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#SealaskaWayOfLife Photo Contest Winners Announced
#SealaskaWayofLife photo submission by Sandra Rose

Sealaska is proud to share the winners of our 2021 #SealaskaWayOfLife photo contest!

We created the #SealaskaWayOfLife photo contest in 2020 because we want to see what the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian way of life looks like through your lens, celebrate our culture and heritage and foster connection within our communities and beyond—especially amid the pandemic.

This year, we created more opportunities for shareholders to get involved, because we want to continue to tell the Sealaska story from your perspective. The 2021 photo contest included special categories to build upon and celebrate Sealaska’s recent rebrand, and to amplify the voices and experiences of shareholders living outside of the region.

Thank you to everyone who participated, sharing a total of over 300 photos and capturing everything from adorable kids and stunning landscapes to traditional foods and cherished moments with loved ones. Learn more and check out this year’s winning submissions below.

‘Behind Our Brand’ category (#WeStandForBalance)

At Sealaska, balance is our essence—at the very heart of who we are, both as people and a company. What does balance mean to you? Inspired by our new brand identity, this category invited participants to explore and capture what balance looks like in our communities and their own lives. Two winners were selected to receive $100 cash and a $50 Sealaska Heritage Store gift card.

  • Heather Powell (Hoonah, AK)
  • Lillian Rodie Young (Juneau, AK)

“Matthew Mills (2 years old) and his daddy, Levi Mills, hunting for blueberries. Teaching them young to respect all things in the world.” – Heather Powell

#WeStandForBalance Winner Lillian Rodie Young

‘Beyond SE(Alaska)’ category (#SEAlaskaAndBeyond)

More than half of Sealaska shareholders are now living outside of the region and state. What does our way of life look like across the map? Influenced by the voices and experiences of shareholders far and wide, the ‘Beyond SE(Alaska)’ category invited participants living outside of the region to show us their journey, experience and connection to culture outside of their ancestral homelands. Two winners were selected to receive $100 cash and a $50 Barnacle Foods gift card.

  • Priscilla Kato (Seattle, WA)
  • Maggie Alby (Portland, OR)

“Even though we don’t live in my hometown… our love, roots and traditions live on from there!” – Priscilla Kato

“Dad, Frank Alby, preserving in Portland, Oregon.” – Maggie Alby

Judges’ choice

At Sealaska, we are guided by our belief in a better future, one in which our people, our way of life and the planet thrive. The approach we’ve chosen is one that can make a difference in the world. We owe that to the next generation. And we owe it to their grandchildren.

Sealaska is dedicated to doing our part to improve ocean health and protect our way of life. Over the past six years, we’ve advanced our twin goals of economic prosperity and environmental protection by investing in a range of businesses that support healthy oceans. Along the way, we’ve been steadily growing our capacity to improve the lives of shareholders—and to invest in our youth—in the areas of education, workforce development, economic vitality, language revitalization and philanthropy.

A team of Sealaska staff and leadership selected two winners, based on alignment with the company’s values, priorities, and current initiatives, to each receive a $100 Sealaska Heritage Store gift card.

  • Rayana White
  • Rosita Madura

“Charley (pictured) enjoys picking berries and making jam every summer with us. This summer she even tried herring eggs, and wants to try salmon. We are looking forward to powwow season so Charley can wear the regalia her Grandmama is making her. Charley has shared parts of her culture with her preschool and kindergarten classes. She is forever excited to learn the arts, storytelling and dance. As she gets older, it’s our hope that she will have the opportunity to learn the subsistence ways of our people, and to have the cultural experiences that encompassed and enriched my life. I see her life prints as she reaches to become a proud Tsimshian/Haida Princess of the Wolf Clan too, and letting it encompass, enrich and guide her in her life journeys.” – Rayana White

“My father putting up halibut.” – Rosita Madura

Grand prize

Throughout the duration of the photo contest, Sealaska selected two ‘audience choice’ winners per week to receive a $50 Barnacle Foods gift card and a $50 Sealaska Heritage Store gift card, based on which submissions received the most love on social media.

This year’s #SealaskaWayOfLife Finalists, from top left to bottom right: Heather Powell, Rose Kalkins, Abigail Jack-Brown, Martha Mallott, Violet Sensmeier, Raven Hunter, Jason Montero, RaCean Fredrickson

The eight weekly winners, or this year’s photo contest finalists, had a chance to win the grand prize of $300 cash, a $100 Barnacle Foods gift card or a $100 Sealaska Heritage Store gift card. We asked our audiences to help us crown the second annual #SealaskaWayOfLife champion by ‘voting’ for their favorite photo via our Facebook and Instagram platforms.

2021 #SealaskaWayofLife Winner! Photo submission by Violet Sensmeier

Receiving a total of nearly 500 ‘votes,’ congratulations to the 2021 #SealaskaWayOfLife grand prize winner—Violet Sensmeier! Here’s what she had to say about participating in the photo contest: “I decided to enter because I believe in spreading positivity about who we are and where we come from, and how proud we are to share what our ancestors fought so hard to save for us and pass down. What we have left is so sacred, and the more we share it, the bigger it grows. I want to see the current generations and future generations beaming with pride for our people, land and ways of life.”

At Sealaska, we value the voices and perspectives of our diverse shareholder base, and we thank each and every #SealaskaWayOfLife participant for being a part of our story. We will see you next year!