Alaska Natives

“Molly of Denali,” an animated show about an Alaska Native girl, her friends and family is expected to debut this summer. University of Alaska Southeast professor <span style="text-decoration: underline;">X</span>’unei Lance Twitchell started out as a language and culture consultant for the show but more recently has taken on a writing role. (Contributed Photo | (c) 2018 WGBH Educational Foundation)

Good golly, meet ‘Molly of Denali’

The show involves Alaska Native characters, voice actors and writers.

 

Student research movie digs into Alaska’s colonized names

Sayéik is a Tlingit word that can be translated to mean voice of a spirit helper. Historically the name is associated with Douglas Island, and… Continue reading

 

Tlingit elder Paul Marks presents the Sayéik Sacred Site Memorial on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. The memorial, placed at Sayéik Gastineau Community School, is a tribute to the people who were buried in the Tlingit burial ground that was paved over for the road and school. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
Tlingit elder Paul Marks presents the Sayéik Sacred Site Memorial on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. The memorial, placed at Sayéik Gastineau Community School, is a tribute to the people who were buried in the Tlingit burial ground that was paved over for the road and school. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
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Lecture questions Western names for Native places

Names given by Alaska Natives to people and places are far from arbitrary.

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Senior Arias Hoyle is one of a number of Juneau-Douglas High School students looking to add “Yadaa.at Kalé,” the Tlingit name for Mount Juneau, to the high school’s name. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Senior Arias Hoyle is one of a number of Juneau-Douglas High School students looking to add “Yadaa.at Kalé,” the Tlingit name for Mount Juneau, to the high school’s name. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Celebrate Our Ways of Life swaps speeches for conversations

Instead of a night of speeches, this year’s Celebrating Our Ways of Life embraced hands-on activities. The Alaska Native Heritage Month celebration hosted by Central… Continue reading

Photos: Celebrating Our Ways of Life

Scenes from the Celebrating Our Ways of Life event.

Bob Sam, a Tlingit storyteller who has served as caretaker of a Sitka cemetery for decades and works to repatriate and reinter indigenous people, leaves the lectern to walk into the crowd during his Evening at Egan lecture about respecting ancestors Friday, Nov. 16 at Egan Library. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

Cemetery caretaker helps repatriate remains of Alaska Native children

Bob Sam lives up to his name. “My Tlingit name is Shaagunastaa,” Sam said during his Evening at Egan lecture Friday night at the University… Continue reading

Bob Sam, a Tlingit storyteller who has served as caretaker of a Sitka cemetery for decades and works to repatriate and reinter indigenous people, leaves the lectern to walk into the crowd during his Evening at Egan lecture about respecting ancestors Friday, Nov. 16 at Egan Library. (Ben Hohenstatt | Capital City Weekly)

New summit gathers many of the world’s fluent Alaska Native language speakers

Centennial Hall echoed Tuesday with the sound of centuries-old languages. The first-ever Voices of Our Ancestors language summit brought together dozens of speakers fluent in… Continue reading

Alaska Native word of the week

This week’s word is x‘áakw, which means sockeye that has entered fresh water.

Wayne Price, master Tlingit carver and Associate Professor of Northwest Coast Arts and Sciences, works on a healing pole at the University of Alaska Southeast on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Wayne Price, master Tlingit carver and Associate Professor of Northwest Coast Arts and Sciences, works on a healing pole at the University of Alaska Southeast on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
The Yees Ku Oo Dancers perform on stage during Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
The Yees Ku Oo Dancers perform on stage during Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Monday, Oct. 8, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
All Nations Children Dancers help Juneau residents celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Indigenous Peoples Day celebration is free Monday

Monday is Indigenous Peoples Day, and multiple Alaska Native groups in Juneau are combining to put on a celebration. From 5-8 p.m. Monday, people are… Continue reading

All Nations Children Dancers help Juneau residents celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Ricky Tagaban smiles at a Tiny Desk concert at Kindred Post. Tagaban said his work in drag and weaving are both related to gender identity. Photo by Annie Bartholomew.

Chilkat weaver, drag queen wins award and $7,500 from Rasmuson Foundation

Ricky Tagaban has a garbage bag of mountain goat wool and $7,500 in award money. Tagaban, a Chilkat weaver and drag queen, of Juneau is… Continue reading

Ricky Tagaban smiles at a Tiny Desk concert at Kindred Post. Tagaban said his work in drag and weaving are both related to gender identity. Photo by Annie Bartholomew.

Library intern organizes Native culture fest

The Douglas Public library wasn’t quiet Saturday. The sounds of drums, singing and dancing from the Woosh.ji.een Dance Group echoed out from the library’s meeting… Continue reading

Melissa Jack, right, of Kotzebue, right, stands with her daughter, Ashlyn, and Dorothy Zura during a candlelight vigil for Ashley Johnson-Barr on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Dozens gather in Juneau to honor deceased Kotzebue girl

More than 100 people who stood outside the Andrew Hope Building on Monday night for a candlelight vigil in honor of Ashley Johnson-Barr.

Melissa Jack, right, of Kotzebue, right, stands with her daughter, Ashlyn, and Dorothy Zura during a candlelight vigil for Ashley Johnson-Barr on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)