Chaas’ Koowu Tlaa
“I am following the steps of my Ancestors, striving to recapture the woven arts of an indigenous people. The ancient ways of gathering spruce root, with respect for the tree’s life and spirit, are a rich lesson in today’s world. Traditional methods of gathering and weaving natural materials help me link past, present, and future. ..
Decades of weaving have opened my eyes to the pure science that is embedded in Tlingit Art. The arts and our oral history together bring knowledge of ten thousand years of research to life. My goal is to continue the research, broadening awareness for the generations to come.
2011: “Talking Circle and Workshop” NMAI National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY
Culture Bearer: Allen Marine Cruise Trips during the summer months, Sitka, AK
2010: Designed a Pendleton Blanket: Limited Edition for SNHP 100th anniversary, Sitka, AK
2008-2010: “Through the Weaver’s Eye” publication with Univ. of Penn. Museum, Philadelphia, PA
2009: Tradition Bearer: Sitka School District, Sitka, AK
2008: Artist in Residence: Alaska Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, AK
Instructor-Spruce Root Harvesting Class: Yakutat, AK
2004-2008: Instructor-Spruce Root Harvesting Class: Cordova, AK
2001-2010: Artist in Residence: Southeast Alaska Indian Cultural Center, Sitka, AK
2007: Spruce Root Harvesting Class: Sitka, AK.
2000-2007: Basketry Technical Manual: Sealaska Heritage Corporation, Juneau, AK.
2006: National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI): Demonstration, Washington, D.C.
University of Pennsylvania Museum: Demonstration and Lecture, Philadelphia, PA.
Smithsonian 2006 Folk Life Festival: Consultant and Participant, Washington, D.C.
“Carrier’s of Culture” Native Basketry exhibit: Exhibit consultant, Michigan State Univ.
2005: Alaska Native Art Festival: NMAI, and Natural History Museum, Washington, D.C.
Internet II: Univ. of Penn., Univ. of AK collaborator, and demonstrator. Anchorage, AK.
Solo Exhibit: Anchorage Museum of Art and History, Anchorage, AK.
Spruce Root Harvesting Classes: Yakutat, AK and Cordova, AK.
2004: Spruce Root Harvesting Class: Co-Teaching with Erin Rofkar, Cordova, AK
2003: Fellowship: National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.
Artist in Residence: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
2002: Commissioned to Weave Baskets for “2002 Governor’s Art Awards”
Instructor: “Sustainable Harvest” Master’s class; Grand Maris, Minn.
Speaker: “Sustainable Harvest” University of Minn.; Marcell, and Grand Rapids, Minn.
2001: Instructor-Basketry: Sitka Fine Arts Camp, Sheldon Jackson Campus, Sitka, AK.
Speaker: “Western Museum Association” Palm Springs, CA.
Speaker: “Hidden Forest Values” USFS- Anchorage, AK.
2000: Basketry/ Raven’s Tail Demonstration for the Public: Sheldon Jackson Museum, Sitka, AK.
1999-2000: Instructor- Basketry: Artist-in-the-Schools… K-12 in Yakutat, AK.
Instructor- Raven’s Tail/ Basketry Workshop: Humboldt State Acadia, CA.
Basketry/ Raven’s Tail Lecture and Demo.: Holland America Cruise Line.
Raven’s Tail Robe “Shis’ginoow” Sitka National Historical Park 100th Anniversary, Sitka, AK
Spruce Root Cooking Basket: Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Anchorage, AK.
Raven’s Tail Robe “Ice Walker” University of Alaska Museum, Fairbanks, AK.
Spruce Root Basket “Tobacco” National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY.
Raven’s Tail Robe “Hinchinbrook Island” Ilanka Cultural Center, Cordova, AK.
Raven’s Tail Robe “1964 Earthquake” Ted Stevens International Airport, Anchorage, AK.
Raven’s Tail Robe “Herring Robe” Sitka High School, Sitka, AK
Raven’s Tail Robe “Gathering of Tradition”: AK Native Heritage Center, Anchorage, AK.
Basket “Large Rattle-Top” SEAICC, Sitka, AK.
Raven’s Tail Wall Hangings (5) Fairbanks Courthouse, Fairbanks, AK.
Raven’s Tail “Waist Robe”: Doyon Corporation, Fairbanks, AK.
Shaman’s Regalia: Elmendorf Air Force Base Hospital, Anchorage, AK.
Spruce Root Basket Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, CO.
Raven’s Tail Regalia: Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO.
Spruce Root Basket Sitka National Historic Park, Sitka, AK.
Cedar Bark Basket “Large Berry” USDA Forest Service Visitor’s Center, Ketchikan, AK.
2011 Exhibits: “Mini Masters”: Spirit Wrestlers Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
2010 Exhibits: “SMASH” International Indigenous Weaving: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, B.C.
“Time Warp”: Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
“Parallel Worlds” 50th anniversary Japanese Gardens, Portland, OR
“Continuum” Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver, B. C. Canada
“Alaska Yukon Expo.” 100th anniversary Folklife Festival, Seattle, WA
2009: NEA: National Heritage Fellow- “Living Treasure”
2009: Rasmuson: Artist Fellow
2008: National Native Master Artists Initiative grant- Longhourse Ed & Culture to teach Spruce Root
2006: United States Artists Fellow – Inaugural class
2005: 1st Place Twined Miniatures- TOCA National Basketweaver’s conference
2004: Governor’s Award for Alaska Native Art
2004: Buffet Award finalist (1 of 5) for Indigenous Leadership
2003: Native Arts “Smithsonian Visiting Scholar” National Museum of the American Indian
2002: 3rd Place Overall Sealaska Juried Art Show- Large Spruce Root Cooking Basket
Education: I graduated from A.J. Dimond High School in Anchorage, AK. 1974
In the years after High School, I took a variety of College courses offered
in my Art Form. I have received encouragement and help from Elders… 1984 to present.
Organizations: Sealaska Native Corp. Shareholder
Southeast AK. Indian Cultural Center Inc.; Member
Silver Hand Task Force- AK State Council on the Arts
Sitka Tribes of Alaska; Member
Alaskan Native Basket Case Extraordinaire