Alaska Natives

Eleven of the 14 candidates seeking four seats on the Juneau Assembly in the Oct. 3 municipal election answer questions during a forum Friday night at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Assembly candidates challenged to offer plan of action, not just talk, at Tlingit and Haida forum

11 of 14 contenders for four seats get extra time to respond to some tough questioning.

Eleven of the 14 candidates seeking four seats on the Juneau Assembly in the Oct. 3 municipal election answer questions during a forum Friday night at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Recent clearcut logging on land owned by Sealaska Corp. at Cleveland Peninsula, just north of Ketchikan. (Photo by Rebecca Knight)

My Turn: ‘There are no landless Natives in Southeast Alaska’

Those are the words of Department of Interior Secretary Jim Lyons and Undersecretary Sylvia Baca regarding so-called “landless” legislation in 1996. Bureau of Indian Affairs… Continue reading

Recent clearcut logging on land owned by Sealaska Corp. at Cleveland Peninsula, just north of Ketchikan. (Photo by Rebecca Knight)
Environmental Protection Administrator Michael Regan speaks at a news conference on Thursday at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. Behind him are Bailey Richards, contamination support program coordinator for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium; Natalie Cale, chief operating officer for the Ounalashka Corp.; and Aaron Leggett, president of the Native Village of Eklutna. Regan made a five-day tour of Alaska as part of the EPA’s national Journey to Justice program, which focuses on the ways minority, Indigenous and low-income communities are disproportionately burdened by pollution and climate change. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska trip highlights challenges facing Indigenous communities, EPA leader says

Travels to the to the tiny Yup’ik village of Igiugig in the Bristol Bay region, to Utqiagvik at the northern tip of Alaska and to… Continue reading

Environmental Protection Administrator Michael Regan speaks at a news conference on Thursday at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. Behind him are Bailey Richards, contamination support program coordinator for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium; Natalie Cale, chief operating officer for the Ounalashka Corp.; and Aaron Leggett, president of the Native Village of Eklutna. Regan made a five-day tour of Alaska as part of the EPA’s national Journey to Justice program, which focuses on the ways minority, Indigenous and low-income communities are disproportionately burdened by pollution and climate change. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Sealaska Heritage Institute is seen in downtown Juneau on Friday. (Claire Stremple / Alaska Beacon)

Sealaska nonprofit launches program to support Alaska Native teachers

As Alaska grapples with a shortage of teachers and high turnover rates, a regional nonprofit is recruiting Alaska Native educators to a new statewide program… Continue reading

Sealaska Heritage Institute is seen in downtown Juneau on Friday. (Claire Stremple / Alaska Beacon)
Jurisdiction over this small plot of Juneau land, seen Jan. 20, is being disputed between the state of Alaska, the federal government and the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska asks judge to determine whether federal officials can create ‘Indian country’ on Juneau land

Lawsuit focuses on Tlingit and Haida’s 787-square-foot parcel of land downtown

Jurisdiction over this small plot of Juneau land, seen Jan. 20, is being disputed between the state of Alaska, the federal government and the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
This screenshot from a court filing by the Alaska Department of Law shows two identical pairs of wool booties taken from a tourist shop near Denali National Park. One pair bears the label “made in Nepal,” while the other says that it was made in Alaska. (Screenshot)

Alaska accuses souvenir store of selling fake Native art and products from ‘Yakutat alpacas’

A state judge has ordered a tourist shop outside Denali National Park to stop selling products labeled as “made in Alaska” after the state of… Continue reading

This screenshot from a court filing by the Alaska Department of Law shows two identical pairs of wool booties taken from a tourist shop near Denali National Park. One pair bears the label “made in Nepal,” while the other says that it was made in Alaska. (Screenshot)
Photos by Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Alicia Bagoyo, right and her daughter, Madalyn, look for a pre-kindergarten backpack with assistance from staff member Julie James during the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s annual backpack distribution at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Saturday.

Annual backpack giveaway charges up students and parents

2,400 packs with features for all ages distributed by Tlingit and Haida throughout Southeast Alaska

Photos by Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Alicia Bagoyo, right and her daughter, Madalyn, look for a pre-kindergarten backpack with assistance from staff member Julie James during the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s annual backpack distribution at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Saturday.
The Tongass National Forest includes 16.7 million acres and was established in 1907. The islands, forests, salmon streams, mountains and coastlines of Southeast Alaska are the ancestral lands of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people who continue to depend on and care for their traditional territories. The Tongass was not created with the consent of Alaska Native people and today, the U.S. Forest Service is working to improve government-to-government relations with the federally recognized tribal governments of Southeast Alaska. (Bethany Goodrich / Sustainable Southeast Partnership)

Resilient Peoples & Place: ‘Caring for the Land and Serving People’

A conversation with U.S. Forest Service Tribal Relations Specialist Jennifer Hanlon.

The Tongass National Forest includes 16.7 million acres and was established in 1907. The islands, forests, salmon streams, mountains and coastlines of Southeast Alaska are the ancestral lands of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people who continue to depend on and care for their traditional territories. The Tongass was not created with the consent of Alaska Native people and today, the U.S. Forest Service is working to improve government-to-government relations with the federally recognized tribal governments of Southeast Alaska. (Bethany Goodrich / Sustainable Southeast Partnership)
A Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority truck sits parked in the Mendenhall Valley. On Monday night the Juneau Assembly OK’d an ordinance to transfer about 11.5 acres of city-owned land on Pederson Hill to the authority for less than fair market value. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Tlingit and Haida to purchase discounted Pederson Hill property from city

Land for affordable housing appraised by the city at $700K in value, authority to only pay $100K.

A Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority truck sits parked in the Mendenhall Valley. On Monday night the Juneau Assembly OK’d an ordinance to transfer about 11.5 acres of city-owned land on Pederson Hill to the authority for less than fair market value. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Rae Mills, a mentor with the “Weaving Our Pride” project, hangs strands of wool yarn on a loom that will be used to create two Pride Robes at the Zach Gordon Youth Center on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Spinning the first threads of two Alaska Native Pride Robes

Mentors to spend year with students at Zach Gordon Youth Center creating the permanent wearable art

Rae Mills, a mentor with the “Weaving Our Pride” project, hangs strands of wool yarn on a loom that will be used to create two Pride Robes at the Zach Gordon Youth Center on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Bamby Kinville-James (left center) and Jeni Brown (right center) lead a song during a rally held at the steps of the Alaska State Capitol on May 5 to recognize Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Justice Department boosts resources for missing and murdered Indigenous cases in Alaska

Four specialists, one possibly in Juneau, will work with tribes and state to focus on rural areas.

Bamby Kinville-James (left center) and Jeni Brown (right center) lead a song during a rally held at the steps of the Alaska State Capitol on May 5 to recognize Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Angoon students paddle their dugout, war-style canoe into Chatham Strait from Front Street on June 19. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Angoon students name, launch first dugout canoe since 1882 Bombardment

Residents celebrate enduring culture after the village was devastated by the U.S. Navy shelling.

Angoon students paddle their dugout, war-style canoe into Chatham Strait from Front Street on June 19. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Hannahadina Kuhnert leads a music procession outside the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Saturday during a Juneteenth celebration where participants heard the history of the June 19 holiday and made their own musical instruments. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Juneteenth also marks a day of liberty for local tribal members

June 19 is Tlingit & Haida Day as well as a national holiday celebrating the end of slavery

Hannahadina Kuhnert leads a music procession outside the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Saturday during a Juneteenth celebration where participants heard the history of the June 19 holiday and made their own musical instruments. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Artwork for sale at the Sealaska Heritage Institute shop on Friday bears a label declaring it compliant with the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. The federal government has filed several recent cases in Alaska for violations of the act. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

As Alaska tourism rebounds, state and federal officials crack down on fake Alaska Native art

It’s a federal crime to sell art that is falsely marketed as created by an Alaska Native or tribal member.

Artwork for sale at the Sealaska Heritage Institute shop on Friday bears a label declaring it compliant with the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. The federal government has filed several recent cases in Alaska for violations of the act. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
The Yées Ḵu.Oo Dancers perform at the end of the Celebration of Life Walk on Sunday at Bill Overstreet Park. The walk, hosted locally by Cancer Connection for more than two decades, occurs on National Cancer Survivors Day. This year’s local celebration featured the first bagpiper, Alaska Native dance group and Native land acknowledgement. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Bagpipes and dancers bring new life to annual cancer survivors walk

“Everyone is touched by cancer,” organizer says at Sunday event.

The Yées Ḵu.Oo Dancers perform at the end of the Celebration of Life Walk on Sunday at Bill Overstreet Park. The walk, hosted locally by Cancer Connection for more than two decades, occurs on National Cancer Survivors Day. This year’s local celebration featured the first bagpiper, Alaska Native dance group and Native land acknowledgement. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
On Monday the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly passed a motion in support of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s intention to rename the two blocks of South Seward Street between Front Street and Marine Way to Heritage Way. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

City signals support for renaming South Seward Street

Sealaska Heritage Institute applied for it to be renamed to Heritage Way.

On Monday the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly passed a motion in support of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s intention to rename the two blocks of South Seward Street between Front Street and Marine Way to Heritage Way. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
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 following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
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 following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Salmon Northwest Coast art on the Wrangell Cooperative Association community smokehouse. (Vivian Faith Prescott / For the Capital City Weekly)

Planet Alaska: Smokehouse values

There are many ways to smoke salmon, but it takes discipline to take the time to learn and listen.

Salmon Northwest Coast art on the Wrangell Cooperative Association community smokehouse. (Vivian Faith Prescott / For the Capital City Weekly)
Children sit in a dugout canoe Wednesday in the Southeast Alaska village of Angoon. The dugout was dedicated to mark the 140th anniversary of the bombardment of Angoon. In 1882, the U.S. Navy opened fire on Angoon, burning the village and destroying all but one in its fleet of canoes. The new dugout was carved by Tlingit master carver Wayne Price and students in the Chatham School District. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Children sit in a dugout canoe Wednesday in the Southeast Alaska village of Angoon. The dugout was dedicated to mark the 140th anniversary of the bombardment of Angoon. In 1882, the U.S. Navy opened fire on Angoon, burning the village and destroying all but one in its fleet of canoes. The new dugout was carved by Tlingit master carver Wayne Price and students in the Chatham School District. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Frank Hughes pulls a tote filled with Alaska Native artifacts at the Juneau International Airport Thursday afternoon. Hughes is apart of the repatriation effort to retrieve the artifacts back to the Organized Village of Kake from George Fox University in Oregon.

Kake to welcome artifacts — some over 200 years old — back home

‘When I looked at them it was like looking at my past and my elders’

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Frank Hughes pulls a tote filled with Alaska Native artifacts at the Juneau International Airport Thursday afternoon. Hughes is apart of the repatriation effort to retrieve the artifacts back to the Organized Village of Kake from George Fox University in Oregon.