Sealaska hosts First Tree Ceremony near Klawock

Sealaska held its annual First Tree Ceremony near Klawock, Alaska on Prince of Wales Island. The yearly event is similar to the blessing of the fleet.

The harvest of trees by Sealaska provides benefits to Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people, as well as to Southeast communities.

Cultural benefits of Sealaska natural resources include logs for cultural projects like totem poles or clan houses. Revenues from timber harvests support scholarships to tribal member shareholders and descendants. Since inception of the scholarship program, approximately $12 million from timber revenues has been paid in the form of scholarships.

Sealaska impacts the region in many ways. According to a McDowell report, Sealaska, Sealaska Timber Corporation and Sealaska Heritage Institute spent $45 million in 2008 in support of corporate and timber-related operations in Southeast. This spending included payroll and the purchase of goods and services, including timber harvest-related contracts. Spending was spread throughout the Southeast region.

While on Prince of Wales, Sealaska natural resources team invited residents of Kasaan, Alaska to comment on Sealaska activity that touches the community. Discussions centered on timber harvests, minerals, road access and opportunities to collaborate. Sealaska's community schedule will be posted soon. Sealaska would like to thank Organized Village of Kasaan Tribal Council President Richard Peterson and the community for attending the session and for their input.



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