The Walter Soboleff Center

Sealaska Heritage Institute

Funding Received: 2013
Juneau, AK
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
March 20, 2014

Dawson Construction pouring concrete

Juneau had an unusual dry couple of weeks in February, aiding in the construction of the Walter Soboleff Center. The last concrete pour will happen this week, completing the floors.

Design decisions are being made daily with everything from the glass to be used in the windows, to the finish on the wood. The building itself will be a work of art, contributing to SHI’s goal of making Juneau the Northwest Coast Art Capital. World-renowned Northwest coast artists’ pieces will be displayed in and outside of the traditionally inspired building, making the Walter Soboleff Center not only an educational center, but an architectural landmark in downtown Juneau.


 SHI President Rosita Worl and Chief of Operations

The Alaska yellow cedar planks (shown below) on the outside of the building and the Alaskan red cedar used in the interior finishes including the clan house add to the beauty and distinctiveness of the building.  The cedar comes from Sealaska’s own timber.


Yellow Cedar Panel that will line the exterior of the Center

Haa Shuká, one of the core culture values of the Natives of Southeast Alaska, requires honoring the past and cultivating the present while fulfilling the responsibilities to the future generations. This applies to all aspects of life but also in the management of the lands. Because of this, Sealaska Corporation practices a sustainable approach to timber cultivation and harvesting to ensure that the forest remains healthy and viable for future generations. Practices like thinning, basal pruning, and hand planting ensure the longevity of our forest resources. Sealaska Heritage Institute is following this value in using the wood of the forests to aid in the continuation and enhancement of Tlingit, Tsimshian and Haida culture and providing a bright future for Southeast Alaskan Natives.