Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center
The Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center (SAICC) was established in 1969 to impart the cultural values of Southeast Alaska Native Culture to students and visitors. The center achieves this goal by providing a place for local Sitka Tlingits to teach themselves about their own culture, while also helping Park visitors understand the Native people whose history is part of the Park story. Although it is housed in the Park visitor center, SAICC is an independent, non-profit Native organization.
SAICC offers both students and visitors the opportunity to learn about Northwest Coast native art. Park visitors can view artists working and can talk to them about their craft and culture. In addition, SAICC offers courses in traditional Tlingit art such as beadwork, weaving, bentwood box making, and box drum making.
SAICC also sponsors special projects like the raising of the Haa leelk'u has Kaa sta heeni deiy Pole and the carving of a traditional Tlingit canoe. In 1996, the Cultural Center sponsored the carving and raising of a thirty-five foot totem pole in front of the Park's Visitor Center. The multi-clan pole was carved by local Sitka carvers to commemorate the Tlingit clans (Kaagwaantaan, Kiks.ádi, and Coho) who lived in the area before the Russians came. The pole's Tlingit name means "honoring our ancestors who lived along Indian River."
Please contact the Cultural Center for additional information:
Did You Know?
The transfer of Alaska from Russia took place in Sitka. On October 18, 1867, the Russian flag was lowered on Castle Hill, home of Alaska's Russian governors, the American flag was raised, and a brief exchange of statements completed the transfer of Alaska to the United States.