Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) is a regional Native nonprofit organization founded for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people of Southeast Alaska. SHI was established in 1981 by Sealaska Corp., a for-profit company formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). SHI, formerly Sealaska Heritage Foundation, administers Sealaska Corp.’s cultural and educational programs.
I know this because I got linked the other day by SHI’s Special Collections Research Center Blog, which I hadn’t seen before. While not updated as frequently as this corner of the internavel is, it contains a lot of great posts going back to 2007 – you can see links to their archives down on the lower right hand side of their front page.
The most recent post concerns the artifact shown above. It looks to my eye like a, possibly unfinished, hand maul. They seem a little uncertain about the function though, so someone should go over to their site and give some opinions – they take comments. People with dirty minds are excluded from this request.
Another section of note is the new and upcoming books along the upper right sidebar of their front page – some of these, like the how-to carve a Tlingit helmet (and related books), and Thornton’s new book on SE Alaska placenames, look really worth having.
A lot of their posts are about historic documents and photos which come into their possession. Some of these, such the Richard Wood photo collection, they put onto picasa, which is nice because it is very fast to load. A few, such as the picture below (more information on, and a large version of which, is available if you click through) document donations to SHI of archaeological and ethnographic specimens. All in all, it’s an interesting blog and a good way to keep an eye on events to the North of us.