Senior Voice Staff 

November lecture series in Juneau focuses on Native spirituality


Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will sponsor a noon lecture series in Juneau to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November.

The brown-bag lunch series will focus on spirituality, said SHI President Rosita Worl. Native spirituality is a topic that has come up in issues dealing with repatriation and other areas. SHI’s Council of Traditional Scholars has wrestled with how to bring the knowledge of shamanism into the modern world and to correct the many misconceptions about shamanism. Also, an Alaska court recently heard testimony on Yup’ik fishing and spirituality, said Worl, adding the timing for this discussion seemed appropriate.

“As a society, we still have a lot to learn about Native religion, Native spirituality. We’re hopeful that our lecture series is going to offer an insight into Native spirituality and Native religion,” said Worl, who also will give one of the lectures.

The lectures are sponsored by ConocoPhillips Alaska and will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the 4th floor boardroom at Sealaska Plaza in Juneau. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunches. The talks also will be videotaped and posted online.

The lecture schedule is as follows:

Nov. 5, “Spiritual Connections and Obligations: The Foudnation of Tlingit Existence,” with Steve J. Langdon, UAA Professor of Anthropology

Nov. 12, “Reclaiming Traditional Spirituality,” with Jane Harcharek, Director of Inupiaq Education at North Slope Borough School District

Nov. 18, “Tlingit Spirituality and Shamanism in the 21st Century,” with Dr. Rosita Worl, Sealaska Heritage Institute president

Nov. 19, “The Great Blessing of the Water: Salmon and Indigenized Orthodoxy on the Nushagak River,” with Alan Boraas, Kenai Peninsula College Professor of Anthropology

Nov. 26, “The Essence of Tlingit Spirituality,” with David Katzeek, Tlingit, Shangukeidi clan leader

For more information and full descriptions of the presentations, visit the website

Sealaska Heritage Institute’s mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.


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