This region’s rich cultural history has an able advocate in the Sealaska Heritage Institute, which has been active in sponsoring a variety of lectures and lecture series about Native history and cultural topics in recent months.

The latest example will be a lecture given this Thursday by Dr. Thomas F. Thornton, an author of the new book “Herring and People of the North Pacific: Sustaining a Foundational and Keystone Species.”

According to an SHI announcement, the lecture will trace the development of the Southeast Alaska herring fishery from “pre-contact Indigenous relationships with herring to post-contact focus on herring products.”

Thornton’s lecture will be livestreamed at noon Thursday on the Sealaska Heritage Insitute’s YouTube channel, which is home to an extraordinary amount of material focused on Native culture, history, language and arts.

In addition to Thornton’s presentation, the SHI channel also will be host to the overall Alaska Native subsistence lecture series scheduled throughout the month of March.

Among these lectures will be the “Significance of Subsistence Sharing” by Dr. Steve J. Langdon, an emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Alaska Anchorage on March 11, and “Subsistence Hunting and Fishing in Alaska Under State and Federal Programs: Similarities, Contrasts and Demographic Patterns,” to be presented on March 23 by James A. Fall, a cultural anthropologist who formerly was program manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Subsistence.

A lecture of particular interest in southern Southeast Alaska is likely to be “Addressing Complex Resource Conflicts: People, Sea Otters and Shellfish in Southeast Alaska.” That presentattion by Sonia Natalie Ibarra, a National Science Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon fellow, with the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, is scheduled for March 30.

The full schedule and description of the lecture presentations is available on the Sealaska Heritage Foundation website at

The lectures and other video materials organized by SHI and made available via its YouTube channel present an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in learning about the vibrant history and continuing cultural life and resources in this area.

It’s a wonderful resource, and we hope that Sealaska Heritage Institute continues to build upon the already impressive catalogue.