Helen Alten, Cultural Department Director, 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.


Theodore (Ted) Hart, Language Coordinator, studied the Tlingit Language at the University of Alaska Southeast as well as taking workshops and classes in Haines. He grew up listening to his Grandma, a fluent Lingit speaker, talk with her sisters and local women in town. Studying with Florence Sheakley at University of Alaska Southeast helped him build a solid foundation for learning the language. That has carried over and helped with revitalizing the local Tlingit dance group, Deishu Dancers. Being able to hear the words and pronounce them clearly made it possible to learn songs quickly. He has a passion for language and believes it is vital that this language lives on, it benefits anyone that steps on this land.


Cultural Program Educator will be hired in January 2022 to develop community and school workshops based on three annual themes: Year 1-Formline; Year 2-Carving; Year 3-Weaving