The Road to Hydaburg

Sealaska will be holding its 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders in Hydaburg, Alaska.
When:   Saturday June 24, 2017
             1:00 pm (Alaska Time)
Where:   Hydaburg high School Gymnasium
             Totem Park and main Street
              Hydaburg, AK 99922

As Sealaska prepares for the 2017 annual meeting, we wanted to share a few key highlights of Hydaburg activity.

The Community of Hydaburg Sets Priorities for 2017-2020
In October 2016, twenty community leaders representing the City of Hydaburg, Hydaburg Cooperative Association, Haida Corporation, Hydaburg City School District, and Xaadas Kil Kuyaas Foundation met to develop a new long range community plan that would focus not only on future economic development, but on strengthening the cultural, social and physical health of the community.

Top 7 Community Development Priorities
1. Create a Youth Training Center
2. Expand Haida Culture Education & Youth Programs
3. Address Drug Use in Hydaburg

4. Protect the Environment & Complete Land Use Plan
5. Complete Dam, Water and Sewer Projects

6. Increase Availability of Fishing Permits
7. Develop a Grocery Co-op

Haida Shareholder Highlights

  • Ben Young is a member of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Southeast Regional Language Committee. He learned Xaad Kíl (Haida language) from his grandfather, Claude Morrison Kúng Skíis, a respected Haida elder who lived to the age of 100. As a teenager, Young taught his first language classes at SHI’s Latseen Leadership Academy. Young has also served as a cultural specialist with SHI, the Xaadas Kíl Kuyaas Foundation and the Ketchikan Indian Community.

  • Damen Bell-Holter is a professional basketball player with Fortitudo Agrigento of the serie A2
  • Dorothy Grant is a member of the Order of Canada, the Order of B.C., has an honorary degree from the University of Northern B.C., and numerous business awards
  • Jacinthe Two Bulls will be in residence at Santa Fe Art Institute (Rasmuson Foundation)
  • Robert Davidson’s metal panel “Greatest Echo” adorns the front of the Walter Soboleff Building
  • TJ Young, master artist, returned to Hydaburg to carve house posts and totems for the new Hydaburg Long House
  • Rebecca Frank is the Haida Corporation Chair and a master weaver

Current Hydaburg Leadership
    •    Hydaburg Mayor, Anthony “Tony” Christianson who also serves as the Federal Subsistence Board Chair
    •    Hydaburg Cooperative Association Tribal Council President, Sidney Edenshaw, who also serves as a Sealaska Director
    •    Haida Corporation President, Vicki Soboleff, who also serves as Sealaska Controller and was named 2016 Governor’s Awards for the Arts Awardees

The Hydaburg Cooperative Association Summer Culture Camp
Strengthening the Haida culture is a priority for the Hydaburg community. For the last ten plus years, the federally recognized tribe, Hydaburg Cooperative Association (HCA), has sponsored a carving program led by several Haida Masters Carvers.

“Haida people have been carving canoes and totem poles from locally harvested red cedar trees for centuries,” said Hydaburg community leader Lisa Lang. “Carved Haida totem poles and wooden panels are recognized around the world for their rich detail and unique style.”

Hydaburg’s Master Carvers worked together over a five-year period (2010–2015) to re-carve 21 totem poles that once stood in the village, but had fallen into disrepair. Pole raising celebrations have been held each of these five years, as part of the tribe’s annual Culture Camp. The carvers in Hydaburg can often be found at the village’s “Carving Shed” working on various individual and community projects. Visiting tourists, school children, and local residents are free to work on
carving projects six days a week, under the mentoring of some of the best Haida carvers in the world.

Hydaburg’s summer Culture Camp has been held annually since 2007. The first camp was held for two days and attracted 25 participants. In 2015, Hydaburg’s culture camp extended four days and attracted over 2,000 people. The two Hydaburg traditional dance groups hold regularly scheduled practices, and are open to participants of all ages. The dance groups perform at local and regional cultural events and ceremonies


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