Sealaska Heritage Institute (Naa Kahidi Theater)
Juneau , Alaska
The NEA grant will support the commission and installation of two Tlingit totem poles as part of the Gajaa Hit Project. Master Tlingit carvers will work with tribal member apprentices to create the totem poles to honor the indigenous Tlingit clans that first lived in Juneau. Located at the gateway to Juneau's emerging cultural district, the totem poles will be carved in accordance with Tlingit customs and installed at the Gajaa Hit building, where all project activities and future native arts training projects will be held.
The project will be led by Sealaska Heritage Institute in partnership with the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council and the Tlingit & Haida Regional Housing Authority. Designed to promote cross-cultural understanding and preserve the heritage of the 23,000 Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribal members currently living in Southeast Alaska, the totem poles will be on view to the 31,000 Native and non-Native Juneau residents and nearly one million annual visitors.