Alaska Natives

Fran Houston, cultural Leader of the A'akw Kwáan, dances during Celebration in downtown Juneau. Wednesday, the biennial celebration of Alaska Native peoples and cultures brought song, dance and the opening of a new arts campus to the capital city. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Celebration opens with Sealaska campus debut

Dances, ceremonies, Alaska’s first 360-degree totem and a new discovery about old times mark event

Fran Houston, cultural Leader of the A'akw Kwáan, dances during Celebration in downtown Juneau. Wednesday, the biennial celebration of Alaska Native peoples and cultures brought song, dance and the opening of a new arts campus to the capital city. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Kristall Bullock, 16, right, a Ketchikan resident whose Native-themed vest is part of the Sealaska Heritage Juried Youth Art Exhibit, examines works by her peers during the debt of the exhibit Friday at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. She said she saw works at the exhibit during Celebration in 2018, when she was with one of the dance groups, and “I was thinking I want to have a piece.” Viewing other works at the exhibit with Bullock are her sister, Anna Lindgren, and 8-month-old niece, Evelyn. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Healthy outlook for return of Celebration

Landmark Alaska Native event returns to Juneau starting Wednesday, with strict COVID-19 rules.

Kristall Bullock, 16, right, a Ketchikan resident whose Native-themed vest is part of the Sealaska Heritage Juried Youth Art Exhibit, examines works by her peers during the debt of the exhibit Friday at the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council. She said she saw works at the exhibit during Celebration in 2018, when she was with one of the dance groups, and “I was thinking I want to have a piece.” Viewing other works at the exhibit with Bullock are her sister, Anna Lindgren, and 8-month-old niece, Evelyn. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Sealaska Heritage Institute's new arts campus was still under construction on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, but will officially open at noon this Wednesday for the start of Celebration, Sealaska's biennial festival. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Sealaska Heritage Institute's new arts campus was still under construction on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, but will officially open at noon this Wednesday for the start of Celebration, Sealaska's biennial festival. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire 
Volunteers clear deadwood and undergrowth as part of the cleanup of the cemetery near Lawson Creek on May 14, 2022.

Clearing and healing: Lawson Creek Cemetery restoration continues

Volunteers are bringing what was neglected back to light.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire 
Volunteers clear deadwood and undergrowth as part of the cleanup of the cemetery near Lawson Creek on May 14, 2022.
In this July 8, 2021, photo, adjunct history professor and research associate Larry Larrichio holds a copy of a late 19th century photograph of pupils at an Indigenous boarding school in Santa Fe during an interview in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release a report Wednesday, May 11, 2022, that it says will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

U.S. identifies Indigenous boarding schools, burial sites

The report expands the number of schools that were known to have operated for 150 years.

In this July 8, 2021, photo, adjunct history professor and research associate Larry Larrichio holds a copy of a late 19th century photograph of pupils at an Indigenous boarding school in Santa Fe during an interview in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release a report Wednesday, May 11, 2022, that it says will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)
Red painted handprints cover the empty spot at a park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday, July 1, 2021, where a historical marker for the Indigenous children who died while attending a boarding school nearby was removed. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release a report Wednesday, May 11, 2022, that it says will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools.  (AP Photo / Susan Montoya Bryan,File)

U.S. agency to release report on Indigenous boarding schools

The report was prompted by the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at sites in Canada.

Red painted handprints cover the empty spot at a park in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Thursday, July 1, 2021, where a historical marker for the Indigenous children who died while attending a boarding school nearby was removed. The U.S. Interior Department is expected to release a report Wednesday, May 11, 2022, that it says will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools.  (AP Photo / Susan Montoya Bryan,File)
Donovan Jackson, 12, of Juneau competes in the one-foot high kick during the 2022 Traditional Games on April 2, 2022. The games were held at Thunder Mountain High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)

Juneau hosts record-setting Traditional Games competition

It was the largest iteration of the games held in Juneau yet.

Donovan Jackson, 12, of Juneau competes in the one-foot high kick during the 2022 Traditional Games on April 2, 2022. The games were held at Thunder Mountain High School. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)
From left to right: Chairman of Goldbelt Inc.'s Board of Directors Todd Antioquia, Sealaska Corporation Board of Director's Chair Joe Nelson; Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallot; Goldbelt President and CEO McHugh Pierre and University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor Karen Carey at the Centennial Hall on Thursday, March 17, 2022 for the Juneau Economic Development Corporation's annual innovation summit. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
From left to right: Chairman of Goldbelt Inc.'s Board of Directors Todd Antioquia, Sealaska Corporation Board of Director's Chair Joe Nelson; Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallot; Goldbelt President and CEO McHugh Pierre and University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor Karen Carey at the Centennial Hall on Thursday, March 17, 2022 for the Juneau Economic Development Corporation's annual innovation summit. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Anthony Mallott, president and CEO of Sealaska Corp. reflected on the 50th Anniversary of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act during the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce weekly lunch on Thursday.

Mallott looks back — and forward — 50 years after ANCSA

Native corporates are big business in Alaska

Anthony Mallott, president and CEO of Sealaska Corp. reflected on the 50th Anniversary of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act during the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce weekly lunch on Thursday.
The Wooshkeetaan Kootéeyaa totem pole was re-installed at its new home in the attrium of the State Office Building on Friday, March 11, 2022. Workers from Alaska Electric Light and Power helped install the pole. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Wooshkeetaan Kootéeyaa totem pole was re-installed at its new home in the attrium of the State Office Building on Friday, March 11, 2022. Workers from Alaska Electric Light and Power helped install the pole. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, seen here in this 2021 Empire file photo, introduced a bill Monday that would allow the federal government to seize Russian ships in American waters. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)
U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, seen here in this 2021 Empire file photo, introduced a bill Monday that would allow the federal government to seize Russian ships in American waters. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire file)
Elizabeth Kaaxgal.aat Peratrovich’s legacy is strong in Juneau, where a recently finished mural and renamed plaza help honor the memory of the civil rights activist. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Elizabeth Kaaxgal.aat Peratrovich’s legacy is strong in Juneau, where a recently finished mural and renamed plaza help honor the memory of the civil rights activist. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Kyle Worl competes in the two-foot high kick at the 2020 Traditional Games. The games this year are being held at Thunder Mountain High School on April 2-3 2022 (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Kyle Worl competes in the two-foot high kick at the 2020 Traditional Games. The games this year are being held at Thunder Mountain High School on April 2-3 2022 (Courtesy Photo / Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Alaska Independent Coach Tour’s busses will be running with the same looks but new management after a joint venture between Huna Totem Corporation and Doyon, Limited founded a joint venture purchasing a controlling interest in the transport company. (Courtesy photo / AICT)

Huna Totem and Doyon announce new joint venture

Their aims are the promotion of sustainable, cultural tourism in transportation, lodging, and tour opportunities.

Alaska Independent Coach Tour’s busses will be running with the same looks but new management after a joint venture between Huna Totem Corporation and Doyon, Limited founded a joint venture purchasing a controlling interest in the transport company. (Courtesy photo / AICT)
Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire 
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska recently acquired a pair of buildings downtown near the Andrew Hope Building as it hopes to provide more office space to centralize services for its citizens.

Tlingit and Haida president talks new buildings, future expansion

The tribe is taking steps to consolidate a number of its offices downtown.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire 
Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska recently acquired a pair of buildings downtown near the Andrew Hope Building as it hopes to provide more office space to centralize services for its citizens.
Signatures for a ballot initiative to have the State of Alaska recognize the 229 federally-recognized tribal governments were submitted to Division of Elections offices in Anchorage Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. The campaign was able to collect 56,230 signatures - well over the minimum requirement - meaning Alaskan voters will likely see the initiative on the November ballot. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Better Government)
Signatures for a ballot initiative to have the State of Alaska recognize the 229 federally-recognized tribal governments were submitted to Division of Elections offices in Anchorage Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. The campaign was able to collect 56,230 signatures - well over the minimum requirement - meaning Alaskan voters will likely see the initiative on the November ballot. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Better Government)
Courtesy art /SHI 
There are ten proposed locations for a “totem pole trail” that the Sealaska Heritage Foundation just received a $2.9 million dollar grant for, as well as the location of a new 360-degree totem pole to be raised separately in the SHI arts campus downtown.

Sealaska Heritage gets multimillion dollar grant for totem pole trail

Before these ten go up, however, a unique totem pole will be raised in the new arts campus downtown.

Courtesy art /SHI 
There are ten proposed locations for a “totem pole trail” that the Sealaska Heritage Foundation just received a $2.9 million dollar grant for, as well as the location of a new 360-degree totem pole to be raised separately in the SHI arts campus downtown.
Dan Martinez, emergency manager for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, pauses in a classroom used to store donated water on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in, Warm Springs, Ore. In Oregon, tribal officials have handed out about 3 million gallons (11 million liters) of water — almost all of it donated — from a decommissioned elementary school on the reservation. (AP Photo / Nathan Howard)

US tribes see hope for clean water in infrastructure bill

Erland Suppah Jr. doesn’t trust what comes out of his faucet.

Dan Martinez, emergency manager for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, pauses in a classroom used to store donated water on Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021, in, Warm Springs, Ore. In Oregon, tribal officials have handed out about 3 million gallons (11 million liters) of water — almost all of it donated — from a decommissioned elementary school on the reservation. (AP Photo / Nathan Howard)
This map, provided by Alaska Natives Without Land, shows possible federal land grants for the landless community of Tenakee Springs, one of five communities in Alaska not granted land by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971. (Screenshot)

50 years after ANCSA, some still fighting for land

The five landless communities and Vietnam veterans were left landless by the act.

This map, provided by Alaska Natives Without Land, shows possible federal land grants for the landless community of Tenakee Springs, one of five communities in Alaska not granted land by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act in 1971. (Screenshot)
Dorothy Thomson stands while giving a thumbs down as Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives his State of Alaska Address during the 2019 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The 2019 convention was the last in-person convention as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the meeting to go digital for the second year in a row. (Eric Engman/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)
Dorothy Thomson stands while giving a thumbs down as Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives his State of Alaska Address during the 2019 Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. The 2019 convention was the last in-person convention as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the meeting to go digital for the second year in a row. (Eric Engman/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)