Visitors look at an art exhibit by Eric and Pam Bealer at Alaska Robotics that is on display until Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the Sitka Conservation Society)

Visitors look at an art exhibit by Eric and Pam Bealer at Alaska Robotics that is on display until Sunday. (Photo courtesy of the Sitka Conservation Society)

Neighbors briefs

Art show fundraiser features works from Alaska Folk Festival

The Sitka Conservation Society is hosting an art show fundraiser featuring works related to this week’s annual Alaska Folk Festival at Alaska Robotics through Sunday.

The show features Eric Bealer’s woodblock prints, and posters of the Alaska Folk Festival and Pelican Boardwalk Boogie, as well as artwork by Pam using driftwood, felt and engraving. The artwork will be on display and for auction at the Alaska Robotics Gallery for the duration of the festival.

Auction proceeds will fundraise for SCS’s Sea Pony Farm property left to the organization by the Bealers, which is being used to host creative retreats and as a field base for Tongass stewardship projects.

89th annual Tribal Assembly focuses on tribal education

Education sovereignty for tribal citizens today and in the future is a vital component of the mission of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. Tlingit and Haida is inviting Dr. Randie Kamuela Fong, Vice President of Cultural Affairs for Kamehameha Schools, as this year’s keynote speaker at the the 89th annual Tribal Assembly that begins Wednesday.

Kamehameha Schools was founded in 1887 and operates its schools through Hawaiian culture-based education.

“We want to learn more about Dr. Fong’s dedication and passion for education and the benefits of immersing learners in their cultural identity,” said Tlingit and Haida President Chalyee Éesh Richard Peterson. “Tlingit and Haida people should also have these opportunities on their traditional lands and the Tribe is ready to find additional tools for tribal citizen student success.”

The Eagle/Raven Dance Group completes their grand entrance among delegates Wednesday morning at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall to mark the beginning of the 2023 annual tribal assembly of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

The Eagle/Raven Dance Group completes their grand entrance among delegates Wednesday morning at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall to mark the beginning of the 2023 annual tribal assembly of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

In 2015, Dr. Fong wrote about advancements in education taking place in Hawaiʻi. Hawaiʻi’s Department of Education, University of Hawaiʻi, private schools, and other institutions of learning formed an unprecedented partnership guided by the principles of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage – the education partners committed to a transformation of education in Hawaiʻi. Dr. Fong will deliver his keynote address at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Current education opportunities through Tlingit and Haida include financial assistance for higher education and early education programs such as Head Start and language immersion learning nests. The tribe continues to look at additional educational opportunities to support tribal citizen student success.

Delegates will meet over three days during the Assembly. The agenda includes reports from Tlingit and Haida’s leadership, election of candidates for president, vice presidents, chief justice, associate justice, emerging leader and Delegate/Citizen of the Year.

The meetings are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. They can also be seen at, and on Tlingit and Haida’s Facebook page.

Learn about dock electrification at JCOS Sustainability Session on April 18

The Juneau Commission on Sustainability (JCOS) will host a Sustainability Session on Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library.

The session is an opportunity for the community to learn more about the proposed project to provide renewable electrical power to Juneau’s two public cruise ship docks — a key step toward CBJ’s goal of reducing GHG emissions in Juneau.

CBJ Tourism Manager Alexandra Pierce and AEL&P Director of Energy Services Lori Sowa will present on renewable energy infrastructure and the goals and scope of this project, then take questions from the audience.

You can join in person at the library or remotely via Zoom at A recording will be available to watch online afterwards.

CBJ is also conducting a short online survey to gather community feedback on dock electrification. The survey is open through May 10.

Learn more about the dock electrification project by reading the Cruise Ship Dock Electrification Study, or visit the Docks & Harbors project page.

For reminders and information about the Sustainability Session, RSVP to the Facebook event.

SHI accepting proposals from presenters for 2024 education conference

Sealaska Heritage Institute is soliciting proposals from educators in Alaska and worldwide to present in person or virtually. This year’s theme is Connecting Culture, Community and Curriculum. Early childhood, K-12, university and community educators are encouraged to submit proposals for presentations related to the following topics:

• STEAM/Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).

• Language Revitalization/Indigenous Literacy.

• Arts/Culture Integration.

• Indigenizing Education.

The extended deadline to submit proposals is April 21. SHI will give preference to proposals that illustrate relevance to the conference theme and connect to culturally responsive education, equity in education and/or Alaska Native education issues. Successful proposals will also emphasize participant engagement, creativity and demonstrated expertise related to the topic. All presentations will be reviewed and considered. The conference will offer both in-person and virtual strands

The annual conference brings together educators from around the world. The 2023 conference served approximately 250 educators and school administrators from nearly 70 towns in Alaska, Canada, the Lower 48, and other parts of the world, including Australia.

The 2024 conference is scheduled for Aug. 7-9 at the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau and is open to all educators who are interested in culturally relevant education. Participants may join in person or through a virtual thread. Selected presentations will also be available via Zoom. Participant registration will open the week of May 20.

The conference is part of SHI’s education program Thru the Cultural Lens, which was founded in 2012 to provide cultural orientations for educators. For more details about the conference, contact Jamie Shanley at

Call for 2024 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree tree skirts

The Alaska Region’s 2024 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree team, in addition to 10,000 ornaments created by Alaskans to adorn “The People’s Tree,” is seeking 45 handmade tree skirts are for smaller trees that will represent Alaska inside the U.S. Capitol.

Tree skirts may be made from any durable materials and should be roughly five feet in diameter, with a six-inch opening in the center for the trunk. Skirts should include a slit to allow placement around the tree’s trunk and should wrap entirely around with either an overlap of the opening or a closure secured with ribbon ties, buttons, snaps, or Velcro.

Stitch, write, or otherwise attach your name, group name, and community name to the back of the tree skirt. Please include a note with the names and mailing addresses of all those who contributed. Tree skirts must not include commercial logos or political affiliations or be divisive or offensive in any way.

The following themes may be used to spur creativity:

• Uniquely Alaska – capture what truly makes Alaska “The Great Land.”

• People – showcase the diversity and rich cultures of people who call Alaska home.

• Places – highlight the iconic landscapes and special places in Alaska.

• Flora & Fauna – feature the diversity of the plants and animals of Alaska.

• Outdoors – showcase the multitude of ways Alaskans enjoy their public lands.

• Forest Service Icons – celebrate Woodsy Owl and Smokey Bear on his 80th birthday.

All tree skirts must be submitted to the Forest Service no later than Sept. 16. Tree skirts can be dropped off at any Alaska National Forest office or mailed to: 2024 Capitol Christmas Tree Skirts, 161 East 1st Avenue, Door 8, Anchorage, AK 99501

Once submitted, tree skirts cannot be returned. For more information contact Annette Heckart at

More information about the tree is available at

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