Sealaska Heritage Institute
Sealaska Heritage Institute was founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.
Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor skin-sewing workshops in six communities in an effort to revitalize a traditional art form and to create a cottage industry in Southeast Alaska.
Through the program, called the Southeast Alaska Sustainable Arts Project, students in Kake, Sitka, Prince of Wales Island, Hoonah, Juneau and Yakutat will learn to stretch hides, cut patterns and hand-sew hats and scarves from furs.
Award-winning Tlingit carver Archie Cavanaugh is still reeling from federal charges that threatened to imprison him for 10 years and impose a $100,000 fine—all because he put feathers on his work.
Cavanaugh says he did not know he was prohibited by two federal laws from using flicker feathers and raven feathers on pieces for sale, and he wants other Native artists to know they could be in legal peril as well.