NEWS_SHI to sponsor event, recollections of Dr. Walter Soboleff

NEWS_SHI to sponsor event, recollections of Dr. Walter Soboleff

Posted By:
Kathy Dye
Kathy Dye
Published On: December 22nd, 2020

Event free, open to the public

Nov. 8, 2019


Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor an event featuring recollections on the late Tlingit spiritual leader Dr. Walter Soboleff on the day named in his honor.

The talk, Walter Soboleff Day: Reflections on Dr. Soboleff, will be led by his nephew Albert Kookesh, who will share his memories, followed by audience members who wish to share their stories of Dr. Soboleff. 

Soboleff, who “walked into the forest” in 2011 at age 102, was a Tlingit of the Raven, Dog Salmon clan. He was lauded as a spiritual leader who helped Native and non-Native people alike at a time when segregation was the norm. Throughout his life, he worked tirelessly to advance Native civil rights.

He was largely known for his far-reaching radio ministry, which drew a substantial audience across the region, and he was highly regarded in the Native and non-Native community. In 2015, SHI named its new building in his honor. In 2011, First Alaskans magazine published a seminal biography on him.  

Kookesh is a former Alaska senator and an Alaska Native leader who has served Native people in many capacities including as a board member of Sealaska and First Alaskans Institute and as a trustee for Sealaska Heritage.

The event is scheduled on Walter Soboleff Day from noon-1 pm, Thursday, Nov. 14, at Sealaska Heritage’s Walter Soboleff Building, 105 S. Seward St. in Juneau. The lecture will be videotaped and put online shortly after the talk.

This program is provided under the Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS) program and funded by the Alaska Native Education Program.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.

CONTACT: Amy Fletcher, SHI Media and Publications Director, 907.586.9116,

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