees with a focus in studio arts, performing arts, cinematic arts and technology, or creative writing, and which incorporate Northwest Coast Arts studies in their degree; or,
- A degree with a concentration in museum studies
Art students must be enrolled in NWC arts courses at the University of Alaska Southeast or arts courses at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Museum studies students must be enrolled full-time at a US college.
SHI sponsors master-apprenticeships to perpetuate and revitalize Northwest Coast art, especially endangered traditions, such as spruce-root weaving and dugout canoe carving. The program was fostered at SHI's first Native Artists Gathering, which brought together nearly 30 artists in 2015 who identified the most imperiled Northwest Coast Native art traditions. This traditional method of training younger artists still provides the best instruction.
SHI operates an artist-in-residence study room at the Walter Soboleff Building named after master artist Delores Churchill to encourage the study of NWC art. Artists have access to SHI’s extensive ethnographic collection for study while they are in residence. SHI also hosts artists at its Sealaska Heritage Arts Campus and accommodates artists working on large-scale projects, such as totem poles and dugout canoes.
We perpetuate, enhance and share Southeast Alaskan Native culture through our Institute, our store, and our True Southeast visitor experience.