Visiting students examine the Haa Aani panel during a visit to Sealaska Heritage. (Courtesy Photo | Brian Wallace via Sealaska Heritage Institute)

Visiting students examine the Haa Aani panel during a visit to Sealaska Heritage. (Courtesy Photo | Brian Wallace via Sealaska Heritage Institute)

SHI to transfer Native values panels to Floyd Dryden

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will donate eight large panels depicting ancient Southeast Alaska Native core cultural values to Floyd Dryden Middle School.

The panels, which stand 5 feet wide and nearly 7 feet tall, were a main feature of SHI’s first exhibit at the opening of its Walter Soboleff Building in 2015. The panels are in the shape of a tináa or copper shield, a symbol of wealth and commerce signifying the riches that came from the ancient interrelationship and trade among the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshians and neighboring tribes. They were originally affixed to double-sided structures, so there are two panels per value.

The panels tell of traditional values that have helped to sustain the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures for thousands of years. The values are so important they are instilled in young Native people to this day, said SHI President Rosita Worl.

As part of SHI’s Baby Raven Reads program, Worl recently authored “Native Values: Living in Harmony,” a children’s book highlighting those four values.

“Our ancient values are as relevant now as they were more than 10,000 years ago. We created the panels to highlight the wisdom of our ancestors, and we are offering them to the school to share these values with all children,” said Worl, noting the donation underscores SHI’s goal to promote cross-cultural understanding.

The core cultural values the panels honor are:

· Haa Aaní: Our Land: Honoring & Utilizing our Land (Haida: Íitl’ Tlagáa; Tsimshian: Na Yuubm)

· Haa Latseen: Our Strength: Strength of Body, Mind, and Spirit (Haida: Íitl’ Dagwiigáay; Tsimshian: Na Yugyetga’nm)

· Haa Shuká: Past, Present, and Future Generations: Honoring our Ancestors and Future Generations (Haida: Íitl’ Kuníisii; Tsimshian: Na Hlagigyadm)

· Wooch Yax: Balance: Social and Spiritual Balance (Haida: Gu dlúu; Tsimshian: Ama Mackshm).

It took nearly eight months to curate content and to manufacture the panels, which are made of a heavy composite material. The panels were on display in the Nathan Jackson Gallery, which will feature a new exhibit in 2018.

The ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22. at Floyd Dryden Middle School. Principal Jim Thompson will be on hand to accept the gift. Speakers will include Vice Principal Haifa Sadighi, Indian Studies Director Barbara Cadiente-Nelson, Paul Marks (Raven, Lukaax.ádi), David Katzeek (Eagle, Shangukeidí) and SHI President Rosita Worl. Goldbelt Heritage Foundation is assisting with the ceremony.

Haa Shuk&

Haa Shuk&

More in Neighbors

People gather for “Our Cultural Landscape,” Sealaska Heritage Institute’s culturally responsive education conference. (Sealaska Heritage Institute photo)
Neighbors briefs

SHI to offer pre-conferences on Native literature, artful teaching Sealaska Heritage Institute… Continue reading

Neighbors: Letters of thanks

Thanks to Juneau Community Foundation and CBJ for supporting elders On behalf… Continue reading

(Photo by Maxim Gibson)
Living and Growing: The silence of God and the language of creation

“There is one God who revealed Himself through Jesus Christ His Son,… Continue reading

Gene Tagaban, a Juneau resident, ends his story and joins with the Raven spirit for one final dance during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C., between June 26 and July 1. (Photo by Maria James)
Neighbors: Tlingit storyteller Gene Tagaban participates in Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., hosted its Smithsonian Folklife Festival, with… Continue reading

Participants in a junior naturalist program hosted by Jensen-Olson Arboretum walk along a beach. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Neighbors briefs

Registration for arboretum junior naturalist program opens July 8 Friends of the… Continue reading

Sockeye salmon in a red chile sauce, ready to serve. (Photo by Patty Schied)
Cooking for Pleasure: Sockeye salmon in a red chile sauce

Every summer I look forward to finding fresh sockeye salmon for sale… Continue reading

Neighbors: Letters of thanks

Thanks for Challenge Grant to help arboretum project The Friends of the… Continue reading

Tari Stage-Harvey is the pastor of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church. (Photo courtesy of Tari Stage-Harvey)
Living and Growing: Mixtape for the nation

The world would be a little more beautiful if we still shared… Continue reading

Page Bridges of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Juneau. (Photo courtesy of Page Bridges)
Living and Growing: Not a single bug

I just read a great shocking and informative article about our treatment… Continue reading

(Photo by Pixabay under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication license)
Gimme A Smile: What’s in your pockets?

You might have seen a recurring conversation online. It goes like this:… Continue reading

Battered fish fillets frying. (Photo by Patty Schied)
Cooking for Pleasure: Fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce

For years I struggled with different fish batter recipes, usually with lousy… Continue reading