Helen Alten, Cultural Department Director joined CIA December 2021. She is the former Director of the Haines Sheldon Museum, which she led for 6.5 years. She has degrees in Classical Archaeology, and Archaeological Conservation and Materials Science. She wrote the grants to fund the new cultural and language programs. She has worked with tribes throughout the United States since 1986 on NAGPRA, collections storage and care, construction of cultural centers, and training staff for cultural centers. She has taught workshops and consulted with Alaska tribes since 1989 when she worked as the State Conservator for the Alaska State Museum. Since then she provided workshops for the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO), the Smithsonian Institution Museum of the American Indian, and Keepers of the Treasures in South Dakota. As a material scientist she is fascinated by how cultural heritage objects are made and used. In 1993 she published an education article for the Materials Research Society, “Interweaving Traditional and Modern Science for Adult Education,” describing how basketry cleaning and repair workshops in Alaska taught biology, chemistry and physics to adult learners. She has a passion for the material culture of our area and wants to see its production become a viable economic generator for Jilkoot Aani.
Cindy Price-Hagwood, Education Coordinator, joined CIA in May 2022. A member of the talented Price family, she develops community and school workshops based on annual themes. “My name is Kaayi. I am called Cindy in English. I am of the Kaagwaantaan, Eagle/Wolf moiety. Our clan house is called Eagles’ Nest House. I am a child of the Gaanaxteidi Xi’xch’I Hit, Raven/Frog House. I was born and raised in Lkoot Aani, land of the Chilkoots. I live in Deishu, called Haines on maps. Being around the culture and the people who work here has rounded the corners of who I am. I am creating events that teach our people skills and the cultural understanding of who we are and where we came from. It is in our DNA. Seeing the investment in our culture and the revitalization has been inspiring. Getting people engaged and excited about their indigenous heritage, being a small part of a bigger grassroots movement, is humbling. Gunalchéesh to the elders who came before me, making the way.”
Marsha Hotch was hired in September 2022 as Language Project Manager. She is a fluent Tlingit birth speaker and has been at the forefront of Tlingit language revitalization work for nearly 20 years.
We are looking for a Language Apprentice interested in building their language skills through one-on-one work with Marsha Hotch as well as assisting with language classes and activities.
Meghan Hart is the part-time Language Media Technician, developing language videos as resources for language students.
Stojanka Lynch is the contracted part-time Curriculum Specialist. She is writing traditional arts curricula for use by K-12 teachers in the Haines School district.
Aurora Alten-Huber, Resilient Alaska Youth AmeriCorps member, is serving with CIA until August 30, 2023. She provides regular activities, programming, and support for youth ages 10-18. She has developed children’s activities for the Language Classes. She is excited to give back to the community that has been her home for nine years.