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SHI to release five new children’s books on creation stories, alphabet at public reception


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Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will hold a public reception on Saturday to release five new culturally-based children’s books that reflect the Native worldview.

The reception will include book signings by author Pauline Duncan and illustrators David Lang, Lindsay Carron and Crystal Worl. Everyone is welcome.

SHI developed the books through its Baby Raven Reads, a program for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5 that promotes language development and school readiness.

The series includes a three-book set derived from ancient creation stories that have been passed from generation to generation for thousands of years. The set includes Raven and the Box of Daylight, Raven Brings us Fire, and Origins of Rivers and Streams. The books were adapted from oral histories by Pauline Duncan and illustrated by Lindsay Carron.

SHI also will release Tlingit Alphabet, a two-book set that was edited by Katrina Hotch, Linda Belarde and Keri Eggleston, reviewed by traditional scholar Dr. Walter Soboleff and illustrated by Crystal Worl. The institute on Friday released a sixth book, Colors, which was illustrated by David Lang.

Everyone is welcome to the public reception scheduled from 11:30-12:30, Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Walter Soboleff Building. The reception will be preceded by a family event from 10-11:30 am for families enrolled in the Baby Raven Reads Program.

The release of the books is groundbreaking because so few culturally-relevant children’s books from Southeast Alaska exist that are not tailored for the commercial market. And, research has shown that Native students do better academically when their cultures are incorporated into learning materials and classes.

Baby Raven Reads is a culturally responsive kindergarten readiness program that is funded by an Alaska Native Education Program grant from the U.S. Department of Education:  CFDA # 84.356A, PR# S356A140060.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private, nonprofit founded in 1980 to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research and advocacy that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars and a Native Artists Committee. Its mission is to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska.

 

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