The Sealaska Heritage Institute has also been working to elevate culturally responsive teaching through conferences and workshops. This fall SHI also made a series of lectures on Bringing Community into Culturally Responsive Education available virtually. 

In Juneau the school district asked the Haa Toóch Lichéesh (Together We Believe it is Possible) Coalition to provide anti-racism training for all staff at each of its thirteen school sites as well as the school board. The trainings were challenging, emotional, and transformative, in large part because teachers and staff were able to hear from neighbors, parents, and former students about how racism within the school setting has affected them.

Understanding how to do it better:
The Juneau School District anti-racism training didn’t just focus on the history and impact of racism in our schools; School staff reflected on the content, worldview, and teaching practices used within their schools and classrooms. The team also offered concrete and constructive tips for teachers and staff. Key themes were to listen to students and their families, look at the data, and intervene when something feels wrong.Teachers play an especially important role in stepping in as allies. Tina DeAsis-Wright with the Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition reflected that if teachers had intervened when they heard racist remarks “perhaps I would have learned to hate racism instead of hating myself.”

In Sitka, several organizations worked together to offer the Haa Tuwunáagu Wooch.een Yís (for Healing Our Spirit, Together) Racial Justice & Equity in Southeast Alaska online speaker series over the month of September. Keynote speakers highlighted the importance of critically examining Sitka’s history to understand how the past connects to the present, defined leadership as listening and practicing patience, and reminded participants of the importance of taking care of ourselves, our community, the environment, and culture. The free training was sponsored by the University of Alaska Southeast- Sitka Campus Title III grant project, Sitka Tribe of Alaska Social Services Department, SEARHC, with support from the Sitka STEPS Grant, the Sitka Health Summit, and Pathways Coalitions and are available free at: As a follow-up to the series, the community is planning monthly conversations to examine the systems and structures that perpetuate injustices in Sitka. Sitka's Pathways Coalition also established a policy to identify and develop policies to promote equity at various levels in the community.