Juneau’s Native Heritage
Scholars believe indigenous peoples have inhabited Southeast Alaska for more than 10,000 years.
It is the traditional homeland of three distinct ethnicities: Tlingit (“clink-it”), Haida (“high-da”), and Tsimshian (“sim-shee-an”). Abundant resources allowed local clans to develop music, dance, art, textiles and storytelling. As such, this area’s Native culture provides unique insight into the tribal heritage of the entire Pacific Northwest.
Juneau’s most important Alaska Native cultural event—and one of the largest in the state—is Celebration, a biennial festival organized by Sealaska Heritage Institute, the cultural arm of the Sealaska Native Corporation. Sealaska’s beautiful new Walter Soboleff Building honors Tlingit civil rights leader Dr. Walter A. Soboleff.