See Stories is excited to host Power of Place, a youth media arts workshop that will take place in the village of Yakutat, Alaska in Spring 2024. This two week digital storytelling workshop will serve 6th-8th grade students at Yakutat Middle School.
Student participants will explore their connection to land and water based ecosystems around the village of Yakutat, focusing on the ecological and cultural significance of these ecosystems. Students will create films about connection to the land, significance of land for traditional subsistence and medicinal resources, and the cultural significance of local places and ecosystems. Exploring themes related to cultural significance, connection between people and place, natural resources, development, and history, each student will choose a topic they are passionate about, interview tribal elders and community members about their topic, and then edit their footage into a film that they will share at a celebratory community showcase. Friends and family members of students as well as the larger Yakutat community will be welcomed to a final showcase, which will be a community wide event for students to share their films. Students will build media skills, participate in an inclusive space that uplifts their identities, and discover the power of their voices to make a positive impact on their community and culture.
After the workshop, See Stories will work to hire three students as paid Cultural Media Interns. Over several months, interns will gain valuable digital media skills and work experience under the mentorship of professional photographer and Yakutat Tlingit Tribe member Connor Meyer, who will also serve as co-instructor for the intensive. Student interns will continue producing short media works (films, podcasts, and photography) that explore land, ecological, and cultural topics important to the community of Yakutat.
This project is funded by Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, National Parks Service, and the AK State Council on the Arts Cultural Collaborations.
- January 29, 2024 - February 9, 2024
Seth Bader: Seth lives in Juneau on Lingít Aaní, Tlingit Land, and has taught science in classrooms between Washington and Alaska for the past 10 years. He has a M.A in Secondary Education from UAS and a B.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University. Since moving to Southeast Alaska in 2018, Seth has taught Alaska Native youth in a variety of settings, including teaching at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. Seth has witnessed as a teacher the significance that empowering youth with a platform to share stories meaningful to them can have. When not teaching, Seth spends most of his time exploring the waters and mountains of Southeast Alaska with his wife and their dog.
Yakutat Tlingit Tribe member and professional photographer Connor Meyer will work as a co-instructor for the Power in Place workshop, and as the Cultural Media Intern Mentor for all three youth interns. Connor was born and raised in Yakutat, where he developed a special relationship with the unique ecosystems of the forest and ocean environment. Connor’s lifelong relationship with the community of Yakutat, paired with his unique skill set as a professional photographer allows him the opportunity to educate the youth of his community through a culturally-responsive lens; with a focus on prioritizing positive outcomes for youth.
This workshop is being offered on Tlingit Land. Learn more about land acknowledgements at native-land.ca.