PUBLISHED: 4:10 PM on Wednesday, June 25, 2008
SHI offers basketball camps, leadership training
Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will offer basketball camps and leadership training to Native youths in five Southeast communities this summer.

SHI will sponsor Latseen Hoop Camps in Klukwan, Yakutat, Klawock, Hydaburg and Juneau and its fourth annual Latseen Leadership Training in Juneau.

The goal of the hoop camps is to integrate Native languages into a fun activity, said SHI President Rosita Worl. The institute sponsored Tlingit hoop camps last year in Angoon and Juneau and they were so successful, the program was expanded, Worl said.

"Last year was a pilot program, it was so successful in terms of the language acquisition that we've decided to expand it to other communities and also to include Haida," said Worl.

SHI Language Director Yarrow Vaara and SHI Haida Linguist Dr. Jordan Lachler will teach the language components for the camps, which will be directed by Mischa Plunkett, who played basketball at the University of California Santa Cruz. Plunkett, a Tlingit, also worked as assistant women's basketball coach at the collegiate level for three years and holds a Masters Degree in Sport and Recreation Administration from Temple University.

Each camp will include five days of instruction six hours per day and integrate basketball fundamentals, physical conditioning, Native-language lessons, and cultural themes. The goal is to provide services for up to 40 youth participants in each camp.

The institute also will sponsor Latseen Leadership Training for high school students across the region.

"This is for young people to teach them about the leadership skills they're going to be needing, the service leadership mentality, knowing who they are, understanding their place not only in the Native community but also why it's important to get a college education or higher education," Worl said.

The schedule is as follows for Latseen Hoop Camp:

• Klukwan: July 7-11

• Yakutat: July 14-18

• Klawock: July 28-Aug. 2

• Hydaburg: July 28-Aug. 2

• Juneau: Aug. 11-15

• Juneau: Aug. 18-22

Latseen Leadership Training will be held in Juneau at the University of Alaska Southeast campus June 19 through July 1.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a Native nonprofit established in 1981 to administer educational and cultural programs for Sealaska, a regional Native corporation formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The institute's mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures. Language revitalization is a priority of SHI.