PUBLISHED: 4:50 PM on Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Native history conference convenes in Sitka
More than ninety Alaska Native and academic experts from the United States, Canada and Russia will come together in Sitka at Sharing our Knowledge: A Conference of Tsimshian, Haida and Tlingit Tribes and Clans . Hosted by the Sitka Tribe of Alaska and the Southeast Alaska Native Educators Association, the conference convenes March 21-25, 2007.

A welcome ceremony kicks off the event at the Sitka Centennial Hall convention center on the evening of March 21. The following four days will be filled with lectures, slide programs, and workshops. Highlights include:

Thursday, March 22: workshops on clan leadership and Northwest Coast artifacts; presentations on Native language revitalization and sacred sites; evening Naming Workshop and Ceremony

Friday, March 23: A keynote luncheon address by Walter Porter of Yakutat who will speak on the relevance of Tlingit myths to modern life. Workshops and presentations include place-based education; repatriation, and Native history; the importance of canoes to Native life; and an evening banquet with a keynote address by scholars Nora and Richard Dauenhauer. The evening performances include readings featuring Alaska Native literature, poetry, music and oratory.

Saturday, March 24: Presentations on Native history, archaeology, fisheries, and basketry. Dance group performances will take place that evening.

Sunday, March 25: Presentations on Native art history, cultural centers, music, oral rraditions and mythology, and intellectual property rights.

Andrew Hope III, conference executive director, said that the event "allows the public to become immersed in the history and cultures of the northern coast, and access to the latest research and leading thinkers." Hope said the event affords a rare opportunity for key elders and cultural experts to share information with colleagues, students, members of the Native community, and the public. "The support and enthusiasm for this conference has been overwhelming," he said.

All the workshops and presentations will be documented by video recordings that will be available on DVDs following the event.

In-person registration begins at the Sitka Centennial Hall at 8 a.m. on March 22. General admission is $75, seniors and student admission is $25.

The schedule and complete information is available at: