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  6.  | Tlingit & Haida Welcomes New Head Start Director and Cultural Heritage Manager

Tlingit & Haida Welcomes New Head Start Director and Cultural Heritage Manager

Oct 28, 2021 | Alaska Native, Right Moves

Right Moves with Green and Blanchett

Juneau, AK (October 26, 2021) – The Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) is pleased to announce Christa Green has been promoted to Head Start Director and Stephen Qacung Blanchett has been hired as Cultural Heritage Manager.

Green first joined Tlingit & Haida in 2001 as a Teacher Aide for Head Start, a free federal program that provides comprehensive early childhood education to eligible children ages 3-5 and their families. As the Head Start Director, Green’s main duties are to ensure the program meets all performance standards, review and improve service delivery in partnership with Head Start’s Parent Policy Council, complete all grant reporting requirements, and oversee the supervision of all Head Start employees. 

“Christa’s years of early childhood education has shined through in her ability to provide leadership during these unprecedented times,” said Sarah Dybdahl, Senior Director of Cultural Heritage & Education. “Her commitment to the Head Start program, staff, families and children shows daily. Tlingit & Haida would like to thank Christa for serving as interim director and accepting the management role. We appreciate her and her team’s commitment and dedication to our children.” 

Green has over 25 years of experience in early childhood education and family support services. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work with a minor in Early Childhood Education from the University of Alaska. Prior to stepping into the director role, Green held positions as Lead Teacher, Family Partnership Coordinator, and Child Development & Disabilities Coordinator. She has also mentored many early childhood educators throughout Southeast Alaska over the years.  

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Green has lived in Alaska for 42 years and considers Juneau her home. She is an adopted member of the Was´eneidí clan and was gifted the name K´eiltéen by the Bennett family. Green raised her three children in the community and enjoys playing her ukulele, drumming, writing poetry & songs, long walks through the forest, and bonfires at the beach. 

Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa for allowing me the great honor of further serving Southeast Alaska’s children and families,” said Green. 

As the Cultural Heritage Manager, Blanchett will collaborate with tribal programs and partners to support Southeast Alaska Indigenous language, arts and cultural education and preservation initiatives. He will also develop a cultural service plan to identify resources and opportunities to increase the Tribe’s capacity to build out classes, activities, and events that support tribal citizens, communities, the Vocational Training & Resource Center, and Tlingit & Haida’s programs, services and employees.

“Cultural Heritage & Education is excited to welcome Qacung to our team,” said Sarah Dybdahl. “Qacung brings a breadth of experience in creating opportunities and uplifting our Indigenous ways of life through his years of work throughout the state in cultural education and revitalization efforts.” 

Blanchett grew up in Bethel, Alaska and is a performing artist, culture-bearer, and an arts and culture educator. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Alaska Native Studies from the University of Alaska Anchorage and has nearly 30 years of experience of work in art, education and culture throughout Alaska. He has served in leadership roles with the Alaska Native Heritage Center, First Alaskans Institute, Pamyua Inc., and other arts, culture, and community service entities.

He is a 2019 Dance/USA Fellowship recipient, a 2019 & 2016 recipient of the Rasmuson Foundation’s Artist Fellowship, and a 2015 National Artist Fellowship recipient through the Native Arts and Culture Foundation. 

“Our cultural practices are key for us to keep our cultures alive, languages alive, and save our people,” said Blanchett. “We’re doing this to save our ways of life through art, language, culture, and heritage and bring a light in these dark moon times.”

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