Indian Country Today: Kindred Post makes donation to Sealaska Heritage
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Kindred Post owner Christy Eriksen making a donation to SHI in recognition of its efforts to effect social change. Photo by Lyndsey Brollini, courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute.
Kindred Post of Juneau today donated ten percent of its profits from its Social Justice Hustle collection to Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) in recognition of the institute’s work to forge social change.
In a letter, Kindred Post owner, artist and activist Christy NaMee Eriksen wrote that she chose SHI to receive its annual donation because the institute creates “positive change at every level, from baby raven reading roots to the fruit-bearing branches of public policy.”
“Art programs like skin sewing workshops, formline classes, art purchases and youth academies have empowered Alaska Native artists across generations and have educated and enriched our community. I would bet a jar of salmon that there isn't a person in our town who hasn't been impacted by the work you've done,” Eriksen wrote.
“You make this world, our world, better.”
SHI President Rosita Worl said she was very moved by the $550 gift and the sentiment conveyed.
“We work hard to raise funds for our programs through grants and donations, and so it’s very gratifying when a donor steps up and makes a gift such as this to simply recognize and honor our efforts,” Worl said. “I’m moved by Christy’s thoughtful act and her stated appreciation of SHI’s impact on the community as a whole.”
SHI advocates on numerous social justice issues and in recent years operated a Northwest Coast art program for inmates at Juneau’s Lemon Creek Correctional Center. The goals were to connect Alaska Native prisoners with their cultural identity and to provide a way for them to earn income upon their release. The program will continue pending funding.
The donation proceeds came from 2018 profits on Kindred Post’s Social Justice Hustle merchandise, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and pins.
About Sealaska Heritage Institute
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.
About Kindred Post
Kindred Post is a business rooted in art, community and social justice and has four branches of work. As a post office, it connects people and acts as a neighborhood hub for social connection. As a gift shop, it supports more than 150 artists by purchasing their work, sharing their stories with customers, and mentoring emerging artists in wholesale/business practices. As a gathering space, it brings people together through a variety of art and social programming. As a citizen, it uses its rights and responsibilities to serve its community and respond to the world around it.