Alaska State Museum hosts MacArthur Fellow Sven Haakanson lecture on Alutiiq culture

In 2007, the MacArthur Fellows Program awarded its “genius” fellowship — widely considered one of the most prestigious project grants in the United States — to 24 select artists, scientists, and scholars. One of them was Alaska Native Anthropologist Sven Haakanson, director of the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak.

At 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 19, the Alaska State Museum in Juneau will present a special lecture on Alutiiq culture by Dr. Haakanson, who will discuss his efforts to find, preserve, and curate collections of Alutiiq artifacts. He will also focus on the rediscovery of Alutiiq objects already in museum collections around the world, and its relevance to modern Alutiiq Alaskans.

Haakanson earned a Ph.D. in archaeology from Harvard University in 2000, and returned to Kodiak — his birthplace — to direct the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository. In addition to combing the globe for Alutiiq artifacts, he also works to document prehistoric and contemporary Alutiiq communities on Kodiak Island, in some instances working with local artists to experiment with gut and fish skin processing, basket weaving, and rock carving. His ASM lecture is free to the public.

Winter hours at the museum are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Discounted winter admission is $3. Visitors 18 and under are admitted free of charge. An annual pass that allows unlimited visits to the Alaska State Museum and the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka is available for $15. Assistance is available for visitors with special needs. Please contact Visitor Services at 465-2901 before the visit.

Fore more information, visit 395 Whittier, Juneau, AK 99801, phone 465-2901 or visit


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