Baby Raven Reads – “Raven Makes the Aleutians”
Raven Makes the Aleutians is a children’s book based on ancient Northwest Coast Raven stories published in 2018 through SHI's Baby Raven Reads program. In the tale, illustrated by Haida artist Janine Gibbons, Raven’s ingenuity leads to the creation of the Aleutian Chain.
The story was adapted for children from the works of the late Nora and Dick Dauenhauer, who transcribed it from Tlingit Elders Susie James' and Robert Zuboff's oral accounts. The original Raven stories are complex, humorous and sometimes filled with raucous adventures. Raven stories are not about what is viewed as proper behavior, but what is not acceptable behavior. Raven the Trickster is found in oral traditions throughout North America and elsewhere in the world and teaches people how to exist in society.
Baby Raven Reads is an award-winning Sealaska Heritage education program that promotes early-literacy, language development and school readiness for Alaska Native families with children up to age 5. The pilot program in Juneau ended in 2017, and SHI received funding to offer the program for another three years and to expand it to nine other communities in Southeast Alaska through 2020.