The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Committee of the Whole on Monday unanimously passed a motion in support of Sealaska Heritage Institute’s intention to rename the two blocks of South Seward Street between Front Street and Marine Way to Heritage Way.
In late April SHI’s Sealaska Heritage President Rosita Worl announced during a public ceremony that the institute intended to change the street’s name to Heritage Way and submitted an application to the city.
“The reasons to change the street name is to make the street name compatible with the Northwest Coast arts people, the Heritage Square, the Walter Soboleff Building, the arts campus, the new SHI Fab Lab that will work to incorporate Indigenous and Western Science, and furthering Juneau as the Northwest arts capital of the word,” Worl said during the public gathering.
According to City Manager Rorie Watt, the institute contemplated using a Tlingit place name instead of Heritage Way, but ultimately decided to stick with the original proposed named.
Watt said the city is the only other property owner that resides along the road and would be affected by the name change. If this request is approved, only the section of Seward Street from Front Street to Egan Drive would be affected.
Assembly member Wade Bryson expressed concern over the cost of the change to the city. However, Watt said it would likely be “very minimal.”
The application and potential name change will still likely take at least a few months as it must go through a public process and be voted on by the Planning Commission and Assembly.
• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651)-528-1807.