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Meet the Young Brothers

Balance, Reciprocity and Respect
Gu dlúu | Wooch.Yax | Ama Mackshm

During the last decade there has been a cultural movement in Hydaburg, Alaska. The community is being lifted up through people like the Young brothers who are contributing to the success of the Haida culture through their love of carving and the Haida language.

Brothers Joe and T.J. Young, shareholder descendants, have been selected by Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) to carve two totem poles and a house screen for the Gajaa Hít building in Juneau. This project is funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Our Town program; Juneau Arts and Humanities Council; and Juneau Community Foundation. Sealaska donated the logs, and the Tlingit-Haida Regional Housing Authority is paying for the apprentices. The project will be led by SHI in partnership with the housing authority, which owns Gajaa Hít, and the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council.

View images from Gajaa Hit project

T.J. says the cultural revitalization in Hydaburg has been exciting to see and understands he plays an important role in perpetuating the energy into the future. TJ took a break from working on the raven totem for the Gajaa Hít project to talk about the efforts back home in Hydaburg.

Sán uu dang Gídang (basic Haida greeting)

Ben Young is passing on his knowledge of the Haida language. Using modern technology for video sharing, Young is able to share the language through short videos like this one that helps people learn a basic Haida greeting.

The Hydaburg Cooperative Association (HCA) hosts the annual Haida Culture Camp. Over the last few years new totem poles were raised in conjunction with the camp. Sealaska is proud to support HCA’s efforts with log donations. Below are slideshows from previous totem pole raisings in Hydaburg captured by Sealaska’s Todd Antioquia.

Hydaburg Pole Raising July 29, 2011

Hydaburg Pole Raising July 30, 2011


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