Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has launched its first blog in an effort to keep people informed about issues, books and collections of interest to Southeast Alaska Natives.
The blog, written by the institute’s archivist, Zachary Jones, will offer weekly updates on SHI’s archives and engage people in talks about Native languages, history, heritage and other topics. The site also will include links to new and forthcoming books and scholarly studies of interest to Native people.
“We want to let people know what’s going on almost on a weekly basis and we want to get people involved and keep them informed,” said Jones.
The hope is to establish an online community.
“A blog is a good thing because it reaches a certain audience and it gives people a different way to learn and grow and interact online. It seems like we’re becoming an online community, it’s important that SHI keep up with that,” said Jones, who joined SHI in October.
SHI strives to be responsive to a changing environment and to constituents who are using technology more often, said SHI President Rosita Worl.
“Virtual communication is nothing new,” said Worl, recalling a comment by former SHI chair Judson Brown. “He saw me once using a cell phone and reminded me that our shamans had always communicated over long distances in much the same fashion.”
SHI is a Native nonprofit established in 1981 to administer educational and cultural programs for Sealaska, a regional Native corporation formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The institute’s mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures.