Southeast Alaska Culture
Southeast Alaskan culture is diverse and has large Native American and Russian influences. Southeast Alaska is
home to both the Tlingit and Haida Native American peoples, who crossed from Siberia tens of thousands of years
ago. Master craftsman, the Tlingit and Haida are famous for their intricate weaving techniques used in baskets,
clothing and rugs and for their carvings of totem poles and canoes. Many Native American influences can be seen in
Juneau area architecture, arts and crafts.
Grigory Shelikhov founded the first Russian settlement in Alaska in 1784 at Three Saints Bay on Kodiak Island. Ten
years later, Catherine the Great approved Shelikhov’s request to establish an Orthodox mission. With the arrival of
priests and missionaries, the interaction with Alaska Natives increased and the influence of the church spread. Today,
Orthodox Christianity plays a major role in the lives of many Alaska Natives. Visitors in Juneau can explore the
beautiful churches and artwork that were inspired by Russian influences.
During the year, the Juneau area has many cultural events and celebrations including Native American Festivals,
Music Festivals, Food Festivals and Sporting Events.
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