Sealaska recently made two significant donations to support the renovation of the Alaska Native Brotherhood/Alaska Native Sisterhood (ANB/ANS) halls in Angoon and Hoonah. The ANB/ANS halls have been a fixture throughout Southeast Alaska for decades. This funding helps to preserve and revitalize these historic gathering places while helping to ensure the legacy of the ANB/ANS lives on in these two communities.
“Sealaska and all Alaska Native Corporations owe our existence to the tremendous work of the ANB and ANS,” said Anthony Mallott, Sealaska President and CEO. “For decades, they have been the cornerstone of our communities. These spaces and the fellowship they help foster play a vital role in bringing our people together. We are honored to help support the transformation of these facilities, just as ANB and ANS have supported the Alaska Native community for over a century.”
The ANB/ANS halls in Angoon and Hoonah hold immense cultural significance as meeting spaces where community members gather for cultural events, ceremonies, educational programs and more. By creating more inviting and functional spaces, Sealaska’s donation promotes increased community engagement.
In Angoon, the ANB/ANS Hall — which was originally built in 1968 — will serve as a dedicated space for a teen center for local youth. The upgraded facilities will provide an inspiring environment for youth-oriented programs, educational workshops and mentorship opportunities. This investment not only offers a platform for young individuals to learn and grow but also encourages them to become future leaders in their community.
“Sealaska’s generous contribution, along with grants from the Reuben E. Crossest Fund and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, and support from the Kootznoowoo Cultural and Educational Foundation, will allow this historic building to once again be used for important community events,” said Jon Wunrow, Director of Tourism and Natural Resources for Kootznoowoo, Inc.
The renovation in Angoon also includes several essential upgrades to address critical safety issues including updating the restrooms in the facility, improvements to lighting throughout the building, and a revamp of two rooms that will be used for the teen center and after-school homework space.
The hall in Hoonah, which was built in 1952, became structurally unsafe for the community to use over the years. Community members find it challenging at times to find a place that can host large community events.
“The renovation of these halls will breathe new life into these important centerpieces of our communities,” said Matt Carle, Sealaska Senior Director of Corporate Communications. “Anyone who has grown up in the region likely has fond memories of gathering in the ANB/ANS halls, participating in cultural celebrations, basketball tournaments and holiday events. This donation will help ensure that our future generations can continue to build that sense of community in these locations.”