The Juneau First Americans Emphasis Week was a celebration of Native culture that occurred in Juneau, Alaska between 1978 and 1984. It was a undertaking aimed to provide Alaska Native youth to learn more about their culture in the school setting, and was directed by Alaska Natives during the era of Self-Determination. As part of the Juneau First Americans Emphasis Week celebrations, various Native elders would address those present on a wide variety of topics of interest to Alaska Natives, including culture, spirituality, language, and even lands land rights.
The concept of a First Americans Emphasis Week was national program that emerged from the Johnson O'Malley Program prior to its observance in Juneau. The organizers of the Juneau First Americans Emphasis Week program worked replicate the national program but tailor it to local Native cultures. Since the Johnson O'Malley Program had already been implemented in Juneau’s elementary schools, as the Juneau Indian Studies Program, Juneau organizers used this established program to springboard the first Juneau First Americans Emphasis Week, held in March of 1978. Juneau’s First Americans Emphasis Week celebrations were held at the Marie Drake Middle School gymnasium. For those unable to attend the events in person, a recording of the events were often made and after the celebration the recording was broadcast via radio by KTOO-FM in Juneau. Most of these recordings were made at the behest of KTOO-FM for broadcast purposes, with Cyrus Peck Jr. reporting for KTOO-FM, while others may have been Cyrus Peck Jr.’s own voluntary recording work.
Rights: Intellectual Properties Note: Since SHI adheres to the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, and since we desire to honor Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian traditional cultural belief that clans retain the intellectual property rights to clan stories or songs, patrons who use or study clan songs or stories are asked to credit clan ownership to stories and songs.
Source: Cyrus Peck Jr..
The recordings and paper materials in this collection were donated to Sealaska Heritage Institute by Cy Peck, Jr. on September 24, 2010. To mark the donation a special ceremony was held in Juneau, during which several people involved in First Americans Emphasis Week over the years spoke. Noted Tlingit elder and clan house leader Cyril George Sr. spoke as an honored guest.
Collection Material Type: Recordings