University to host Eagle Pole fundraising banquet

Posted: Sunday, November 08, 2009

The University of Alaska Southeast Eagle Totem Fundraising Campaign is celebrating Native Heritage Month with an Eagle Pole fundraising banquet from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Mourant Cafeteria at the University of Alaska Southeast.

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Courtesy Of Katie Bausler
Courtesy Of Katie Bausler

The goal of the project is to balance the Raven pole that was donated to UAS and erected in 1993. Native people belong to either the Eagle or Raven moiety, and in ceremonies and at secular events both moieties are represented for balance.

The $160,000 campaign was started with the generous in-kind donation of the 45-foot red cedar log by Sealaska Corp., valued at $40,000. Artists Joe and TJ Young, of Hydaburg on Prince of Wales Island, carved and painted the pole. It will be erected on the UAS campus in the spring of 2010.

Saturday's banquet menu will include halibut, venison, salad, dessert and nonalcoholic beverages. Tickets are $100.

An accompanying presentation includes oratory by UAS/PITAAS student Gloria Anderstrom, Woosh.ji.een Dance group performance, storytelling with Mary Gubatayo and Liana Wallace, and the history of the Eagle Pole.

Limited seating is available. The last day to purchase a ticket is at noon on Wednesday. Tickets are $100.

Wooch.éen, a Native student club is sponsoring the event. Elders of the Aak'w Kwáan met with Wooch.éen to identify the Eagle clan crests featured on the totem. They wanted to give special recognition to the Wooshkeetaan, an Eagle clan from the Juneau area. The pole features Eagle to represent all Eagle clans plus Shark, Wolf and Thunderbird, with Shark representing the Wooshkeetaan.

To date, private fundraising totals $40,900. The Rasmuson Foundation has awarded a matching grant in support of the project, where private donations will be matched $1 for $1 up to $25,000.

For more information or tickets contact Kolene James at or 796-6454.

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