KNBA - KBC

Tsimshian

John Lawrence is a cultural interpreter for the Sealaska Heritage Institute visitor center. His father was Tlingit, and his mother was Haida. Those two groups, along with the Tsimshian people, make up the three major Alaska Native groups of Southeast Alaska.

As a cultural interpreter, Lawrence tries to answer any questions visitors might have. Questions like, “What’s that thing on the wall?” or, “What kind of paint did they use on that thing?”

About 100 fluent speakers of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages are left in Alaska and Canada’s Interior. And a Southeast Alaska cultural center invites them to Juneau for an Alaska Native language summit.

Voices of Our Ancestors” will invite fluent speakers of Lingit, Xaad Kil and Sm’algyax. The three-day regional summit will be Nov. 13-15.

Sealaska Heritage Institute will cover transportation and hotel costs for fluent speakers living in Alaska.