NEWS_SHI to sponsor lecture on the history of Alaska Native education

NEWS_SHI to sponsor lecture on the history of Alaska Native education

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

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

Sept. 10, 2020

(About the Lecturer) (Flyer)

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a lecture on the history of Alaska Native education as part of its September series meant to acquaint the public with culturally-responsive education in Southeast Alaska.

Through the lecture, Chookangee Tláa (Mischa Plunkett Jackson), a Tlingit and an assistant professor of secondary education at the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS), will explore Alaska Native history, starting at contact, to provide a backdrop and contextual understanding of different events that have shaped the educational systems in place for Alaska Natives. 

These events and policies have had a lasting impact on Southeast Alaska Native families and communities historically and in the present day. In her talk, she will highlight the active role that Alaska Natives have taken in attempts to push for educational reform and opportunities for future generations. 

“As a ‘young’ state, it’s important to place these Alaskan events in the context of US history and federal policy, while also recognizing that change and progress has been evident but have also been slow-going.,” she wrote in an abstract.

The lecture will run from noon-1 pm, Tuesday, Sept. 15, and will be streamed on SHI’s YouTube channel. People may submit questions via YouTube comments and staff will read them to speakers during the events. After the live streams, all lectures will be posted on a YouTube playlist for later viewing.

Chookangee Tláa will give a preview of her talk on Monday, Sept. 14, as a guest on KTOO’s Juneau Afternoon radio program, which airs from 3-4 pm weekdays.  

About the Lecturer

Prior to her work at UAS, Chookangee Tláa was a social studies teacher at Juneau-Douglas High School, and she previously worked with the Tlingit and Haida Johnson O’Malley Program and Sealaska Heritage Institute.  Chookangee Tláa has roots throughout Southeast Alaska; she is Shangukeidí (Thunderbird clan) from the House Lowered from the Sun in Klukwan, and her family was born and raised in Juneau. She is connected to many villages and families through her husband, Josh Jackson, Kalcháni, (T’aḵdéintaan) and they are raising three little thunderbird girls in Juneau.

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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