Free event to be offered virtually
Mar. 1, 2021
(About the Lecturer) (Flyer)
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will host a free lecture this Thursday tracing the development of the herring fishery in Southeast Alaska from pre-contact Indigenous relationships with herring to post-contact focus on herring products.
The lecture, Herring and People of the North Pacific: Sustaining a Foundational and Keystone Species, is an examination of the book of the same name and will be given by one of the authors of the book, Dr. Thomas F. Thornton.
“Herring are vital to the productivity and health of marine systems,” Thornton wrote. “Socio-ecologically, Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii) is one of the most important fish species in the Northern Hemisphere. Human dependence on herring has evolved for millennia through interactions with key spawning areas—but humans have also significantly impacted the species’ distribution and abundance.”
Thornton’s presentation will explore herring fishery development through ethnological, historical, archaeological and political perspectives, with comparison to other North Pacific cultures.
Thornton will also reveal new findings about current herring stocks, the fish’s significance to the conservation of intraspecies biodiversity and role of traditional local knowledge in both understanding marine ecology and restoring herring to their former abundance.
The talk, which is scheduled at noon on Thursday, March 4, is part of a lecture series this month focusing on subsistence in various Alaska Native communities and factors that impact traditional subsistence practices.
All lectures will be livestreamed at 12 pm Alaska time on SHI’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/c/SealaskaHeritageInstitute and available for viewing on YouTube any time after the livestream (no account required).
This program is provided under the Preparing Indigenous Teachers and Administrators for Alaska Schools (PITAAS) program and funded by the Alaska Native Education Program.
About the Lecturer
Thomas F. Thornton is professor of environment and society and director of the Alaska Coastal Rainforest Center at the University of Alaska Southeast. His research interests include Indigenous and local knowledge systems and human environmental interactions, the political ecology of sustainable development and resource stewardship in complex social-ecological systems and human adaptation to environmental change in the North Pacific, especially Southeast Alaska. He is the author of The Distribution of Subsistence Herring Eggs from Sitka Sound, Alaska (Sealaska Heritage Institute, 2019) and co-author with Madonna Moss of Herring and People of the North Pacific: Sustaining a Keystone Species (University of Washington Press, 2021).
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.