Traditions Renewed in Alaska's Oldest National Park

Students weave spruce root baskets in the park's regalia studio.

Students weave spruce root baskets in the park's regalia studio.

National Park Service

Quick Facts


A Call to Action
Action Item:
Arts Afire
Also Promotes:
History Lesson
Year Accomplished:

This summer, Sitka National Historical Park, in partnership with Alaska Geographic, debuted the Student Art Apprenticeship Program at the park's demonstration art studios.  Four local high school students interested in learningmoreabout traditional Southeast AlaskaNative arts worked side-by-sidewith Native artists for nine weeks during the height of the cruise ship season.  The students learned and demonstratedtraditional and contemporarymetalworkingtechniques and other Native arts such as cedar basket weaving and wood carving.   


In keeping with the Arts Afire Call to Action Initiative (#10), the Student Art Apprentice pilot program showcases the meaning of Alaska's oldest park to new audiences through a rich tradition of visual arts.  The program enables the park to continueto succeed in fostering the perpetuation of SoutheastAlaskaNativearts and traditions, provides the opportunity for student employees to gain useful skills and knowledge while working with traditional Native artists, and offers local residents and visitors with opportunities to learn about Southeast Alaska Native cultural values and activities.