NEWS_SHI to sponsor lecture on the history and healing of Douglas, Alaska

NEWS_SHI to sponsor lecture on the history and healing of Douglas, Alaska

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

Talk part of series that will focus on educational inequities, injustices

Sept. 8, 2020

(About the Lecturer) (Flyer)

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a lecture on the institutional and systemic racism inflicted on Alaska Native people in Douglas, Alaska, as part of its September series meant to acquaint the public with culturally-responsive education in Southeast Alaska.

Through the lecture, History and Healing: A story of Douglas, Dan Monteith, Ph.D., will explore historical traumatic events, including the destruction of Native graves and a cemetery in the 1950s, when the City of Douglas built a school over the burial site.

Following that event, the city condemned, bulldozed and burned many Native homes and buildings in the area of Douglas that was known as the Native village.

“How do we as a community acknowledge, educate, heal and compensate for this historical trauma,” wrote Monteith in an abstract for the lecture.

The lecture will run from noon-1 pm, Friday, Sept. 11, be streamed on SHI’s YouTube channel. People may submit questions via Facebook comments and staff will read them to speakers during the events. All lectures will be posted on SHI’s YouTube for later viewing at

The goal of the series is to unveil the educational inequity and social injustices that have long been a part of the educational system and history in Alaska. The series will feature presenters who will speak on topics to help the community expand its understanding of the legacy of colonization and the impacts on education as it relates to Tlingit culture and history. The series is part of SHI’s goal to promote cross-cultural understanding.

Monteith will give a preview of his talk on Wednesday, Sept. 9, as a guest on KTOO’s Juneau Afternoon radio program. 

About the Lecturer

Daniel Monteith, Ph.D., does research and work in a variety of subjects within anthropology.  He began his research in Southeast Alaska more than thirty years ago, living and working in Saxman helping the community maintain their subsistence priority and rural designation.  He has been an anthropology professor at the University of Alaska Southeast for more than twenty years. When he moved to Juneau he began collaborating with Huna and Yakutat on ethnohistory and geoarchaeological work in Glacier Bay.  He is currently developing with elders classes and recordings in the Tlingit language on knowledge about the ecology of Southeast.  Since 2012, he has worked as a community member and educator researching events of historical trauma in Douglas and how we as a community can move forward towards healing and social justice.

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

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