Rico Lanáat’ Worl’s “Raven Story Forever” design is shown here. There will be a release ceremony for the stamp on Friday. (Courtesy Image / Sealaska Heritage Institute)

Rico Lanáat’ Worl’s “Raven Story Forever” design is shown here. There will be a release ceremony for the stamp on Friday. (Courtesy Image / Sealaska Heritage Institute)

Release ceremony planned for Raven stamp

Public is invited, but it will also be livestreamed.

A U.S. Postal Service stamp designed by a Tlingit and Athabascan artist will make its public debut on Friday.

Rico Lanáat’ Worl designed the Raven Story forever stamp, which will be unveiled at Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Walter Soboleff Building at 11 a.m. on Friday, the USPS and SHI announced. The stamp is the first to be illustrated by a Tlingit artist, according to SHI, a Juneau-based nonprofit that protects and promotes Southeast Alaska Native arts and culture.

The unveiling ceremony will be attended by Worl; Jakki Krage Strako, U.S. Postal Service chief commerce and business solutions officer and executive vice president; Marlene Johnson, chair, Sealaska Heritage Institute Board of Trustees; Beth Weldon, mayor of Juneau; and Frank Henry Kaash Katasse, playwright, actor and educator. The ceremony will be moderated by Lance (X’unei) A. Twitchell, associate professor of Alaska Native languages, University of Alaska Southeast, according to SHI. Members of the Lukaax.ádi and their clan children will dance.

The ceremony will be livestreamed through SHI’s YouTube channel, and the public is welcome to attend. There will be a street closure for the ceremony, Juneau Police Department announced. The closure will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will occur on Seward Street between Front Street and Municipal Way.

[Putting his stamp on it]

The stamp itself merges traditional Northwest Coast art with modern design, according to SHI, and it depicts one of the many stories about Raven, who figures prominently into many traditional tales of Indigenous peoples in Southeast Alaska.

“Many depictions of this story show Raven with the Sun in his mouth representing the stealing of the Sun. I was trying to showcase a bit of drama,” Worl said in a news release announcing the ceremony. “The climax of the story is after Raven has released the sun and the moon and has opened his grandfather’s final precious box, which contained the stars. In this design, I am imagining Raven in a panicked state of escape — transforming from human form to raven form and holding on to as many stars as he can while trying to escape the clan house.”

Worl’s work came to the attention of a USPS art director, who saw Worl’s work in the National Museum of the American Indian gift store in Washington, D.C.

The story behind the stamp will be featured on USPS social media accounts beginning at 1 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 8

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

A statue of William Henry Seward stands outside the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau man convicted of sexual abuse of 15-year-old girl more than four years after incidents occur

JPD: Randy James Willard, 39, sent explicit videos to and engaged in sexual contact with victim.

Capital Transit buses stop at the Valley Transit Center on Thursday. Two bus routes serving areas of the Mendenhall Valley and near the airport will temporarily be discontinued starting April 22 due to lack of staff. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Capital Transit temporarily suspending two Mendenhall Valley routes due to shortage of drivers

Officials hope to fix situation by July; extra tourist buses also scaled back due to fleet shortage.

A fenced lot proposed as a campsite for people experiencing homelessness located next to the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, in the background, is also next door to a businesses where extensive construction is scheduled, thus prompting city leaders to rethink the proposal. (Photo by Laurie Craig)
Indefinite ‘dispersed camping’ for homeless proposed by city leaders due to lack of suitable campsite

Proposed Rock Dump site is next to long-term construction, more costly than expected, report states.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, April 10, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, watches as the tally board in the Alaska House of Representatives shows the vote against House Joint Resolution 7 on Thursday. Eastman supported the amendment. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House votes down constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

Guarantee had been discussed as part of long-term plan to bring state expenses in line with revenue.

Rep. DeLena Johnson, R-Palmer and co-chair of the House Finance Committee, speaks Thursday on the House floor about the state’s operating budget. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House passes draft state budget amid warnings that state spending doesn’t balance

Changes during floor debate include $9M by Rep Andi Story, D-Juneau, for youth reading program.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy tells reporters that he needs to see lawmakers pass his reforms before he allows a permanent increase to funding for schools on Tuesday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Alaskans support increased education funding, reforms, according to Dunleavy poll

Majority of those polled say they think “change and reform” are key to improving Alaska’s test scores.

Most Read