Alaska Natives

Jay Dóosh Tláa Zeller dances in celebration in front of the newly installed mural depicting Elizabeth Kaaxgal.aat Peratrovich, a Tlingit civil rights icon, on Sept. 1. Zeller served as the Sealaska Heritage Institue project coordinator for the mural, which was done by Tlingit and Athabascan artist, designer, and activist Crystal Kaakeeyaa Worl and her team of apprentices. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)

Celebration marks completion of mural

A place of “honor, dignity and respect”

Jay Dóosh Tláa Zeller dances in celebration in front of the newly installed mural depicting Elizabeth Kaaxgal.aat Peratrovich, a Tlingit civil rights icon, on Sept. 1. Zeller served as the Sealaska Heritage Institue project coordinator for the mural, which was done by Tlingit and Athabascan artist, designer, and activist Crystal Kaakeeyaa Worl and her team of apprentices. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)
Gov. Ernest Gruening (seated) signs the Alaska Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945. Witnessing are O. D. Cochran, Elizabeth Peratrovich, Edward Anderson, Norman Walker and Roy Peratrovich. (Courtesy Photo / Alaska State Library - Historical Collections)

Officials honor Elizabeth Peratrovich day with proclamations

With physical gatherings limited, virtual events and statements marked the day.

Gov. Ernest Gruening (seated) signs the Alaska Anti-Discrimination Act of 1945. Witnessing are O. D. Cochran, Elizabeth Peratrovich, Edward Anderson, Norman Walker and Roy Peratrovich. (Courtesy Photo / Alaska State Library - Historical Collections)
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Arsenio “Pastor” Credo and other Alaska Native veterans listen to a presentation Thursday afternoon how to apply for up to 160 acres of the more than 27 million acres of public land available to Alaska Native veterans who were unable to apply for their acres of in-state land due to serving during the Vietnam War.
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Arsenio “Pastor” Credo and other Alaska Native veterans listen to a presentation Thursday afternoon how to apply for up to 160 acres of the more than 27 million acres of public land available to Alaska Native veterans who were unable to apply for their acres of in-state land due to serving during the Vietnam War.
Kyle Worl gets launched into the air as he demonstrates the blanket toss at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé before the start of the 2020 Traditional Games, March 6, 2020. The 2023 Traditional Games will take place at Thunder Mountain High School on Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2. Registration is now open. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)

Traditional Games are returning to Juneau

Registration is now open and games will be livestreamed.

Kyle Worl gets launched into the air as he demonstrates the blanket toss at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé before the start of the 2020 Traditional Games, March 6, 2020. The 2023 Traditional Games will take place at Thunder Mountain High School on Saturday and Sunday, April 1-2. Registration is now open. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Sugar Bear Alaskan Treasures, seen here, was one of many artist vendors featured at the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Sugar Bear Alaskan Treasures, seen here, was one of many artist vendors featured at the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Indigenous Artists & Vendors Holiday Market from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday through Sunday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Lillian Petershoare speaks into a microphone during a Walter Soboleff Day presentation in the Walter Soboleff Building Monday afternoon. She was joined by members of the Kuneix Hidí Northern Light United Church’s Native Ministries Committee Barbara Searls, Maxine Richert and Myra Munson to talk about an overture developed by in 2021, which analyzed and openly outlined the injustices and racially charged motives that led to the closure of Soboleff’s church by the Presbyterian Church.

Walter Soboleff Day marked with pledge of action

Church leaders share details about planned apology for church closure

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Lillian Petershoare speaks into a microphone during a Walter Soboleff Day presentation in the Walter Soboleff Building Monday afternoon. She was joined by members of the Kuneix Hidí Northern Light United Church’s Native Ministries Committee Barbara Searls, Maxine Richert and Myra Munson to talk about an overture developed by in 2021, which analyzed and openly outlined the injustices and racially charged motives that led to the closure of Soboleff’s church by the Presbyterian Church.
David Noon, Ron Carver, Mike Wong and John Kent sit together for a roundtable discussion at the University of Southeast Alaska Saturday afternoon to talk about their personal experiences with the war in Vietnam and the traumas and lasting impacts it had on their lives. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Veterans speak candidly about their experiences during Vietnam War at roundtable

“I did not want to kill people,” said Mike Wong, one of the speakers at the event.

David Noon, Ron Carver, Mike Wong and John Kent sit together for a roundtable discussion at the University of Southeast Alaska Saturday afternoon to talk about their personal experiences with the war in Vietnam and the traumas and lasting impacts it had on their lives. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Alison Bremner Nax̲shag̲eit smiles in front of some of her pieces displayed in her new solo exhibit “Midnight at the Fireworks Stand” featured at the Alaska State Museum. Bremner’s 17 piece-collection of contemporary art depicts different stories and aspects of Tlingit and Indigenous life that often go unnoticed, through bright colors, unusual objects and humor.(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Alison Bremner Nax̲shag̲eit smiles in front of some of her pieces displayed in her new solo exhibit “Midnight at the Fireworks Stand” featured at the Alaska State Museum. Bremner’s 17 piece-collection of contemporary art depicts different stories and aspects of Tlingit and Indigenous life that often go unnoticed, through bright colors, unusual objects and humor.(Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Greens flourish in the bright lights of one of the six hydroponic units located in the hydroponic cultivation and demonstration facility at the Chatham School District building in Angoon. The room, lined with plastic and filled with six indoor hydroponic growing pods, was built after receiving a Department of Early Education and Development American Rescue Plan Act grant this spring, which funded the renovation of its science lab into the new facility. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Growing greens and resiliency: Angoon school hopes to increase village’s food sovereignty

“I think the most important thing I have learned is that change can be realistic and possible”

Greens flourish in the bright lights of one of the six hydroponic units located in the hydroponic cultivation and demonstration facility at the Chatham School District building in Angoon. The room, lined with plastic and filled with six indoor hydroponic growing pods, was built after receiving a Department of Early Education and Development American Rescue Plan Act grant this spring, which funded the renovation of its science lab into the new facility. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Federation of Natives 
Youths perform during the 2019 Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Fairbanks. The convention, which AFN says is the largest representative annual gathering in the United States of Native peoples, is meeting in-person for the first time in two years from Oct. 20-22 in Anchorage.

AFN Convention returns with in-person event

About 6,000 people expected at three-day gathering in Anchorge featuring performances and politics

Alaska Federation of Natives 
Youths perform during the 2019 Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Fairbanks. The convention, which AFN says is the largest representative annual gathering in the United States of Native peoples, is meeting in-person for the first time in two years from Oct. 20-22 in Anchorage.
Keagan Hasselquist, 15, holds up a flag bearing the message "Every child matters" during an Orange Shirt Day event Friday morning in Juneau. The event started at 6:45 a.m. Hasselquist said he usually isn't out and about at that time "but I'm doing good with it so far." He said it was awesome to see strong turnout for the event)(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Keagan Hasselquist, 15, holds up a flag bearing the message "Every child matters" during an Orange Shirt Day event Friday morning in Juneau. The event started at 6:45 a.m. Hasselquist said he usually isn't out and about at that time "but I'm doing good with it so far." He said it was awesome to see strong turnout for the event)(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
People work together to raise the Xa’Kooch story pole, which commemorates the Battle of the Inian Islands. (Shaelene Grace Moler / For the Capital City Weekly)

Resilient Peoples & Place: The Xa’Kooch story pole — one step toward a journey of healing

“This pole is for the Chookaneidi, but here among us, many clans are represented…”

People work together to raise the Xa’Kooch story pole, which commemorates the Battle of the Inian Islands. (Shaelene Grace Moler / For the Capital City Weekly)
Attendees of a government-to-government consultation look on as kuspuks were displayed during the Violence Against Women Tribal Consultation held this week in Anchorage. (Courtesy Photo / Lisa Houghton)

Top Justice Dept. official reflects on Alaska’s unique concerns

Help for Juneau tribal court, emergency rural services may result from aid touted at Anchorge summit

Attendees of a government-to-government consultation look on as kuspuks were displayed during the Violence Against Women Tribal Consultation held this week in Anchorage. (Courtesy Photo / Lisa Houghton)
Seadrone photo showing stone fish trap found in Shakan Bay on the west side of Prince of Wales could potentially be oldest ever found in the world. The structure was first discovered in 2010 and officially confirmed as a stone weir earlier this year. (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage)
Video

Ancient weir sheds new light on Alaska Native history

Stone fish trap dates to at least 11,100 years ago, according to scientists.

Seadrone photo showing stone fish trap found in Shakan Bay on the west side of Prince of Wales could potentially be oldest ever found in the world. The structure was first discovered in 2010 and officially confirmed as a stone weir earlier this year. (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage)
Video
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona listens as President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt forgiveness in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Washington. The Department of Education recently announced $35 million in grants to support Alaska Native education projects in the state. “I am excited to announce 28 new Alaska Native Education program projects, which will help better meet the needs of Alaska Native students at this critical moment and continue to strengthen the relationship between the Department and Alaska Native Organizations,” said Cardona in a statement. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Feds award $35M to support Alaska Native education projects

The 28 grantees across the state received more than $35 million in federal funds combined

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona listens as President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt forgiveness in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022, in Washington. The Department of Education recently announced $35 million in grants to support Alaska Native education projects in the state. “I am excited to announce 28 new Alaska Native Education program projects, which will help better meet the needs of Alaska Native students at this critical moment and continue to strengthen the relationship between the Department and Alaska Native Organizations,” said Cardona in a statement. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Laird Jones, a Juneau resident who attended a sharing event Friday, shares the story of his great-aunt’s death while attending the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. She is still buried in one of its graveyard’s 14 unmarked graves, Jones said. His family is on a mission to bring her home to Alaska and to share her story.
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Laird Jones, a Juneau resident who attended a sharing event Friday, shares the story of his great-aunt’s death while attending the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. She is still buried in one of its graveyard’s 14 unmarked graves, Jones said. His family is on a mission to bring her home to Alaska and to share her story.
Courtesy Photo / Alaska Federation of Natives
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up a bill providing state recognition of the 229 federally recognized Alaska Native tribes after signing it Thursday during a ceremony at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. He also signed a bill authorizing tribes to establish compact schools under a pilot program.

Tribal recognition bill arrives with lessons

Pilot program allowing Alaska Native compact schools adds heft to ceremony.

Courtesy Photo / Alaska Federation of Natives
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up a bill providing state recognition of the 229 federally recognized Alaska Native tribes after signing it Thursday during a ceremony at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. He also signed a bill authorizing tribes to establish compact schools under a pilot program.
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Friday, May 13, 2022, following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state's 229 already federally-recognized tribes. Gov. Mike Dunleavy is scheduled to sign the bill during a ceremony Thursday during a ceremony in Anchorage. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Alaska Natives welcome tribal recognition by state at least

Dunleavy to sign bill Thursday; advocates say it advances cooperative relations.

Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Friday, May 13, 2022, following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state's 229 already federally-recognized tribes. Gov. Mike Dunleavy is scheduled to sign the bill during a ceremony Thursday during a ceremony in Anchorage. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sealaska Corp. announced it will no longer require a blood quantum for people of Alaskan Native descent to become a shareholder. (Michael S. Lockett/ Juneau Empire)

Sealaska Corp drops blood quantum requirement

The decision opens the door to approximately 15,000 people to enroll

Sealaska Corp. announced it will no longer require a blood quantum for people of Alaskan Native descent to become a shareholder. (Michael S. Lockett/ Juneau Empire)
Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé graduates toss their caps during graduation last month. The Juneau School District Board of Education approved on Friday a policy formally allowing students to wear regalia during graduation. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Cultural regalia OK’d for big school events

School board OKs wearing of Native items, and those from other cultures, at public events

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé graduates toss their caps during graduation last month. The Juneau School District Board of Education approved on Friday a policy formally allowing students to wear regalia during graduation. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)