Sea otter subsistence harvest lecture and skin sewing demonstration to be held Saturday

Alaska Native artist Peter Williams will present a public lecture on the subsistence harvest and use of sea otters in Alaska on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. This lecture is part of the docent training series at the Alaska State Museum, but is open to the public.


Williams is a Sitka-based Yup’ik artist known for creating handcrafted sea otter garments under his label Ata, which in Yup’ik translates to “let me see.” His presentation, “The Modern Alaska Native Sea Otter Fur Trade” will explore what hunting and working with sea otters means to him, including a look at sea otter population reports and harvest levels. The presentation will also include discussion about the exemption for Alaska Natives under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the current implementation by the Fish and Wildlife Service impacts the sea otter fur industry.

Later that same day, on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m., Williams will exhibit examples of items he makes from otter fur, demonstrate skin sewing techniques, and will be available for conversation and questions.

The museum is still on winter hours, Tuesday through Saturday 10 – 4. Visitors 18 and under are admitted free of charge. On May 13, the museum will switch to summer hours of being open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

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 by contacting Visitor Services at 465-2901 before the visit.


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