Our Annual Meeting this year is on Harvesting and Sharing Foods from our Waters and Shores: Stories of Sitka's Oldest Family Tradition. Our format, as in past years, is to have a panel of individuals with stories and experiences to share about the topic, and in the second half of the program to open it up to stories from the audience. Panel host and moderator will be the congenial Eric Jordan. Being able to get our food for our families from the ocean and shores is a big reason for living here. In fact, for many of us, it's a big reason to live, period: the collective effort with friends and family, teaching and learning, the satisfaction of a productive day on the water (never dull!), the deep contentment of having food put up to feed our children and elders. As in past Annual Meetings, we are expecting a lot of laughter, and a lot of learning about our fellow Sitkans, this place we live in, family and history. Oh, and cookies. Join us on Tuesday February 25th, at the Sheetka Kwaan Naa Kahidi, at 6:30 p.m. for mingling and refreshments, with the program from 7 to 9 p.m. with a break in the middle.
Welcome Carole Gibb, Our New Director - Plus Two New Board Members
Late last fall we were sad to say goodbye to our previous director, Ashia Lane, when she was offered the opportunity to manage Old Harbor Books. But we have been fortunate in finding Carole Gibb, who will continue leading the Sitka Maritime Heritage Society in our twin efforts of programming, and completing the Japonski Island Boathouse rehabilitation into a working maritime heritage center. An eclectic work history can be a liability in some places, but in Sitka it can be a plus. Sitka Maritime Heritage Society's new Director, Carole Gibb, explains, “My resume makes me look crazy outside Alaska, but here, and for this organization specifically, my background is a good fit.”
Formerly of Pelican and Juneau, Gibb has worked in commercial fishing, grant-writing, property development, marketing and program planning. She also has a love of oral histories and authored a book, Fishing for Courage, which features true stories her Pelican neighbors shared with her, and lessons those stories yielded.
Gibb said she feels lucky to have a strong Board of Directors, and it’s growing. Just this month, the Society has added two new members to its board. Brinnen Carter is the Chief of Resources at the Sitka National Historical Park. He brings to the group his experience with Historic Structures and Cultural Landscapes, and his personal interest in boatbuilding. “Plus, he has experience leading restoration of historic windows,” Gibb said, “which will come in handy at our workshops this summer.”
New board member Hayley Chambers, curator at the Sitka Historical Society, is enthused about the lessons and knowledge our maritime heritage offers on a daily basis. Her master’s degree is in Public History, and she has worked on preserving and maintaining historic buildings, as well as on board leadership development, and educational programming.
Our maritime heritage, Gibb says, unifies us. “Going back, it doesn’t matter what era you look at, or ethnicity, there’s one heritage we can all claim as Sitkans, and celebrate. Simply put, it’s about love of being on the water.”
Looking ahead, the Sitka Maritime Heritage Society wishes to preserve and cultivate this rich way of life, she said. “So our next generation and generations after that, can experience it too.”
The SMHS was excited to hear that we received funding for a Historic Preservation Grant for work on the boathouse this summer! The program is through the City and Borough of Sitka, as a "Certified Local Government," qualified to receive these funds via Alaska's Office of History and Archaeology. We will be rebuilding historic doors and windows, with workshops to train volunteers in these skills. We'll also be adding some earthquake bracing to the foundation. These grants require matching, in the form of volunteer hours - that's you! We'll have everything from mindless but oh-so-satisfying cleaning, to training in the skills of rebuilding traditional wood windows. Stay tuned for work party times and dates!
Did you know you can share your PFD with the SMHS? When you apply for your PFD, simply participate in the Pick Click Give program. It's easy, it feels good.
Last year over $1,500.00 was given to SMHS! Wow!
WORK PARTY Photos
The October 5th work party was the best one of the season! SMHS board members and staff worked alongside a group of AMAZING volunteers to remove outdated and defunct electrical conduit and air ducting from the workshop side of the boat house, while others focused on pressure washing a few decade's worth of detritus from the walls and rafters of the railways.
A phenomenal amount of progress was made towards our goal of creating a usable space, and James Poulson was on hand to document some of it. Please enjoy his photos by clicking HERE.
Your support helps with boathouse renovations, educational workshops and outreach. Use the button below to give at your personal comfort level through our secure Paypal account, or CLICK HERE to become a member.
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